June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Tomasi, Henri (1901-1971)
Instrumentation:sax/A. pft.
Publisher Ref:AL18122
This 'Corsican Song' is a gentle piece of changing moods by a composer in his early thirties remembering his childhood visits to Corsica.
Price: £10.99
Skill Level:C/D
Publisher:Leduc Editions Musicales
ISBN:none specified
Although both his parents were Corsican, Henri Tomasi was born in the southern French city of Marseilles and he entered the conservatoire there as a child, spending his summers with his grandmother in Corsica where he absorbed the traditional music of the island. The First World War delayed his entry to the Paris Conservatoire until he was 20, but once there he diligently studied conducting and composing and, in 1925, produced his first piece - a wind quintet called 'Variations sur un Theme Corse'. From then on Tomasi pursued a successful career as conductor and composer.

He was one of the first radio conductors to emerge in the 1930s and was a pioneer of radiophonic music, working as Music Director of the Radio Colonial Orchestra in the present day countries of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. In 1946 he was appointed conductor of the Opera de Monte Carlo and became highly sought after as a guest conductor throughout Europe.

It is said that Tomasi was so moved by the opera 'La Boheme' as a child that he decided to devote himself to composing for the stage, and he wrote a number of successful ballets and operas later in life. Otherwise, he favoured wind instruments and composed a solo concerto for all the main woodwind and most of the brass. His style is colourful and essentially lyrical, drawing on widespread influences from South America, the Far East, Africa and Tahiti, for example, and his beloved Corsica. Like much of his music, 'Chant Corse', which was published in 1932, is influenced by Debussy's harmonic language which is used to express a range of quickly changing gentle moods - sorrow, fitfulness and playfulness among them. In the composer's own words "Music that doesn't come from the heart isn't music."

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