Composer of 'C'



Henri Collet (1885-1951)

A French critic and a composer. Born in Paris on 5th of November 1885. He showed brilliant ability in literature from early of his life such that he finished his bachelor study when he was 14 and a half years old, under the dispensation of the president of French republic. At that period, he also studied piano under Joseph Thibaud (brother of a famous violinist Jacques Thibaud). His enthusiasm for Spain (through novels and music) let him to go there in 1990, three years later from his bachelor graduation. Settled in Zurbarán and travelled through Castilla region to collect folkrore. Because of the achievement enabled him to be appointed as a professor of the institute of Spanish culture named Casa Velasquez. Then he devoted himself to composition. On 16th and 23th of January 1920 issues of famous journal Comoedia, he grouped together Milhaud, Honegger, Durey, Tailefferre, Poulenc, and Auric (they are members of a jean Cocteau's circle and initially named themselves a fifferent name). Therefore, he is mostly recognized as a namer of Groupe des SIx (group of the six) today, although he composed not a few works. Awarded by National Literature prize by his novel L'île de Barataria in 1929. He died in paris on 23th of November, 1951. (K.S. ©2004)


Main Works

Stage Music Ballet "The Bullfighters" los toreros (1932)
Ballet "A Spanish Bar" le cabaret Espagnol (1918)
Ballet "Clavelitos" clavelitos (1928)
(Font Aux Cabres) font aux cabres (1938)
Comedy "A Golden Goat" la chèvre d'or (1943)
Zarzuela "A Portuguese in Zalamea" el alcade de zalamea (1946)...first public performance. Zarzuela is Spanish operetta.
Comedy "Stratagems of Don Juan" les fils de Don Juan (-)
Comedy "Dom Jose" Dom José (-)
Orchestral Godefroy godefroy (1943) <orch/p>
Alhambra Symphony symphonie de l'Alhambra (1947)
Concerto Poems of Burgos poème de Burgos (1912) <vln, orch>
Flamenco Concerto No.1 concerto flamenco No.1 (1946) <p, orch>
Flamenco Concerto No.2 concerto flamenco No.2 (1947) <vln, orch>
Chamber Castilian Sonata sonate Castillane (1921) <vln p>
Castilian Trio trio Castillan (1921) <vln, vc, p>
La Perra Mora for 10 Players la perra mora (1926)
Piano Castilian Songs 1 cantos de Castilla (1920)
Castilian Songs 2 cantos de Castilla (1922)
Songs Five Poems of Francis Jammes cinq poèmes de Francis Jammes (1920)
Five Castilian Folksongs cinco canciones populares Castellanas (1923)
Lovers from Galicia los amantes de Galicia (1942)
Seven Folksongs from Burgos siete canciones populares de Burgos (-)
Poem of a Day poema de un día (-)
Pain la pena (-)
Choral Missa mass (-)


Collet Disc Review


"Concerto Flamenco No.1 pour Piano et Orchestre / Concerto Flamenco No.2 pour Violon et Orchestre / Sinfonie de l'Alhambra" (Claves : CD 50-9801)
Gary Brain (cond) Régis Pasquier (vln) Ricardo Requejo (p) Real Orquesta Sinfonica di Sevilla
The composer who is known only for a namer of Groupe des Six was born in Paris, 1885. Despite of his nationality, he became aspire to Spain in his childhood. His dream came true soon. He could become a member of an institute and went there soon after the turn of the last century. Then he spent his life in there with enjoying collecting Spanish folksongs and having friendships with many Spanish composers. He is recognized only as a critic in nowadays. But this world premier recordings provide the fine evidence that he was also a composer. It is understandable that the recording has obtained 5 turning forks by Diapason ratings . Although we can find the name of a famous violinist Regis Pasquier, the 5-turning forks rating seems not because of him. His violin sounds a little bit stiff and be stoutly built in pitch control. I was surprised to listen the sound of well-traind orchestra. As for the composers musical language, it can be described that the tunes are the representations of his enthusiasm for Spainish music. In spite of his age (younger than Debussy!!), his compositional diction indicates he was a latter romantism yearnist. Strongly cancione-tasted rhythms hold the melody lines of soloist with shedding domestic Spanish smell. It is totally ideological, explicitly Spainish. This tendency clearly demonstrates his regular occupation.

"Cantos de España / Cinco Canciónes Populares / Castellanas / Cantos de Castilla / Siete Canciónes Populares de Burgos / Poema de Un Dia / La Pena / Los Amantes de Galicia" (Claves : 50-9506)
Rachel Yakar (sop) Claude Lavoix (p)
As the other one of two Collet CDs, this CD shedding the lights on the songs as the world premier 1995 recordings. Again, these songs clearly demonstrate the composer's partical love to Spanish culture. In Tokyo (or NY, Paris, wherever), we can see many fashioned boys and girls walk on the streets. Do you think they are from Tokyo because they are so fashionable? No. They HAVE to dress to pretend they are cityboys and girls because most of them are from countryside. If you are born and live in Tokyo, you don't have to be fashionable to be recognized as a Tokyo-boys/girls. This paradoxical low can be applied to the case for Collet. He intended to be Spanish because he knew where he had come from. Typical public image of Spanish songs is canczones. It is no wonder if he is in high spirits for the genre. Just as expected, his compositions are more 'domestically tasted' than those of Falla or Turina. Excepting the singing language, it must be impossible to guess that they are written by a French. Paradoxically, it also can be said that he abandomed his only originality to speak out in the world of canzone. 'I did it because I love it'. We can observe how he was not a composer but a critic in such an obedientedness (or irresponsibleness) way of writing songs. Clear distinction can be seen also in between him and Ravel (he also wrote many Spanish-tasted songs but with a view from a French). The soprano sings with fairly instable pitch and volume indicating she became too old to sing in a fancy canzone style.

(2004. 5. 25)