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Jean  Françaix

Born: May 23rd, 1912
Died: September 25th, 1997
Country of origin: France
Upcoming :
2017-10-25 | Saarbrücken (Germany), Funkhaus Halberg, Großer Sendesaal
Conductor: Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra: Camerata Nordica
2017-11-16 | Oskarshamn (Sweden), Kyrka — 19:00

I wish to be honest: when I am composing, the finest theories are the last things that come to mind. My interest is not primarily attracted by the ‘motorways of thought’, but more the ‘paths through the woods’. (Jean Françaix)

Jean Françaix was born on 23.5.1912 in Le Mans in France. He received his first music lessons at home: his father was a composer and pianist and also director of the Conservatoire and his mother a singing teacher and the founder of a renowned choir. In 1922 at the age of only 10, Françaix received his first tuition in harmony and later also counterpoint from Nadia Boulanger. The young composer wrote his first composition the very same year: a piano piece entitled “Pour Jacqueline”, dedicated to a cousin, which was printed two years later. Encouraged by Maurice Ravel, he continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire. Alongside his compositional training, Françaix embarked on a career as concert pianist. At the age of 18, he received the first prize in the piano class of Isidore Philipp. Two years later, he represented the young French school of composition together with Claude Delvincourt at the international music festival in Vienna where his Huit Bagatelles were performed.

Jean Françaix achieved international success in 1936 with the first performance of his Concertino for piano and orchestra at the chamber music festival in Baden-Baden. During the ensuing years, the composer extended his oeuvre with numerous works in a wide range of genres including operas, ballets, orchestral works and also solo concertos, film music and vocal works. The composer also focused intensively on chamber music. Françaix taught at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris from 1959 to 1962. He participated actively in concert life, frequently together with his daughter Claude as partner at the piano, right up to shortly before his death on 25.9.1997 in Paris.

Despite close contacts with Francis Poulenc and the “Groupe des Six” and a predilection for French Impressionism and the Neoclassicism of Stravinsky, Jean Françaix never felt committed to any particular musical ideology. The foundations of his tonal, melodically elegant and rhythmically incisive style were laid at an early stage. In contrast to the avant-gardists of his generation, Françaix did not question the traditional listening habits of his public as a matter of principle. In his instrumental music, he displayed a particular interest for wind instruments. Chamber works such as the Petit Quatuor pour saxophones (1935), Quintette à vents No. 1 (1948) and Tema con variazioni (1974) for clarinet and piano were adopted into the regular repertoire just as the solo concerto for oboe L’Horloge de Flore (1959) and the Concerto for clarinet and orchestra from 1967.

In addition to five operas and sixteen ballets – including A la Françaix which was premiered in 1950 by the New York City Ballet - the oratorio L’Apocalypse selon Saint Jean can be considered a major work from the composer’s extensive oeuvre. This composition, completed in 1939 and classified as an “oratorio fantastique”, demands four soloists, mixed choir and two orchestras. Despite the large-scale forces, Françaix avoids all forms of monumental pathos in his interpretation of the Apocalypse of St John in the New Testament – the music is characterised by deeply felt ardency and meditative strength.

Jean Françaix received numerous awards: the Prix du Portique in 1950, the Grand Prix du Disque within the area of chamber music in 1954, the Grand Prix du Disque as performer and composer in 1965, the Grand Prix de la Société des auteurs dramatiques in 1983, the Prix Arthur Honegger in 1992 and the Grand Prix SACEM de la musique symphonique in 1992. In addition, Françaix was awarded the title of Officier de la Légion d'Honneur (1991), Commandeur de l'Ordre du mérite culturel by the royal house of Monaco (1993) and the Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1994).

1912
Born in Le Mans (F) on 23 May
1923
Took private composition and analysis lessons with Nadia Boulanger
1926
Moved from the Conservatoire in Le Mans to the Paris Conservatoire, studied with Isidore Philipp
1930
Won the first prize for piano class of the Conservatoire
1932
Represented France at the International Festival of the ISCM
in Vienna
1933
Composed the first ballet "Scuola di ballo" for the Ballets Russes in Monte Carlo
1936
First internationally acclaimed success with the "Concertino" for piano and orchestra at the Baden-Baden Chamber Music Festival
1939
Created the fantastic oratorio "L’Apocalypse selon St. Jean"
1948
World première of "Symphonie d’archets" in London
1950
Prix du Portique
1954
Grand Prix du Disque in the category of ‘Chamber Music’
1958-61
Member of the Conseil Supérieur at the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris
1959-62
Taught at the École Normale de Musique in Paris
1965
Grand Prix du Disque as a performer and composer
1967
World première of the "Concerto pour flûte et orchestre"
1979
Ludwig Spohr Prize of the city of Brunswick
1980
World première of the "Concerto pour basson et 11 instruments à cordes"
1982
Gutenberg Medal of the city of Mainz
1988
World première of the ballet "Pierrot ou les secrets de la nuit"
1990
Officier de la Légion d’Honneur
1992
Grand Prix SACEM de la musique symphonique
1993
Prix International Arthur Honegger
1997
Died in Paris on 25 September
2017-10-25 | Saarbrücken (Germany), Funkhaus Halberg, Großer Sendesaal
Conductor: Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra: Camerata Nordica
2017-11-16 | Oskarshamn (Sweden), Kyrka — 19:00
Conductor: Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra: Camerata Nordica
2017-11-17 | Kalmar (Sweden), Slott - Gröna salen — 19:30
2017-12-06 | Forbach (France), Le Burghof
2018-01-13 | Dessau (Germany), Georgium
2018-01-21 | Innsbruck (Austria), Landeskonservatorium, Konzertsaal — 11:00
2018-01-21 | Flensburg (Germany), Stadttheater — 11:15
2018-02-11 | Essen (Germany), Aalto-Theater, Foyer — 11:00
2018-02-15 | Berlin (Germany), Silent Green Kulturquartier
2018-02-18 | Detmold (Germany) — 11:30
Orchestra: Pixels Ensemble
2018-02-19 | Manchester (United Kingdom), RNCM Concert Hall — 19:30
2018-02-25 | Kiel (Germany), Kunsthalle — 12:00
Conductor: Enrico Calesso
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Würzburg
2018-03-22 | Würzburg (Germany), Hochschule für Musik
Conductor: Enrico Calesso
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Würzburg
2018-03-23 | Würzburg (Germany), Hochschule für Musik
2018-04-11 | Lübeck (Germany), Rathaus, Audienzsaal
2018-05-13 | München (Germany), Festsaal im Münchner Künstlerhaus — 11:00
2018-06-28 | Dresden (Germany), Semperoper
2018-07-02 | Nürnberg (Germany), Opernhaus

per page
  1. Eight Variations

    Eight Variations

    on the name of Johannes Gutenberg
    Digital output
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: piano
    Order No.: ED 7139
    €9.99
  2. Nocturne

    Nocturne

    from the Ballet "Les Demoiselles de la Nuit"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 37702
    €12.00
  3. Rondino staccato

    Rondino staccato

    from the Opera "Le diable boiteux"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 37703
    €13.00
  4. Mouvement perpétuel

    Mouvement perpétuel

    from "L'Arlequin blanc"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 37704
    €12.00
  5. Serenade

    Serenade

    Andantino from the "Serenade für kleines Orchester"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 37855
    €12.00
  6. Berceuse

    Berceuse

    from the opera "L'Apostrophe"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 38406
    €9.50
  7. Divertissement

    Divertissement

    for bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Edition: score
    Order No.: CON 185
    €21.50
  8. Divertissment

    Divertissment

    for bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Edition: set of parts in groups, 5 violins I, 5 violins II, 3 violas, 3 cellos, 2 bassi
    Order No.: CON 185-70
    €52.00
  9. Divertissement

    Divertissement

    for bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Edition: set of parts soloistically, Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
    Order No.: CON 185-71
    €16.00
  10. Notturno e Divertimento

    Notturno e Divertimento

    for four horns
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: 4 horns
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: COR 13
    €24.00

per page
Profile

I wish to be honest: when I am composing, the finest theories are the last things that come to mind. My interest is not primarily attracted by the ‘motorways of thought’, but more the ‘paths through the woods’. (Jean Françaix)

Jean Françaix was born on 23.5.1912 in Le Mans in France. He received his first music lessons at home: his father was a composer and pianist and also director of the Conservatoire and his mother a singing teacher and the founder of a renowned choir. In 1922 at the age of only 10, Françaix received his first tuition in harmony and later also counterpoint from Nadia Boulanger. The young composer wrote his first composition the very same year: a piano piece entitled “Pour Jacqueline”, dedicated to a cousin, which was printed two years later. Encouraged by Maurice Ravel, he continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire. Alongside his compositional training, Françaix embarked on a career as concert pianist. At the age of 18, he received the first prize in the piano class of Isidore Philipp. Two years later, he represented the young French school of composition together with Claude Delvincourt at the international music festival in Vienna where his Huit Bagatelles were performed.

Jean Françaix achieved international success in 1936 with the first performance of his Concertino for piano and orchestra at the chamber music festival in Baden-Baden. During the ensuing years, the composer extended his oeuvre with numerous works in a wide range of genres including operas, ballets, orchestral works and also solo concertos, film music and vocal works. The composer also focused intensively on chamber music. Françaix taught at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris from 1959 to 1962. He participated actively in concert life, frequently together with his daughter Claude as partner at the piano, right up to shortly before his death on 25.9.1997 in Paris.

Despite close contacts with Francis Poulenc and the “Groupe des Six” and a predilection for French Impressionism and the Neoclassicism of Stravinsky, Jean Françaix never felt committed to any particular musical ideology. The foundations of his tonal, melodically elegant and rhythmically incisive style were laid at an early stage. In contrast to the avant-gardists of his generation, Françaix did not question the traditional listening habits of his public as a matter of principle. In his instrumental music, he displayed a particular interest for wind instruments. Chamber works such as the Petit Quatuor pour saxophones (1935), Quintette à vents No. 1 (1948) and Tema con variazioni (1974) for clarinet and piano were adopted into the regular repertoire just as the solo concerto for oboe L’Horloge de Flore (1959) and the Concerto for clarinet and orchestra from 1967.

In addition to five operas and sixteen ballets – including A la Françaix which was premiered in 1950 by the New York City Ballet - the oratorio L’Apocalypse selon Saint Jean can be considered a major work from the composer’s extensive oeuvre. This composition, completed in 1939 and classified as an “oratorio fantastique”, demands four soloists, mixed choir and two orchestras. Despite the large-scale forces, Françaix avoids all forms of monumental pathos in his interpretation of the Apocalypse of St John in the New Testament – the music is characterised by deeply felt ardency and meditative strength.

Jean Françaix received numerous awards: the Prix du Portique in 1950, the Grand Prix du Disque within the area of chamber music in 1954, the Grand Prix du Disque as performer and composer in 1965, the Grand Prix de la Société des auteurs dramatiques in 1983, the Prix Arthur Honegger in 1992 and the Grand Prix SACEM de la musique symphonique in 1992. In addition, Françaix was awarded the title of Officier de la Légion d'Honneur (1991), Commandeur de l'Ordre du mérite culturel by the royal house of Monaco (1993) and the Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1994).

Works
Chronology
1912
Born in Le Mans (F) on 23 May
1923
Took private composition and analysis lessons with Nadia Boulanger
1926
Moved from the Conservatoire in Le Mans to the Paris Conservatoire, studied with Isidore Philipp
1930
Won the first prize for piano class of the Conservatoire
1932
Represented France at the International Festival of the ISCM
in Vienna
1933
Composed the first ballet "Scuola di ballo" for the Ballets Russes in Monte Carlo
1936
First internationally acclaimed success with the "Concertino" for piano and orchestra at the Baden-Baden Chamber Music Festival
1939
Created the fantastic oratorio "L’Apocalypse selon St. Jean"
1948
World première of "Symphonie d’archets" in London
1950
Prix du Portique
1954
Grand Prix du Disque in the category of ‘Chamber Music’
1958-61
Member of the Conseil Supérieur at the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris
1959-62
Taught at the École Normale de Musique in Paris
1965
Grand Prix du Disque as a performer and composer
1967
World première of the "Concerto pour flûte et orchestre"
1979
Ludwig Spohr Prize of the city of Brunswick
1980
World première of the "Concerto pour basson et 11 instruments à cordes"
1982
Gutenberg Medal of the city of Mainz
1988
World première of the ballet "Pierrot ou les secrets de la nuit"
1990
Officier de la Légion d’Honneur
1992
Grand Prix SACEM de la musique symphonique
1993
Prix International Arthur Honegger
1997
Died in Paris on 25 September
Performances
2017-10-25 | Saarbrücken (Germany), Funkhaus Halberg, Großer Sendesaal
Conductor: Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra: Camerata Nordica
2017-11-16 | Oskarshamn (Sweden), Kyrka — 19:00
Conductor: Ernst Kovacic
Orchestra: Camerata Nordica
2017-11-17 | Kalmar (Sweden), Slott - Gröna salen — 19:30
2017-12-06 | Forbach (France), Le Burghof
2018-01-13 | Dessau (Germany), Georgium
2018-01-21 | Innsbruck (Austria), Landeskonservatorium, Konzertsaal — 11:00
2018-01-21 | Flensburg (Germany), Stadttheater — 11:15
2018-02-11 | Essen (Germany), Aalto-Theater, Foyer — 11:00
2018-02-15 | Berlin (Germany), Silent Green Kulturquartier
2018-02-18 | Detmold (Germany) — 11:30
Orchestra: Pixels Ensemble
2018-02-19 | Manchester (United Kingdom), RNCM Concert Hall — 19:30
2018-02-25 | Kiel (Germany), Kunsthalle — 12:00
Conductor: Enrico Calesso
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Würzburg
2018-03-22 | Würzburg (Germany), Hochschule für Musik
Conductor: Enrico Calesso
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Würzburg
2018-03-23 | Würzburg (Germany), Hochschule für Musik
2018-04-11 | Lübeck (Germany), Rathaus, Audienzsaal
2018-05-13 | München (Germany), Festsaal im Münchner Künstlerhaus — 11:00
2018-06-28 | Dresden (Germany), Semperoper
2018-07-02 | Nürnberg (Germany), Opernhaus
Products

per page
  1. Eight Variations

    Eight Variations

    on the name of Johannes Gutenberg
    Digital output
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: piano
    Order No.: ED 7139
    €9.99
  2. Nocturne

    Nocturne

    from the Ballet "Les Demoiselles de la Nuit"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 37702
    €12.00
  3. Rondino staccato

    Rondino staccato

    from the Opera "Le diable boiteux"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 37703
    €13.00
  4. Mouvement perpétuel

    Mouvement perpétuel

    from "L'Arlequin blanc"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 37704
    €12.00
  5. Serenade

    Serenade

    Andantino from the "Serenade für kleines Orchester"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 37855
    €12.00
  6. Berceuse

    Berceuse

    from the opera "L'Apostrophe"
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: cello and piano
    Order No.: BSS 38406
    €9.50
  7. Divertissement

    Divertissement

    for bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Edition: score
    Order No.: CON 185
    €21.50
  8. Divertissment

    Divertissment

    for bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Edition: set of parts in groups, 5 violins I, 5 violins II, 3 violas, 3 cellos, 2 bassi
    Order No.: CON 185-70
    €52.00
  9. Divertissement

    Divertissement

    for bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: bassoon and string quintet or string orchestra
    Edition: set of parts soloistically, Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
    Order No.: CON 185-71
    €16.00
  10. Notturno e Divertimento

    Notturno e Divertimento

    for four horns
    Composer: Françaix, Jean
    Instrumentation: 4 horns
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: COR 13
    €24.00

per page
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