“I’m ashamed to eat my fill, and when I see and read about what happens in this vile world, it’s impossible for me not to be revolted”
(from a letter dated the 28th of November, 1970)
2018?… Bearing towards 2021!
The photograph that welcomes you to this new website was taken in Cassis in 1966. It speaks of the Mediterranean, the pines, the “song of the world”. However, at that moment it wasn’t the beauty of Cap Canaille that Henri Tomasi contemplated. It was rather the latest strife and injustice in the world that haunted his mind. His indignation over this initiated the transformation of his writing during the last ten years of his life. This renewal is worth to be better known in 2021, the 50th year’s commemoration of his death.
Although the enthusiasm for Henri Tomasi’s work abounds worldwide (in some 40 countries), it turns around only a handful of his compositions and mostly those written for brass and wind instruments. Now it’s time to give proper recognition to works other than his Concerto for Trumpet, for Trombone, Fanfares Liturgiques…
The time has come to reveal his masterpieces of the 60’s whose themes are at the very core of our contemporary chain of human experience, be it a quest for meaning or a sense of one’s responsibility towards both a personal and collective history.
Tomasi’s spiritual questioning inspired such works as Don Juan de Manara – lyrical drama after the mystic poet Oscar de L. Milosz, L’Atlantide – lyrical and choreographic drama after the novel by Pierre Benoît, the 1st Symphony (l’Apocalypse), the Requiem for Peace, but also, in clearly more contemporary language, the Concerto for Violon (The Journey of Ulysses).
This stylistic renewal characterizes all of his activist works: In Praise of Folly, Nuclear Era – a satirical, lyrical and choreographic work after Erasmus, text written by Daniel Mesguich, The Silence of the Sea – lyrical drama after the narrative of Vercors on the Résistance, The Third World Symphony – after a text by Aimé Césaire, The Song for Vietnam – after a text of J.P. Sartre and a presentation of photos of Roger Pic, The Concerto for Guitar in Memory of a Murdered Poet, F.G. Lorca, and the “cantate profane” Return to Tipasa – after Albert Camus’ Summer.