André Jolivet

Petite Suite (1947) Duration : 7’10’’


I – Ouverture

II – Introduction et valse

III – Contredanse


Instruments :

2 Violons, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Piano, Percussion


André Jolivet (1905-1974) has been called French music’s most sophisticated primitivist. Interested in drama, painting and literature in his youth, he eventually settled on music, studying cello and composition. His early works tended to be dense and atonal. However, during his service in the French Army in World War II he grew interested in primitive religion and magic, and this intellectual quest soon informed his style.

He stated his intention as “restoring music’s original ancient sense, as the magical and incantatory expression of the religiosity of human communities.” The Petite Suite, with its exotic melodies, rich harmonies and powerful rhythmic impulses, is part of this magical style.


Annotated by Laurent Warnier