“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)
2019 : en route vers the fithtieth anniversary of 2021
At that moment it is not the beauty of the Mediterranean nature that Henri Tomasi contemplates : he cannot detach his mind from the last injustices of the world. It is his revolt that will transform his writing of the last ten years, and this is what remains to be discovered of the occasion of the 50th anniversary 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, for Saxophone, 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 the quest for meaning or a sense of one’s responsibility towards both a personal and collective history.
Tomasi’s existential questioning inspired has already inspired him 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 it is a much more contemporary language that characterizes all 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, his concertos for strings, including the Violin concerto (Ulysses’ journey), and the Guitar concerto in Memory of a Murdered Poet, F.G. Lorca.
The “cantate profane” Return to Tipasa – from Albert Camus’Summer is the most emblematic work of his “Mediterranean humanism”, ideal of light and fight for a fairer world.