Third World Symphony

Dedicated to Hector Berlioz



« My symphony originates in a personal revolt against the political scandals that constitute the exploitation of the “Third World” by the western nations as well as the institution of racism in South-Africa, the “apartheid”. Then two texts inspired me: a letter written by BERLIOZ to his father in which he was denouncing the social iniquities and a play of Aimé CESAIRE, “A season in Congo”, in which I found strong poetical words to characterize the three movements of the symphony.”

Henri Tomasi

1st movement: Lamento

South Africa. Silent land, except gun shots: slaughtered “negroes”. Millions of slaves, deprived and confined. Tanks, machine-guns, law-courts, Bible, hate…



They suffer,

But they hope.

2nd movement: revolt

Cardinal S… when Jesus was crucified some 1960 years ago, which side would you had chosen?  Go away, Christ-killer!

3rd movement: Allegro giocoso

May our wounds become fruitful!

May our hopes become exulting palms!

It’s time!

Let’s go in a new era,

Let’s go into the solstice!

Aimé Césaire

Main performances

Paris, 1968 (Théâtre du Châtelet), Concerts Colonne conducted by Pierre Dervaux.

Strasbourg, 1968, Radio Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Roger Albin

Marseille, 1970, Opera Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Reynald Giovaninetti

Amsterdam, 1970, Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Jean Fournet

Quebec, 1975, Quebec Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Pierre Dervaux

Marseille, 1988, Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Robertson