Jean-Pierre Rampal


Jean-Pierre Rampal

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Jean-Pierre Rampal
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = Jean-Pierre Louis Rampal
Born = 7 January, 1922
flagicon|FRA Marseille, France
Died = 20 May, 2000 (age 78)
Paris, France
Instrument = Flute
Genre = Classical
Occupation = Flautist
Years_active =

Jean-Pierre Louis Rampal (7 January 1922 – 20 May 2000) was a celebrated French flautist and has been personally "credited with returning to the flute the popularity as a solo classical instrument it had not held since the 18th century." [cite news | author=Richard Pearson of "The Washington Post", 21 May 2000| title=Flutist Jean Pierre Rampal Dies at 78 | url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/53943085.html?dids=53943085:53943085&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=MAY+21%2C+2000&author=Richard+Pearson&pub=The+Washington+Post&desc=Flutist+Jean+Pierre+Rampal+Dies+at+78%3B+Frenchman+Had+Recorded+More+Than+300+Albums&pqatl=google | work=The Washington Post | date=21 May 2000| accessdate=2007-08-28]

Biography

Born in Marseille [Rampal's autobiography gives the address as 20 rue Brochier in central Marseille; there is yet no commemorative plaque there.] , the only child of Andrée (née Roggero) and flautist Joseph Rampal, Jean-Pierre Rampal became the first exponent of modern times to establish the solo flute on the international concert circuit and to attract the acclaim and large audiences comparable to those enjoyed by celebrity singers, pianists and violinists. This was not easily done in the immediate post-war years, as it was not usual for the solo flute to be featured widely in orchestral concerts. But Rampal's flair and presence (he was a big man to wield such a slim instrument so delicately) made the breakthrough and, as such, he personally paved the way for the next generation of flautist-superstars such as James Galway and, more recently, Emmanuel Pahud.

Rampal was a player in the classical French flute tradition (his father had been taught by Hennebains, who had also taught Rene le Roy and Marcel Moyse [Claude Dorgeuille's "The French Flute School, 1860-1950" (1983; translated from the French original & edited by Edward Blakeman, London 1986); p.26, Joseph Rampal studied flute at the Paris Conservatoire where Adolphe Hennebains (1862-1914) who had in 1909 succeeded Paul Taffanel as professor of flute. Joseph went on to win the First Prize in 1919.] ), although behind Rampal's superior technical facility lay the cavalier 'Latin' temperament of the Mediterranean south rather than the more formal character of the elite institutions of the Parisian north. His playing style was characterised especially by a bright sound, a sonorous elegance of phrasing lit up by a rich palette of subtle tone colours, combined with a dashing, lightly-articulated virtuosity that thrilled audiences in his heyday. He varied his natural vibrato sensitively to suit the intensity of the music he was playing, and he had a signature ability to snatch quick breaths in the middle of extended rapid passages without seeming to lose his grip on the persuasive sweep of his rendition. His sweet upper register and his wide dynamic range were particularly notable, and the lightness and crispness of his staccato articulation (his ‘détaché’), heard to great effect on his early recordings, was the envy of many. [See http://www.williambennettflute.com/rampal_dufrene.htm where the English flutist William Bennett cites this particular characteristic of Rampal’s playing as a point of skill he wished to improve when he sought out Rampal in Paris for tuition; Bennett also speaks about this in the 1983 BBC Radio 4 profile of 'Rampal - Prince of Flute-Players' where Rampal himself surmises that a native French-speaker's natural facility for producing the "tu" sound in speech was one reason why the articulation of many French flute-players was so good.]

He will be remembered principally for creating a popular fashion for the flute in the post-war years, for his recovery of a vast number of flute compositions from the Baroque era, and for spurring contemporary composers such as Poulenc to create new works that have become modern standards in the repertoire.

Beginnings

Under the tutelage of his father Joseph, who was professor of flute at the Marseille Conservatoire and Principal Flute of the Marseille Symphony Orchestra, Jean-Pierre Rampal began playing the flute at the age of 12. He studied the Altès method at the Conservatoire of Marseille where he went on to win the First Prize in 1937, the year he also gave his first public recital at the Salle Mazenod in Marseille, aged only 16. By then, as he reports in his autobiography, Rampal was also playing second flute alongside his father in the Orchestre des Concertes Classiques de Marseille (privately they played duets together almost every day). However, his remarkable career in music, which was to span more than half a century, began without the total encouragement of his parents. His mother and father would rather have seen him become a doctor or surgeon: a more reliable calling, they felt, than that of a professional musician. At the beginning of the second World War, Rampal duly entered medical school in Marseille and studied there for three years. But when in 1943 the authorities of the Nazi Occupation of France drafted him for forced labour in Germany, he went AWOL and made his way secretly to Paris where, by frequently changing his lodgings, it was easier to avoid detection. While there, he auditioned for flute classes at the Paris Conservatoire where, from January 1944, he studied with Gaston Crunelle (whom, years later, he was to succeed as flute professor at the Conservatoire). After just four months, in May of that year, Rampal's performance of Jolivet's "Le Chant de Linos" won him the coveted First Prize in the conservatory's annual flute competition, an achievement that emulated that of his father Joseph in 1919. [Joseph won First Prize playing Busser’s ‘Thème Varié’. See Claude Dorgeuille (translated & edited by Edward Blakeman), "The French Flute School, 1860-1950" (Tony Bingham, London 1986), p.73.]

Post-war success

In the Spring of 1945, after the Liberation of Paris, Rampal was invited by the composer Henri Tomasi, then conductor of the Orchestre National de France, to perform live on French National Radio the demanding Flute Concerto by Jacques Ibert, written for Marcel Moyse in 1934. It launched his concert career overnight and was the first of many such broadcasts. In resolutely promoting the flute as a solo concert instrument at this time, Rampal acknowledged that he took his cue from Moyse. Moyse himself had enjoyed considerable popularity between the wars, although not on a truly international scale. Nevertheless he was a role model in that he had “definitely established a tradition for the solo flute”; Moyse, said Rampal in his autobiography, “unlocked a door that I continued to push open“.

With the war over, Rampal embarked on a series of performances, at first within France and then, in 1947, in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. Almost from the beginning he was accompanied by the pianist and harpsichordist Robert Veyron-Lacroix (d.1991) whom he had met at the Paris Conservatoire in 1946. [For his first professional recital, given in Marseille in July 1941, Rampal was accompanied by pianist Pierre Barbizet: see the Association Jean-Pierre Rampal biography page at www.jprampal.com/bio.] By contrast with, as Rampal saw it, his own somewhat emotional Provencal temperament, Veyron-Lacroix was a more refined character (a “true upper class Parisian”), but each immediately found with the other a musical partnership in perfect balance. The appearance of this duo after the war has been described as a "complete novelty", allowing them to make a rapid impact on the music-going public in France and elsewhere. [Denis Verroust, Association Française de la Flûte (June 2002), p.26 of sleeve notes for CD "Jean-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne" (Traversiere Flute Collection, Patrimoine, Vol.1; 3 CD set: ref 210/271-272-273)] In March 1949, in the face of some scepticism, they hired the Salle Gaveau in Paris to perform what then seemed the radical idea of a recital programme made up solely of chamber music for flute. It was indeed one of the first flute-piano recitals the city had seen, and caused a "sensation".Obituary: ‘Jean-Pierre Rampal’ by Laurence Joyce, The Independent, 22 May 2000.] The success encouraged Rampal to continue along that track. The recital was repeated the following year in Paris and news of the young flute-player's virtuosity was not slow to spread. Throughout the early 50s the duo made regular radio broadcasts and gave concerts within France and elsewhere in Europe. In 1953 came their first international tour: an island-hopping journey through Indonesia where ex-pat audiences received them warmly. In 1954 onwards came his first concerts in eastern Europe, most significantly in Prague where in 1956 he premiered Jindrich Feld’s Flute Concerto. In the same year he appeared in Canada, where, at the Menton festival, he played for the first time in concert with violinist Isaac Stern, who not only became a lifelong friend but also proved a considerable influence on Rampal's own approach to musical expression.BBC Radio interview recorded in London by Peter Griffiths, November 1982]

By now, Rampal had America in his sights and on 14th February 1958 he and Robert Veyron-Lacroix made their US debut with a recital of Poulenc, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Prokofiev at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Afterwards Day Thorpe, music critic for the "Washington Star", wrote: "Although I have heard many great flute players, the magic of Rampal still seems to be unique. In his hands, the flute is three or four music makers - dark and ominous, bright and pastoral, gay and salty, amorous and limpid. The virtuosity of the technique in rapid passages simply cannot be indicated in words." [cited by Marjorie Burgess in a biographical summary about Rampal at http://www.enotes.com/contemporary-musicians/rampal-jean-pierre-biography] The following year, 1959, Rampal gave his first important concert in New York, at the Town Hall. And so began a long love-affair with the American concert-going public. Rampal’s successful partnership with Robert Veyron-Lacroix produced many award-winning recordings, notably their 1962 double LP of the complete Bach flute sonatas. They performed and toured together for some 35 years until the early 1980s when Veyron-Lacroix was forced to retire owing to ill-health. Rampal then formed a new and also long-running musical partnership with American pianist John Steele Ritter.

It is worth noting that, even as he pursued his career as a soloist, Rampal remained a dedicated ensemble player throughout his life. In 1946, he and oboist Pierre Pierlot had founded the "Quintette a Vent Francais" (French Wind Quintet), formed of a group of musical friends who had made their way through the war: Rampal, Pierlot, clarinettist Jacques Lancelot, bassoonist Paul Hongne, and horn-player Gilbert Coursier. Early in 1944 they had played together, broadcasting at night from a secret 'cave' radio station at the Club d’Essai in rue de Bec, Paris, a programme of music outlawed by the Nazis, including works with Jewish links by composers such as Hindemith, Schoenberg and Milhaud. The Quintet remained active until the 1960s.

Between 1955 and 1962 Rampal took up the post of Principal Flute at the Paris Opera, traditionally the most prestigious orchestral position open to a French flautist. Having been married in 1947 and now a father of two, the post offered him a regular income to offset the vagaries of the freelance life even though his solo career as a recording artist was developing rapidly and was to take him away from the Paris Opera house for extended periods during his tenure there.

Recovering the Baroque

Rampal's first commercial recording, made in 1946 for the Boite a Musique label in Montparnasse, Paris, was of Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D, with the Trio Pasquier. Among composers, Mozart was to remain his principal love (“Mozart, it is true, is a god for me,” he said in his autobiography), but Mozart by no means formed the cornerstone of Rampal's oeuvre. A key element in Rampal's success in the immediate post-war years, aside from his evident ability, was his passion for the music of the Baroque era. Aside from a few works by Bach and Vivaldi, Baroque music was still largely unrecognised when Rampal started out. He was well aware that his determination to promote the flute as a prominent solo instrument required a wide and flexible repertoire to support the endeavour. Accordingly, he seems to have been clear in his own mind from the beginning about the importance, as a ready-made resource, of the so-called ‘Golden Age of the Flute’ as the Baroque era had become known. Literally hundreds of concertos and chamber works written for the flute in the 18th century had fallen into obscurity, and he recognised that the sheer abundance of this early material might offer long-term possibilities for an aspiring soloist.

It should be said, however, that Rampal was not the first flute player to have taken an interest in the Baroque. The catalogue of flute music recorded on 78rpm discs reveals that there was some prior taste for the music of Vivaldi, Telemann, Handel, Pergolesi, Scarlatti, Leclair, Loeillet and others. Claude-Paul Taffanel (1844–1908), widely held to be the father of the French Flute School, had a liking for the music of the Baroque and was the first really to revive interest in the flute sonatas of J.S. Bach and the flute concertos of Mozart. [According to flautist Louis Fleury, quoted by Claude Dorgeuille in "The French Flute School, 1860–1950", p.16] Taffanel’s pupil Louis Fleury (1878–1926) continued this interest through his Société des Concerts d’Autrefois and his performances with the Société Moderne des Instruments à Vent, and he also supervised the publication of a number of scores. Marcel Moyse (1889–1984), who took the flute to a new level of popularity between the wars, recorded pieces by Telemann, Schultze, Couperin and, of Bach’s work, recorded Brandenburg concertos, the Suite No. 2 in B Minor for flute and orchestra and the Trio Sonata for Flute, Violin and Bass (BWV 1038). Likewise, Rene le Roy (1898-1985), an equally celebrated soloist in Europe and America during the 1930s and '40s, achieved success with performances of Baroque sonatas, and also made interpreting Bach's Partita in A minor for unaccompanied flute (BWV 1013) a personal speciality after the piece was rediscovered in 1917. [Claude Dorgeuille in "The French Flute School, 1860–1950"] But none of Rampal’s predecessors had committed themselves with his relentless focus and dedication, nor did they equal his encyclopedic knowledge of the period and repertoire.

Rampal’s ransacking of the Baroque repertoire was not at the level of passing acquaintance or cherry-picking; he went about his task systematically and with extraordinary enthusiasm. Even before the war, he had begun collecting obscure sheet music from the Baroque, making himself familiar with original publishers and catalogues, even though very few published editions were then available. He went on to research in libraries and archives in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Turin and every other major city he performed in, and corresponded with others across the musical world. From original sources, he developed a detailed understanding of the Baroque style. He studied Quantz (1697-1773) and his famous treatise "On Playing The Flute" (1752) and later acquired an original copy of it. For Rampal, the Baroque legacy was fuel to set alight a renewed interest in the flute, and it was his energy in pursuing this goal that set him apart from his forbears. As has been noted elsewhere, whereas Rene Le Roy, Georges Laurent and Georges Barrère had all recorded two or three of Bach’s flute sonatas between 1929 and 1939, between 1947 and 1950 Rampal recorded them all (for Boîte à Musique), and was regularly beginning to perform the complete Bach sonatas in recital, organising them across two evenings. Also, as early as 1950-1 he became the first to record all six of Vivaldi’s Op.10 concertos, an exercise he was to repeat several times in later years. [Verroust (June 2002), p.31-2 of sleeve notes for CD "Jean-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne"]

Rampal had sensed that the time was right. In an interview with the "New York Times", he offered one explanation for the appeal of Baroque music after the war: "With all this bad mess we had in Europe during the war, people were looking for something quieter, more structured, more well balanced than Romantic music." [David Wright, [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE4DD113DF930A35757C0A96E948260 ‘Is there life after Rampal?’] , "New York Times", 3 April 1988.] In the process of excavating forgotten works for performance, Rampal had also to discover new ways of playing the music of that era. To the original texts he applied his own bright tone and the liveliness and freedom of his style, developing along the way a very individual approach to interpretation and, after the Baroque style, to improvised ornamentation. [His 1970s recording of four Tartini concertos (ERATO STU 71061) is a good example of this enterprise, although it is worth noting that the manner of the decorated repeats, as played by Rampal, was based on original notes and directions by Tartini himself and not simply the result of some loosely-imagined Baroque 'style'.] Throughout, Rampal was never tempted to perform on a period instrument; the movement that championed 'authentic' instruments for 'true' performance of Baroque music had not yet emerged. Instead, he drew on the full range of effects offered by the modern flute to reveal fresh elegance and nuance to Baroque compositions. It was this ‘modernity’ – the richness and clarity of his sound and the freedom and ‘personality’ in his expression – combined with a sense of hidden treasures being shared that caught the attention of a wider musical public. "Enchantment is the best possible word to describe this concert," said one Canadian reviewer for "Le Devoir" in 1956; "Rampal's playing struck me through its variety, its flexibility, its colour and above all its liveliness." [quoted by Verroust (June 2002), p.34 of sleeve notes for CD "Jean-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne".] This striking effect can be heard on his earliest recordings, between 1946 and 1950. During this period also, Rampal quickly benefited from the birth of the long-playing gramophone record. Before 1950 all his recordings were on 78rpm discs. After 1950, the 33rpm long-playing era allowed much greater freedom to accommodate the energetic rate at which he was committing performances to record. At the same time, the birth of the television age ensured Rampal a wider prominence in France than any previous flute-player, through his many concert and recital appearances in the late 1950s and beyond.

Thus, even in the first fifteen years after the war, Rampal covered a huge amount of ground in this enterprise, and the post-war rediscovery of the Baroque became inseparable from Rampal’s own developing solo career. A great deal of the material Rampal performed and recorded he also published, supervising sheet music collections in both Europe and the USA. In his autobiography he remarked that he had felt it part of his “duty” to expand as much as possible the repertoire for fellow flautists as well as for himself. And in trying to keep the flute before the musical public in the widest sense possible, Rampal also played in as many groups and combinations as he could, a habit he continued for the rest of his life. ["No other flutist ever played so often with his peers," says Verroust (June 2002), p.26 of sleeve notes for CD Jean"-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne".]

In 1952 he founded the Ensemble Baroque de Paris, featuring Rampal himself, Veyron-Lacroix, Pierlot, Hongne and the violinist Robert Gendre. Remaining together over almost three decades, the ensemble proved in the 1950s one of the first musical groups to bring to light the chamber repertoire of the eighteenth century.

Collaborations

Through his recordings for labels including L'Oiseau-Lyre and, from the mid-50s, Erato, Rampal continued to give new currency to many 'lost' concertos by Italian composers such as Tartini, Cimarosa, Sammartini and Pergolesi (often collaborating with Claudio Scimone and I Solisti Veneti), and French composers including Devienne, Leclair and Loeillet, as well as other works from the Potsdam court of the flute-playing king Frederick the Great. His collaboration in Prague in 1955 with Czech flautist, composer and conductor Milan Munclinger resulted in a notable and award-winning recording of flute concertos by Benda and Richter. In 1956, with Louis Froment, he recorded a superb rendition of concertos in A minor and G major by C.P.E. Bach. Other composers of the era, such as Haydn, Handel, Stamitz and Quantz, also figured significantly in his repertoire. And he was open to experimentation, once, through laborious over-dubbing, playing all five parts in an early recording of a flute quintet by Boismortier. Driven by his celebrated exuberance to make music at every opportunity, Rampal was the first flautist to commit to record most, if not all, the flute works by Bach, Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi and other composers who now comprise the core repertoire for flute players.

Despite his commitment to the Baroque, Rampal extended his researches into the Classical and Romantic eras in order to establish some continuity to the repertoire of his instrument. His first 'recital' LP, for example, released in both America and Europe, featured music from Bach, Beethoven, Hindemith, Honegger and Dukas. [Verroust (June 2002), p.35 of sleeve notes for CD "Jean-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne".] Aside from recording familiar composers such as Mozart, Schumann and Schubert, Rampal also helped bring the works of composers such as Reinecke, Gianella and Mercadante back into view. Additionally, while the Baroque had provided the platform for his revival of the flute, Rampal was well aware that the health of its continuing appeal depended on him and others displaying the whole range of the repertoire, and from the start his recital programmes included modern compositions also. It was Rampal, for example, who gave the first performance in the West of Prokofiev’s "Sonata" for flute and piano in D, which in the 1940s was in danger of being co-opted for the violin but which has since become established as a flute favourite. Over his career he performed all of the flute masterpieces that were composed in the first half of the 20th century, including works by Debussy, Ravel, Roussel, Ibert, Milhaud, Martinu, Hindemith, Honegger, Dukas, Françaix, Damase, Kuhlau and Feld.

By the early 1960s Rampal had become established as the first truly international modern flute virtuoso, and was performing with many of the world’s leading orchestras. Just before his first recital tour of Australia in 1966, a leading newspaper echoed this sense of his now being part of a pantheon of musical stars: “he is to the flute what Rubinstein is to the piano and Oistrakh to the violin".” This kind of celebrity rating became characteristic of Rampal’s publicity profile in America throughout the 1960s and 70s, where one newspaper hailed him as “the prince of flute-players.”

As a chamber musician he continued to collaborate with numerous other soloists, forming particularly close and long-lasting collaborations with violinist Isaac Stern and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. A number of composers wrote especially for Rampal. These included Henri Tomasi ("Sonatine pour flûte seule", 1949), Jean Francaix ("Divertimento", 1953), Andre Jolivet ("Concerto", 1949), Jindřich Feld ("Sonata", 1957) and Jean Martinon ("Sonatine"). Others included Jean Rivier, Antoine Tisne, Serge Nigg, Charles Chaynes, and Maurice Ohana. In addition he premiered a large number of works by contemporary composers such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Ezra Laderman, David Diamond and Krzysztof Penderecki. His audacious transcribing, at the composer's own suggestion in 1968, of Aram Khatchaturian's Violin Concerto (recorded 1970), showed Rampal's willingness to broaden the flute repertoire further by borrowing from other instruments. In 1978 the Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness wrote his Symphony No.36 which contained a melodic flute part tailored especially for Rampal, who gave the premiere with the National Symphony Orchestra.

The only piece dedicated to him that Rampal never publicly performed was the "Sonatine" (1946) by Pierre Boulez which, with its spiky, explosive figures and extravagant use of flutter-tonguing, he found too abstract for his taste (it was left for Severino Gazzeloni to give it its premiere in 1954). Elsewhere, when sometimes criticised for not playing enough contemporary 'avant garde' work ("avant garde of what?" he would ask), Rampal confirmed his aversion to music that looked "like the blueprints for a plumber... pieces that go tweak, twonk, thump, snort – this doesn't inspire me."

One piece in particular, written with Rampal in mind, has since become a modern standard in the essential flute repertoire and is linked forever with his name. Rampal’s compatriot Francis Poulenc was commissioned in 1957 by the Coolidge Foundation of America to write a new flute piece. The composer consulted with Rampal regularly on shaping the flute part and the result, in Rampal’s own words, is "a pearl of the flute literature". The official world premiere of Poulenc's "Sonata for Flute and Piano" was given on 17 June 1957 by Rampal, accompanied by the composer, at the Strasbourg Festival. Unofficially, however, they had performed it a day or two earlier to a distinguished audience of one: the pianist Artur Rubinstein, a friend of Poulenc’s, was unable to stay in Strasbourg for the evening of the concert itself and so the duo obliged him with a private performance. Poulenc was then unable to travel to Washington for the US premiere on 14 February 1958, and so Robert Veyron-Lacroix took his place and the sonata became a key offering in Rampal’s US recital debut and this helped launch his long-lived trans-Atlantic career.

"L'homme à la flûte d'or"

As the owner of the only solid gold flute (No.1375) made, in 1869, by the great French craftsman Louis Lot, Rampal was the first internationally renowned 'Man With the Golden Flute'. Rumours of the survival of the 18-carat gold Lot had been circulating in France for years before the second World War but no-one knew where the piece had gone. In 1948, almost by chance, Rampal acquired the instrument from an antiques dealer who had wanted to melt the instrument down for the gold, evidently unaware that he was in possession of the flute equivalent of a Stradivarius (it had originally been sent to Shanghai, a retirement gift commissioned in the 1860s for French flautist Jean Remusat who became president of the Shanghai Philharmonic Society; somehow it found its way back to Europe, albeit in pieces).Rampal, "Music My Love" (1989)] With family help, Rampal raised enough funds to rescue the precious instrument and went on to perform and record with it for eleven years. (His first performance on record with the unique gold Lot is thought to be the recording he made in April 1948 of Bach's E minor "Sonata", BWV 1034. [Verroust (June 2002), p.32 of sleeve notes for CD "Jean-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne"] ). In interviews Rampal said he thought the gold, as opposed to silver, made his naturally bright, sparkling sound "a little darker; the colour is a little warmer, I like it". Only in 1958, when presented during his debut US tour with a 14-carat gold instrument made, after the Lot pattern, by William S. Haynes Flute Company of Boston, did Rampal stop using the 1869 original. And so, after one final recording in London (Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto No.5" with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields), he consigned the golden Lot to the safety of a bank vault in France and thereafter made the Haynes his concert instrument of choice.

Celebrity

Throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s Rampal remained especially popular in the USA, and in Japan where he had first toured in 1964. He toured America annually, performing at every leading venue, from Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall to the Hollywood Bowl (his first concert there was in 1973), and was a regular presence at the "Mostly Mozart Festival" at the Lincoln Centre in New York. At his busiest, he gave anywhere between 150 and 200 concerts a year [Verroust (June 2002), p.26 of sleeve notes for CD "Jean-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne".] . One of the music world's genuine enthusiasts for new experiences, his range extended well beyond the orthodox. Alongside the outpouring of classical recordings, he recorded Catalan and Scottish folk songs, Indian Music with sitarist Ravi Shankar, and, accompanied by the distinguished French harpist Lily Laskine, an album of Japanese folk melodies which was named album of the year in Japan where he became adored by a new generation of budding flute-players. He also recorded Scott Joplin rags and Gershwin, and notably collaborated with the French jazz pianist Claude Bolling. The "Suite for Flute And Jazz Piano" (1975), written by Bolling especially for Rampal, went to the top of the US Billboard charts and remained a hit there for ten years. This raised his profile with the American public even further and led, in January 1981, to a TV appearance on Jim Henson's "The Muppet Show" where he played "Lo, Hear the Gentle Lark" with glove-puppet babe Miss Piggy and, suitably attired, "Ease on Down the Road" in a scene loosely based on the folktale of the Pied Piper. [Episode number 108 for those who crave such details. Footage of Rampal's appearance, first aired on 17 January 1981, can be viewed on YouTube.com] Back on the classical stage he was not afraid to be, as he put it, "a bit of a ham"; when performing Scott Joplin's "Ragtime Dance and Stomp" as a concert hall encore, for example, he provided extra percussion by stamping his feet rhythmically on stage in time to the music. [Described by Elena Duran in BBC Radio 4's 1983 profile: "Rampal - Prince of Flute Players" (produced by Peter Griffiths)] Meanwhile, Bolling and Rampal came together again for Bolling's "Picnic Suite" (1980) with guitarist Alexander Lagoya, the "Suite No.2 for Flute and Jazz Piano" (1987), and also to perform the instrumental theme song ‘Goodbye For Now’ by Stephen Sondheim for "Reds", Warren Beatty’s Oscar-winning 1981 movie about the Communist revolution in Russia. His soaring reputation as a celebrity soloist in America became such that, as "Esquire" magazine reported, one critic dubbed him "the Alexander of the flute, with no new worlds to conquer." ["Esquire", September 1981] Following a performance of Mozart's Flute & Harp concerto with the New York Philharmonic in 1976, the "New York Times" critic Harold C. Schonberg had written: "Mr. Rampal, with his effortless long line, his sweet and pure tone and his sensitive musicianship, is of course one of the great flutists in history." [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04EFD6103AF932A15756C0A9669C8B63 "Jean-Pierre Rampal, Virtuoso Flutist Who Achieved Success as a Soloist, Is Dead at 78"] , "The New York Times", 21 May, 2000. Accessed 9 May, 2008.] Throughout these years of mounting celebrity, Rampal continued to research and edit sheet music editions of flute works for publishing houses including Georges Billaudot in Paris and the International Music Company in the US.

Achievement

Of the primal appeal of the flute, Rampal once told the "Chicago Tribune": "For me, the flute is really the sound of humanity, the sound of man flowing, completely free from his body almost without an intermediary. . . . Playing the flute is not as direct as singing, but it's nearly the same." With his characteristic radiance of tone, combined with a keen musicality and the tremendous technical facility that gave freedom to his playing, Rampal can almost be said to have re-invented the instrument's personality in the years following the war. Through him, the full range of expressive powers of which the flute was capable were convincingly displayed to a wider public. In the process, he spurred contemporary composers to make fresh explorations of the instrument's potential in the solo and chamber repertoires. Overall, therefore, through his long and prolific performing and recording career Rampal can rightly be judged to have re-established the solo flute's position in the musical pantheon. And with somewhere in the region of 400 original recordings to his name, it is widely assumed that Rampal is the most often recorded classical performer in history.

Listening back to many of those recordings, it is clear that Rampal was in his prime in the 1950s and 1960s; the full flood of his talent can be heard in many a bold recording of concerto and sonata work from that period. Many of the recordings he made in the 1970s also have a mature assurance about them and the adventurous musicality of his performance, combined with a huge and sensitive dynamic range, continued to serve him well. The judgement is less certain with his work from the 1980s and 1990s. Some recordings from the early 1980s stand up well to examination, but age brought an inevitable decline in the intensity and, sometimes, accuracy of his later performances on record and in the concert hall. Nothing, however, can overshadow the brilliance with which he embarked on his early solo career and first emerged as "an indisputably major artist". As those first recordings from 1946 onwards testify, his legacy is secure.

Rampal's commitment to the Baroque should not disguise the pragmatic modernity of his approach to music-making. For those who signed up to the late-20th century fashion for recording Baroque music on 'authentic' or 'original' instruments, Rampal's renditions on his golden flute may have come to seem anachronistic. But Rampal himself remained unapologetic, often wondering aloud whether Bach or Mozart would have tolerated the Baroque instrument ("little more than an awkward pipe") if they'd had its more perfectly-tuned and better constructed modern equivalent at their disposal. In answer to the conundrum of Mozart's well-known remark that he couldn't bear the flute, for example, Rampal once said in an interview: "I don't think that statement by Mozart is to be taken too seriously. At the time he wrote it, Mozart had troubles with love and with money. His patron wasn't satisfied with the composer's first try and almost threw the composition back in Mozart's face. Remember, Mozart always wrote on commission, and at the time the flute was one of the instruments that most bad amateurs could play just a little. Mozart didn't detest the flute, he detested bad flautists." By all accounts, aside from his own recorded legacy, it was as much through his inspiration of other musicians that Rampal's contribution can be appreciated. Throughout the busiest years of his furiously peripatetic concert career, Rampal continued to find time to teach others, encouraging his students to listen not only to other flute players, but also to take inspiration from other great musical interpreters, be they pianists, violinist or singers. He maintained a clear idea about the right balance between ‘virtuosity’ and aspiring to real musical expressiveness. “Of course,” he said, “you have to master all the problems of technique to be free to express yourself through your instrument. You can have a big imagination and a big heart but you cannot express it without technique. But the first quality you must have to be good, to be inspiring, is the sound. Without the sound you cannot achieve anything. The tone, the sound, the sonorité is most important. Otherwise, with the fingers alone it is not enough... everyone these days has the fingers, the virtuosity... but the sound, the tone, that’s not so easy.”

Following the foundation, in 1959, of the Nice Summer Academy, Rampal held classes there annually until 1977, while in 1969 he succeeded Gaston Crunelle as flute professor at the Paris Conservatoire, a position he held until 1981. When the young James Galway, aged just 21, sought him out in Paris in the early 60s he felt that he was going to meet "the master". As Galway says in his own autobiography (1978): “For me, of course, it was simply a sensation to meet this great musician; like a fiddler meeting Heifez.” Rampal took him along to the Paris Opera to watch him play and, said Galway, inspired him rather than taught him on the occasions they were together. [James Galway, An Autobiography (Chappel, London: 1980)] William Bennett, too, has commented on Rampal's infectious enthusiasm for music-making: "his repute came more from his musical sparkle and the happy personality which radiated to the audience". Bennett had also sought Rampal out for lessons in Paris and was "instantly delighted with him – his humour, and his generosity – especially for his sharing my enthusiasm for other great players such as Moyse, Dufrene & Crunelle". [William Bennett's tribute to Rampal: http://www.williambennettflute.com/rampal_dufrene.htm] His principal American student is Ransom Wilson [ [http://www.ransomwilson.com The Home of Ransom Wilson ] ] , who has followed in his mentor's footsteps as conductor as well as flautist. Wilson said: "Rampal's greatest gift was his very spirit. Yes, he was one of the greatest flutists in history, but that achievement paled in comparison to his infectious "joie de vivre". He had such musical passion that every audience member felt they were being given a private concert. He was magic!" Rampal's lasting achievement, therefore, was not only in bringing the flute out of the orchestral shadows and into the international limelight as an instrument of versatility and, in the right hands, beauty; it was also in inspiring others to follow him and go further.

During his lifetime Rampal had many honours bestowed upon him. His several Grand Prix du Disque from l'Académie Charles Cros included awards for his recording of Vivaldi’s Op.10 flute concertos (1954), his recording with the Chamber Orchestra of Prague (Milan Munclinger) concertos by Benda and Richter (1955), and in 1976 the Grand Prix ad honorem du Président de la République for his overall recording career to date. He also received the “Réalité” Oscar du Premier Virtuose Francais (1964), the Edison Prize; the Prix Mondial du Disque; the 1978 Leonie Sonning Prize (Denmark), the 1980 Prix d’Honneur of the 13th Montreux World Recording Prize for all his recordings; and the Lotos Club Medal of Merit for his lifetime’s achievement. State honours included being made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (1966) and Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (1979). He was also made a Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Mérite (1982) and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (1989). The City of Paris presented him with the Grande Médaille de la Ville Paris (1987), and in 1994 he received the Trophée des Arts from the Franco-American French Institute Alliance Française "for bridging French and American Cultures through his magnificent music". [Notice of death, "New York Times", 23 May 2000.] In 1988 he was created President d’honneur of the French Flute Association “La Traversière”, while in 1991 the National Flute Association of America gave him its inaugural Lifetime Achievement award. In 1994 the Ambassador of Japan presented Rampal with the Order du Tréasor Sacre, the highest distinction presented by the Japanese Government in recognition of having inspired a new generation of aspiring flute-players in that country. Strangely, with his enduring international fame assured, Rampal himself came to feel in later years that his own reputation within his native France had in some way diminished. It was “curious”, he wrote in "Le Monde" in 1990, that no French music critics appeared to take any notice of his latest recordings: "everything continues as if I didn't exist,” he said; “this doesn't matter; I still play to full houses.” [Quoted in the obituary ‘World-renowned French flautist with magical gift for music,’ Irish Times, 10 June 2000.] But after his death, there was no shortage of public accolades to reflect the fact that he was indeed a source of national pride.

The Jean-Pierre Rampal Flute Competition, begun in his honour in 1980 and open to flautists of all nationalities born after 8 November 1971, is held tri-annually as part of the Concours internationaux de la Ville de Paris.

Rampal and his harpist wife Françoise, née Bacqueryrisse, were married for over fifty years and made their home in Paris, [Françoise is the daughter of harpist Odette Le Dentu; the couple were married on 7 June 1947; they have two children - daughter Isabelle and son Jean-Jacques.] living in the appropriately named Avenue Mozart. They have two children, Isabelle and Jean-Jacques. Each year they holidayed at their house on Corsica where Jean-Pierre was able to indulge his passion for boating, fishing and photography. Well-known for his love of good food, he liked to maintain a private rule wherever he went on tour that he would eat “only the cuisine of the country” he was in, and he looked forward to his post-concert dinners with relish. He developed a particular fondness for Japanese cuisine and in 1981 wrote an introduction to "The Book of Sushi" written by a chef and a master sushi teacher. Rampal's autobiography "Music, My Love" appeared in 1989 (published by Random House).

Leaving the stage

In later years, Rampal took up the conductor's baton with more frequency, but he continued to play well into his late 70s. The last work of importance dedicated to him was Krzysztof Penderecki's "Flute Concerto" which he premiered in Switzerland in 1992, followed by its first performance in America at the Lincoln Centre. Rampal's last public recital was held at the Theatres des Champs-Elysées in Paris in March 1998 when, at the age of 76, he performed works by Mozart, Beethoven, Czerny, Poulenc and Franck. His last recording was made with the Pasquier Trio and flautist Claudi Arimany (trio and quartets by Mozart and Hoffmeister) in Paris in December 1999. [Verroust (June 2002), p.28-9 of sleeve notes for CD Jean-Pierre "Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne".] When, in May 2000, Rampal died in Paris of heart failure, aged 78, French President Jacques Chirac led the tributes, saying "his flute spoke to the heart. A light in the musical world has just flickered out." Isaac Stern, who had collaborated extensively with Rampal, recalled: "Working with him was pure pleasure, sheer joy, exuberance. He was one of the great musicians of our time, who really changed the world's perception of the flute as a solo instrument." Flautist Eugenia Zukerman observed: "He played with such a rich palette of color in a way that few people had done before and no one since. He had an ability to imbue sound with texture and clarity and emotional content. He was a dazzling virtuoso, but more than anything he was a supreme poet." [Quotes released by Associated Press and quoted in the obituary: ‘Jean-Pierre Rampal’ by Laurence Joyce, The Independent, 22 May 2000.] The Trustees and Staff of Carnegie Hall in New York, where Rampal, had performed 45 times over a twenty-nine year period, hailed him as "one of the greatest flutists of the 20th Century and one of the greatest musical spirits of our time." The obituary in "Le Monde" claimed him to be no less than "L'inventeur de la flute" and celebrated all the musical characteristics that charmed audiences worldwide: "la sonorite sublime, la vivacite des phrases, la virtuosite laissaient une impression de bonheur, de joie a ses auditeurs". [Obituary: 'Jean-Pierre Rampal; L'inventeur de la flute' by Lompech Alain, Le Monde, 22 may 2000.] James Galway, Rampal's globally-known successor as 'The Man with the Golden Flute', dedicated performances to him and recalled elsewhere how as a teenager he had been captivated by the sound of Rampal's "fluid technique" and "the beauty of his tone". For a young musician in the 1960s, he said, listening to Rampal's recordings "was a step into the stars as far as flute playing was concerned." He recalled also the generous encouragement Rampal gave him following their meetings in Paris. Of the passing of his "hero", Galway added: "He was the first major influence in my life and I am still grateful for everything he ever did for me. He was a great influence on the flute world and the musical world in general, bringing to ordinary folk through his music making a charm which enhanced their everyday lives." At Rampal's funeral, fellow flautists played the "Adagio" from Boismortier’s second flute concerto in A minor in recognition of his lifelong passion for Baroque music in general and Boismortier in particular. [Verroust (June 2002), p.34 of sleeve notes for CD "Jean-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne".]

Jean-Pierre Rampal is buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris.

In June 2005, the Association Jean-Pierre Rampal was founded in France to perpetuate the study and appreciation of Rampal's contribution to the art of flute-playing. Among other projects, which include maintaining the Jean-Pierre Rampal Archive, the Association has collaborated in the re-release on the Premier Horizons label of a number of early Rampal performances on CD (see website link below).

Discography

There remains the difficulty of cataloguing Rampal's vast number of recordings. His earliest recordings, 1946-1950, were on 78rpm discs, many for the Parisian Boite a Musique label. With the opening of the 33rpm LP era, he recorded for over 20 different labels between 1950 and 1970. Among the most significant of these was the French Erato label, founded in 1953, for whom he made approximately 100 recordings. In 1964 alone he recorded 17 albums, including three complete sets (of flute pieces by Mozart, Handel and Beethoven) in addition to concertos and other works. In 1979 he became exclusively contracted to the CBS label (later Sony Classical) and for them he made well over 60 albums. And so on. This proliferation proved bewildering even to Rampal himself. In his autobiography he referred to his own "enormous discography, one that I can't even keep track of myself." This may be one reason why that book contains no discography for him. However, to get a sense of the range and number of his recordings, see one collector's list here: http://www.elenayarritu.com/rampallp.html

Collectors interested in Rampal’s emergence as a soloist should note the CD set Jean-Pierre Rampal: Le premier virtuose moderne (Traversiere Flute Collection, PATRIMOINE, Vol.1; 3 CDs: ref 210/271-272-273). Issued in France in 2002, in collaboration with the Association Française de la Flûte, it contains rare early performances from 78rpm records made between the years 1946 to 1959. The first CD contains J.S. Bach flute sonatas BWV 1030 (rec. 1947), 1031 & 1032 (rec. 1950) and 1034 (rec. 1948), with accompaniment by Robert Veyron-Lacroix with cellist Robert Huchot, together with the solo sonata 1020 (rec. 1949). The second CD has sonatas by Telemann and Leclair; an adaptation for flute of a ‘Fantasie’ by Couperin; concertos for five flutes by Boismortier (featuring flute players from the French National Orchestra that included Fernand Dufrène); a divertimento for flute, violin and cello by Haydn; the Mozart flute quartets in G, KV.285a, and C, KV.285b (both rec. 1950); and, of particular interest, Rampal’s first ever recording – the Mozart Quartet in D, KV.285, with the Trio Pasquier (rec. April 1946 for Boite a Musique). Completing CD2 is a charming Beethoven duet in which Rampal is joined by his father Joseph (recorded in 1951, this performance has never previously been released commercially). In contrast to the Baroque emphasis of the other two CDs, the third contains work by contemporary composers: Claude Debussy’s ‘Syrinx’ (rec.1949); Albert Roussel’s ‘Jouers de flute’; Darius Milhaud’s ‘Sonatine pour flute et piano’; Arthur Honegger’s ‘Danse de la chevre’; an adaptation for flute of ‘La Plainte au loin de faune’ by Paul Dukas; the flute sonatas by Paul Hindemith and Jindrich Feld, and the ‘Divertimento pour flute et piano’ by Jean Francaix (the Feld and the Francaix are not commercial releases, but rare survivals from Prague Radio). Taken together, these rare early recordings brilliantly capture the energy and dazzling technique of the young Jean-Pierre Rampal as he burst onto the musical scene in France after the end of the second world war. The sleeve notes by Denis Verroust of the Association Française de la Flûte contain much useful historical and biographical information.

Rampal on TV and DVD

Jean-Pierre Rampal made a great many TV concert appearances in France from the late 1950s onwards, and later elsewhere - especially in America and Japan where his reputation and following remained highest. As the first 'televised' flute-player of any age, the medium can be said to have contributed to his worldwide popularity in the post-war decades. By comparison with the vast number of his CD and vinyl recordings in circulation, however, commercially available video and DVD footage of Rampal is relatively scarce, but collectors will be especially interested in four DVDs that contain live or recorded performances by him:-

"Jean-Pierre Rampal" (EMI ‘Classic Archive’ DVB 51089991; released 2007 in collaboration with the Association Jean-Pierre Rampal): this presents a collection of fine early performances filmed for French TV between 1958 and 1965 and still held in the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel, the national French television archive. The earliest footage was broadcast on 17th March 1958 in the musical TV series "Les Grandes Interprètes", soon after Rampal had returned from his successful debut tour of the USA. He begins with Handel’s Sonata in F (HWV.369), then plays Debussy’s ‘The Little Shepherd’ and Ravel’s ‘Pièce en forme de habanera’, both transcribed for flute and piano, and also Jolivet’s ‘Incantation C’ for unaccompanied flute. For the Handel, Debussy and Ravel pieces he is accompanied by the programme’s presenter, pianist Bernard Gavoty. After a performance of Vivaldi’s ‘La Notte’ concerto in G minor RV 439 with the Collegium Musicum de Paris (broadcast 8 October 1963), comes a superb rendition of J.S. Bach’s Suite in C minor BWV 997 (Paris, 16 April 1963) and the opening Allegro from Bach’s Sonata in G minor BWV 1020 (Paris, broadcast 28 December 1964), both with Robert Veyron-Lacroix at the harpsichord. More of this celebrated duo in recital at the Salle Gaveau in Paris (19 March 1964) appears from the TV series "Les Jeunesses Musicales de France" featuring Couperin’s Concert Royal No.4, parts of J.S. Bach’s Partita in A minor for solo flute and a sonata in B flat, K.15, by Mozart. The two concerto performances that complete the collection, both with the Orchestre Philharmonique de l'ORTF, conducted by Rampal’s long-time collaborator Louis de Froment, are of Mozart’s Concerto No.1 in G, K.313 (Paris, 5 May 1965), and the Ibert flute concerto (Paris, 8 April 1962). Although his playing in the first movement is not flawless, this is actually one of Rampal's best renditions of the piece, despite the spectacularly quick tempo that Rampal was often fond of. [Of the Mozart concertos, Rampal said in a BBC Radio 4 interview (recorded in London by Peter Griffiths in January 1982) that he did not like his 1966 recording with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for ERATO owing to the fact that his playing was adversely affected by the uncomfortably high orchestral pitch insisted upon in Vienna. By contrast, he said he preferred his 1978 recording with the ‘Israel Symphony Orchestra’, even though it does not compare particularly well with the earlier TV performance.] The performance of the Ibert concerto, however, is truly wonderful, delivered as it was as a stirring TV tribute to the composer who had died two months earlier.

"Frances Poulenc and Friends" (EMI 'Classic Archive' DVB 3102019): Jean-Pierre Rampal, playing the Poulenc flute sonata, is featured twice in this compilation, once with Poulenc himself in 1959 and again after the composer's untimely death in 1963. The initial footage, preserved in the national French TV archive, is of a televised concert given by Poulenc in Paris at the Salle Gaveau in 1959. After a brief interview with the composer, Poulenc is joined on set by Rampal to perform the slow "Cantilena" from the flute Sonata. Later, Rampal is seen again a later TV broadcast to play the complete Flute Sonata, this time accompanied by Robert Veyron-Lacroix. Additional performances of POulenc's music are provided by artists including pianist Jacques Février, cellist Maurice Gendron, baritone Gabriel Bacquier, organist Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, soprano Denise Duval and others, together with the ORTF National Orchestra conducted by Georges Prêtre.

"The Art of Jean Pierre Rampal 1956-1966" (Video Artists International): this is a two-volume DVD compilation featuring a series of Radio-Canada “Telecasts”, broadcast and recorded during the years when Rampal was at the peak of his powers. In this rare footage, retrieved from the archives of CBC Montreal, Rampal is accompanied by harpsichordist Robert Veyron-Lacroix and by the McGill Chamber Orchestra conducted by Alexander Brott. Volume one of this fine set of live broadcasts includes: Boccherini’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in D major (broadcast 1 March 1956); Haydn’s Concerto for flute, harpsichord and string orchestra in F major, with Debussy’s Syrinx for unaccompanied flute (broadcast March 28, 1957); Couperin’s Concert Royal IV, with J S Bach’s Sonata for flute and harpsichord in G minor, BWV 1020 (broadcast 27 December 1961). Volume two features Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, K.314, together with the Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major, K.313 (broadcast 24 February 1966).

"Bolling: Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano": this features a live televised performance from 1976 of Claude Bolling’s cross-over "Suite" (1973), written for Jean-Pierre Rampal (who plays a ‘classical’ line to Bolling’s jazz piano) and which by then had become a runaway success in the Billboard charts of America. Special guest double bass-player Max Hediguer is also featured.

Radio

Apart from the many French Radio broadcasts of performances by Rampal, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a 45-minute profile, "Rampal – ‘Prince of Flute Players’", on 11th October 1983 in the 2020-2105 documentary slot. It contained extracts from an interview with Rampal himself, rare for the fact that Rampal gave very few interviews of any length in English. The Frenchman talks about his life and times and his approach to music-making. Also featured are interviews with English flutist William Bennett, American flutist and sometime pupil of Rampal’s, Elena Duran, and the violinist Isaac Stern who was Rampal's long-time friend and musical collaborator. The "Radio Times" billing read: “Rampal – ‘Prince of Flute Players’. ‘The Alexander of the flute with no new worlds to conquer…’ American reviewers have sung the praises of the French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal for over two decades. He’s probably made more records than any other soloist, he’s been given personal credit for making the flute the popular instrument it is today, yet in Britain he remains something of a neglected personality. Musician Andrew Marriner meets Jean-Pierre Rampal and, with help from William Bennett, Elena Duran, Isaac Stern and many recordings, presents a portrait of this celebrated flute player. Written and produced by Peter Griffiths.” The programme is kept in the BBC Sound Archive, together with the two unedited original interviews with Rampal that it draws on (both recorded by Griffiths in London, in January 1981 and November 1982, at the Westbury Hotel, off Regent Street, where Rampal normally stayed).

Films

"L. Subramaniam: Violin From the Heart" (1999), directed by Jean Henri Meunier, includes a scene of Rampal performing with L. Subramaniam.)

Rampal also makes an appearance in the 1977 educational film "The Joy of Bach", playing his flute on a rooftop in France.

Books

"Music, My Love" (1989; Random House; published in France as "Musique, ma vie") is Rampal's autobiography, written with Deborah Wise.

"Bel Canto Flute: The Rampal School" (2003; Winzer Press) by Sheryl Cohen is a study of Rampal’s methods and influence by an American flautist and teacher who studied with both Jean-Pierre Rampal and his fellow Marseille flautist Alain Marion. It is controversial to refer to the Marseilles group of flute players as a 'school' distinct from the more widely acknowledged 'French Flute School' [For a useful account of the influential French flute-players of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, see Claude Dorgeuille's "The French Flute School, 1860-1950" (1983; translated from the French original & edited by Edward Blakeman, London 1986)] in which Marcel Moyse and his predecessors Gaubert and Taffanel are central figures, but Cohen's study is an attempt to give Joseph Rampal, together with his son Jean-Pierre and others, some formal credit for an identifiable style of playing that became appreciated right around the musical world. As signature characteristics of this style, Cohen points in particular to a "poetic approach to expressive phrasing as a foundation to develop musical artistry, creative practice methods, breath control tone, articulation, and technique, all while searching to free the artist from within." The book, which draws on the contents of Jean-Pierre Rampal's masterclasses, includes 34 etudes, 33 solo movements and a set of daily studies used as teaching materials by both Rampal and by Marion. Sheryl Cohen, Professor Emerita of Music at the University of Alabama, USA, has since extended her study by also running a Fellowship at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis in Provence entitled "The Flute School of Marseille: The Rampal Lineage". The course chronicles “the development and influence of the school of Joseph Rampal on flute playing in the twentieth century” in order to “preserve the vast philosophical and pedagogical project mounted by the school, and establish Joseph Rampal’s proper place in the history of the flute.” [see Camargo Foundation website: http://www.camargofoundation.org/fellowdetails_new05.asp?recno=640]

References

External links

* [http://jprampal.com/ "L'Association Jean-Pierre Rampal"]
* [http://www.civp.com/rampal/rampalgb/arampalgb.html Jean Pierre-Rampal Flute Competition] The 8th Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition is to be held in Paris, from 23 September to 4 October 2008, as part of the Concours internationaux de la Ville de Paris.
* [http://fanfaire.com/rampal/index.html "Fanfaire" tributes to Rampal]
* [http://www.wibb.co.uk/ William Bennett’s website] with a personal recollection of Rampal
* [http://users.aol.com/pryordodge/jprampal.html Photographs of Jean-Pierre Rampal] at the Nice Summer School, 1971
* [http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/rbm/photos/winigrad/rampal.html Photographs of Rampal] in rehearsal with Aaron Copland at Saratoga Springs, New York, 1979
* [http://www.larrykrantz.com Tributes to Rampal following his death] including that from James Galway
*


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