Henri TOMASI (1901-1971)


The most prestigious creators, musicians, critics and famous names in 20th century culture all confirm the magnitude of Henri Tomasi’s work. Henri Tomasi was first and foremost a native of the Mediterranean; born in Provence of Corsican roots, his version of the Mediterranean stretches all the way to Laos via Spain and the Ahaggar Mountains. Henri Tomasi – pantheist, mystic, visionary on occasion – was also a man of his era, a rebel, and a tormented soul. Tomasi the composer grasped every style imaginable, from Gregorian to jazz, from Oriental recitative to dodecaphonic, while always remaining profoundly personal. And let us not forget he wrote as much for opera as for symphonic orchestra. His philosophy as a composer is stated in the following citations: “Although I haven’t shirked from using the most modern forms of expression, I’ve always been a melodist at heart.” “I can’t stand systems and sectarianism.” “I write for the public at large.” “Music that doesn’t come from the heart isn’t music!”


Gabriel VIALLE, Music critic, 1986