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Missa Carolae

Missa Carolae

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French composer and conductor, Henri Tomasi (1901-1971) published Mireille's Tomb in 1959. As with his other compositions, Mireille's Tomb for Galoubet (Pipe), Piccolo or Oboe, with Tambourine, Toneless Snare Drum or Piano was well-received by audiences.

Tomasi was born in Marseille, but his Father and Mother were originally from La Casinca in Corsica. Despite being pressured into musical studies by his parents, Tomasi dreamed of becoming a sailor, and during the summer, he stayed with his Grandmother in Corsica where he learnt traditional Corsican songs. However, in 1921, he began his studies at the Paris Conservatoire and went on to become a high profile composer and conductor. Tomasi did not forget his Corsican routes, often incorporating themes of the songs he had learnt during the summers with his Grandmother in to his compositions. Mireille's Tomb is a highly unusual and modern work, not only in instrumentation, but in its use of varying time signatures, complex rhythms and a range of performance directions. The composition exploits tonality, rhythm and structure amongst other aspects. However, this Tomasi piece, suitable for advanced instrumentalists, provides an exciting, alternative addition to the ensemble repertoire.

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