Composer of 'M'



Jean Martinon (1910-1976)

A French conductor. Born in Lyon, 1910. He entered Lyon Conservatory for studying violin firstly, and then transferred to Paris Conservatory. At the latter conservatory, he studied composition under Vincent D'Indy and Albert Roussel as well as conducting under Charles Munch and Roger Désormière. He also obtained the first prize in violin class there. At first he became a solo violinist of French National Orchestra in 1934, but later on he switched a conductor as Charles Munch. Although he experienced the life as an army including some period as a captive, he became the assistant conductor of London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1949 after the return. In 1951, he was appointed as a principal conductor of Concert-Lamoureux Orchestra which he remained the position until 1957. From this period, he had worked as a guest conductor throughout European countries and U.S. and established himself as one of the leading conductors of his generation such that he bacame a guest conductor of Boston Symphony in 1957, general music director of the Düsseldorf Symphony in 1959. As a conductor, his fame is best known for the music director of French National Orchestra from 1968 March. During the next 6 years until his retirement for becoming a music director of Hague Residentie Orchestra in 1974, he trained the orchestra to be seen as one of the top orchestra in the world. Although he was appointed as a professor for conductiong in the paris Conservatory, he died in 1976. He has received Grand Prize of the the city of Paris award by his oratorio 'Psaume 136' as well as his recordings of Berlioz's 'L'enfance de Christ' and Schmitt's 'La Tragédie de Salomé' both received the Grand-prix de disque award. (2004©K.S.)


Main Works

Stage Opera 'Hécube' Hécube (1949)
Ballet 'Ambohimanga or City of Blue' ambohimanga ou la cité bleue (1949)
Orchestra Third Symphony 'Irish' symphonie No.3 'Irish' (1947)
Prelude and Toccata prélude et toccata (1960)
Fourth Symphony 'At Highland' symphonie No.4 'altitudes' (1963)
'Vigintuor' from the Theme of Händel vigintuor (1969)
Exile's Music musique d'exil (-)
Concerto Concerto for String Quartet and Chamber Orchestra concerto pour quatuor à cordes (1944) {2vln, vla, vc, chamber}
Second Violin Concerto concerto pour violon et orchestre No.2 (1959) {vln, orch}
Cello Concerto No.2 deuxième concerto pour violoncelle et orchestre (1964) {vc, orch}
Flute Concerto concerto pour flûte et orchetre (-) {fl, orch}
Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra concerto pour quatuor à saxophones (-) {4sax, orch}
Viola Concerto concerto pour alto et orchestre (-) {vla, orch}
Piano Concerto concerto pour piano et orchestre (-) {p, orch}
Chamber String Quartet No.1 quatuor à cordes No.1 (1946) {2vln, vla, vc}
String Quartet No.2 quatuor à cordes No.2 (1966) {2vln, vla, vc}
Songs Psalm 136 psaume 136 'Chant des captifs' (1945) {sop, tnr, narr, choir, orch}
Oratorio 'Lys of Sharon or Song of Songs' le lis de saron ou le cantique des cantiques (1951-1957)


Martinon Disc Review


"Quatuor à Cordes No.1 / Quatuor á Cordes No.2" (Skarbo : D SK 4002)
Le Quatuor Ravel: Giles Colliard, Reiko Kitahama (vln) Pierre Franck (vla) Christophe Beau (vc)
Although Martinon is mostly known today as a conductor by his Debussy recordings, he was also a good composer. This CD shedding the lights on his compositional ability is a true discovery. Like the chef Monteux (he was also active around the same generation), Martinon was initially a violinist. It sounds quite natural for him to have another aspect as an artist once we come to know that he had obtained the first prize with the instrument. His compositional diction of which can be listened here was handed down from his teachers. complicated and vibrant riffs with strictly constructive form characterize his typical neo-classical poly-tonal language. In some sense, the sounds resembles Goossens and Lesur. Although the poly-tonal content sounds like Group of Six idiom, his musical language that directly reflects his serious and somewhat sober nature (which can be found in conducting manner also) does not contain their condesending but has modesty with some lyric coloration of harmonies. Such an more-ballanced attitude might be conversely said that his compositions are less-personal. The performers formed the quartet in 1989 and has awarded Tortelier or French Cultural Ministry Prizes. They also played an important role on Caplet recording published from Accord. Their performance is very vital with intensive.

(2004. 11. 7)