Crossing the Continent Stravinsky with Jean

On a daily basis, Jean-Yves Larrouturou juggles his several lives. Although he is an engineer by trade, his passion for music is a source of pleasure which imposed itself on him at a very young age: “She came to me without my needing, especially at this age, to decide anything”. This passion takes on different forms. In particular, he accompanies the productions of the Opéra-Comique as Chairman of the Board of Directors in a difficult post-Covid period: “I’m here to serve a house, it’s not a job in itself. We serve the radiation.”

Stravinsky as Proust’s madeleine

The music lover was approached by the directors of the “My life with” collection at Gallimard, to write this book “with” Stravinsky. Without musicological or biographical pretensions, Jean-Yves Larrouturou composes in this work back and forth between the composer and his own life. His meeting with Stravinsky? He remembers it perfectly. One afternoon in October 1968, “the greatest living composer” burst into the life of the 7-year-old boy.

“Thanks to school radio at the time, I discovered with my classmates Fire Bird*. I found that amazing. The teacher, very music lover, gave us the key which was to be able to lead the finale ourselves, by setting the pace. It is an extraordinary noise but completely controlled. Stravinsky was a living composer: Russian, French, American. We were at the time ofApollo. A whole cocktail that made me fall in love with him. When he died and I saw on TV what he looked like, it was a second shock.”*

Jean-Yves Larrouturou defends the idea of ​​a music specific to each but intelligible by all: “The music is both invisible – you’re not sure the other side is hearing the same thing – and very physical. For this there is no need to have studied music. You can be seized by any music, there is no need to have the codes, to have done a musicology aggregation.”

“He is a poet in the etymological sense: a craftsman, until the end of his life”

Thus, by recounting the artist, the composer, his life, Jean-Yves Larrouturou brings out what makes him unique according to him: this music is the music of a poet. “He works every morning in his studio, he’s a musical drudge. It is not someone who improvises. He is a doer. He is one of the few musicians whose life has almost no impact on the work. Indeed, on the eve of the war, when he found himself seriously affected by illness, bereaved by the death of his wife and forced into exile, he composed in the midst of this slump the Symphony in Cperhaps the most carefree work he wrote.

Marked by a great diversity of musical styles, Stravinsky’s work, according to our guest, was not marked by the three great periods that are generally attributed to him – Russian, neoclassical and serial -, nor by his life and its environment: “He’s someone who devours all the music out there, from the school of Notre-Dame to Cartoon Music and rock, in a very personal way.”

Crossing the Continent Stravinsky with Jean-Yves Larrouturou