Jolivet Chinese

Andre Jolivet is an amazing mid-20th-century genius whose music is at time as challenging as free jazz to get into (Heptade for trumpet and 6 percussionists), soothingly accessible (Incantations for solo flute) or out of this world (Concerto for Ondes Martenot). It was my love of sci/fi that brought Jolivet into my collection. The Ondes Martenot is the now cliche electronic warble used 50’s sci/fi movies. 

I was an avid Musical Heritage Society (MHS) member before I moved to Toronto. They offered a collection of Ondes Martenot that included Jolivet’s concerto. I loved it & bought from them another couple of lps. Fast forward to the more recent past when I felt it was time to up grade my lps to cd of his music to mp3. Low & behold iTunes offered a sweet box set that included more than I ever wanted but which I was delighted to have.

It includes his many concertos: Cello, harp, trumpet, flute, His music for flute is sublime, as his is writing for harp. He bridges romantic, dissonant, jazz textures and modern with work that is accessible even when it is sonically challenging it is always rewarding. 

One of Jolivet’s influences is clearly Chinese music so I opened this mp3 collection with Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra that does work like Nessun Dorma as well traditional fare like My Heart Is As Vast as the Sea. I close with with Shanghai Virtuosi & Xiaogu Zhu: China Beautiful Lady Hanfei – it sticks to traditional pieces such as the tile work & Flower Drum Dance of Fengyang. It’s always a delight to widen my musical world view. Try it you might like the view beyond Beethoven.


David stepped off the elevator. The hall to his apartment seemed endless, like a carpeted tunnel, a tube that he slid along to his door. 

He switched the letters he carried to his door opening hand. Letters! He rarely got real mail and was desperate to read the one from his sister but the elevator was full. 

Of the several things one didn’t do in crowded elevators opening mail was near the top.

He sat on his sofa and tore the envelope open.

‘Hi Dave:

It has been some time since I dropped you a line. I wish I had better news for you but I don’t. If Greg doesn’t smarten up I’ll be leaving him. I know Sal will be unhappy but we can’t stay here & live like this any longer.’

David laid the letter down. He could write the rest of it without reading it. The letter was dated nearly two weeks before the post mark so the situation wasn’t as dire as Nancy claimed. Plus she would have phoned.

He was hoping for news of his niece Sally. He scanned the rest but Sally’s name didn’t appear, only, in big letters, asshole several times. Such was married life. He was glad, in a way, that she had made that chose as it kept him from making the same one himself. She was duplicating their parents marriage.

TV didn’t look promising.  News was the same. Game shows changed people, clothes, lives and perceptions of reality. Ha! If only they could. Comedy that didn’t make him laugh, news was the same only with more cameras, news was the same, was the same.

Fortified by a real ski slope tragedy he went back to the letter but couldn’t take more than another sentence or two. He went to the last of it.

‘So if you could see it clear to let me us stay with you for a week or so I know I could pull things together.

Your sister Nancy.’

Stay here! With me! It would be a change but where would I put them. On the couch? When?

He read through the whole letter. This last paragraph looked like an add on, different ink.

every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice cream in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

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