Henri Tomasi, in memoriam, by Devy Erlih



Dear Henri Tomasi ! The best way to evoke him is through this Violin Concerto, composed in 1963, that he gave me the honour of dedicating to me, and which marked the beginning of our long friendship.

An exceptionally rich work, in turn turbulent, tender, painful, poetic, even humorous, and passionate to the point of vehemence. Each phrase in it seems to be a new question, consumed in its entirety as though by a fiery blaze.

He told me he’d been inspired by Hamlet, as well as Giono’s Ulysse; he’d wanted to combine the two into a single dramatic hero to be incarnated by the violin… But wouldn’t you say it’s the spirit of Henri Tomasi himself rising up before us?

In Guitare & Musique, N°65, January 1971