From 1933 to 1940

  • 1933

    First acquaintances with Pierre-Octave Ferroud, Olivier Messiaen, Georges Migot, Jean Rivier, Florent Schmitt, Albert Roussel.
    Friendship with Antonin Artaud.

    First performances at the Société nationale de musique and concerts of the Revue musicale organized by Henri Prunières.

    First visit to North Africa (Algeria, Morocco) where he hears traditional north african flute ; an experience which influenced the composition of his Cinq incantations for solo flute (see photoalbum)

    Joins Varèse in Spain, via Palma de Majorqua (link to News).

    Marriage with Hilda Guigue.

  • 1934

    Final version of his Quatuor à cordes.

    First meeting with Serge Moreux, later director of the music company Ducretet-Thomson. He becomes a close friend of the family and introduced Jolivet to esoteric philosophy.

    Travels to Alger (Algeria) and Oujda (Morocco) during the spring.

  • 1935

    With Nestor Lejeune, Daniel-Lesur and Olivier Messiaen and Georges Migot as chairman, he founds a new society “La Spirale” dedicated to defend contemporary chamber music.

    That summer, he composes Mana, a suite for piano inspired by the six fetish objects that Varèse gave him before he returned to USA and first performed by Nadine Desouches at La Spirale, on 12th December.

    He also composes Trois poèmes pour ondes Martenot first performed by Maurice Martenot on May 6th. He begins to explore new instruments and effects of original and remarkable tones. He is one of the first composers to write for ondes Martenot (see the Danse incantatoire of 1936 which includes parts for two ondes Martenot).

    First performances on the Radio (Poste colonial, P.T.T., Radio-Paris).

    Birth of his eldest son, Pierre-Alain.

  • 1936

    Year of the creation of the Jeune France group with Yves Baudrier, Daniel-Lesur and Olivier Messiaen (see photoalbum).
    The first concert of the group takes place on the June 3rd at the Salle Gaveau, in Paris ; it is conducted by Roger Désormière (the Danse incantatoire will not be played again before December, 1994).

    Visits Alger, Algeria.

    He composes the Cinq incantations for flute solo.

    Performances of the Quatuor à cordes, by the New Hungarian Quartet in Budapest and Paris.

    First acquaintance with Arthur Honegger and Darius Milhaud.

  • 1937

    In January at the invitation of Dr. Allendy he gives a lecture at the Sorbonne entitled : Génèse d’un renouveau musical.
    Participates in the colloquium of the “Fédération musicale populaire”.

  • 1938

    Foundation of the review La Nouvelle Saison with Jean De Beer, Jean Anouilh, Jean-Louis Barrault, André Frank. Jolivet is responsible for the musical section.

    An article by Suzanne Demarquez in La Revue musicale (n°184) praies the 3rd concert of the Jeune France group.

    He collaborates with Daniel-Lesur on the ballet L’infante et le monstre commissioned by the “Ballets de la jeunesse”, the story of which is taken from Oscar Wilde’s L’anniversaire de l’infante.

    He composes Cosmogonie, prélude for piano or for orchestra.

  • 1939

    He writes “La Musique : plaid pour le vif”, an article for La Nouvelle Saison, n°2/7, July, 1939 : “Never forgetting that music is first of all a magical incantation the musician will also be a metaphysician [… ] And this through the medium of sounds. Music must be first of all sound…” To reach this goal, Jolivet removed himself from the tonal system and even from dodecaphonism utilising the phenomenon of natural resonance.

    He composes the piano version of the Cinq danses rituelles.

    He is mobilised at Fontainebleau.

  • 1940

    Direct experience of war inspires him to write the Trois complaintes du soldat.
    In June, he was cut off with thirty of his men in a little hamlet of the Haute-Vienne.
    For a performance of this score, he wrote :
    “On June 24th 1940, the 29 remaining men of our antitank battery set up at chez Levant, a hamlet of ten households in the western Haute-Vienne. All we could do was sleep to catch up on with the weeks without sleep, in order not to think about the future. The weather was splendid. On the afternoon of Sunday June 30th, I went to lay down to sleep again, in a field near a spring. The spot dominated the valley of a little river, the Tardoire, and the countryside, bathed in sunlight, was both intimate and immense. At that moment, I regained contact with life. At that moment, in the worst moral chaos, and in a state of complete destitution, I recovered my confidence. And this confidence had to be expressed. In moments, I sketched the basis for a text declaring Faith, Love and Hope.”

    Messe pour le Jour de la paix for voice, organ and tambourin.

    Birth of his second daughter, Christine.