Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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ES (B. Horowicz and anon.)

F. Delhasse: Ecrivains français: Adolphe Jullien (Brussels, 1884)

G. Servières: Richard Wagner jugé en France (Paris, 1887)

A. Lavignac: Le voyage artistique à Bayreuth (Paris, 1897, rev. 1951 by H. Busser; Eng. trans., 1898, as The Music Dramas of Richard Wagner, 2/1904/R)

A. Pougin: ‘Notes sur la presse musicale en France’, EMDC, II/vi (1931), 3850–1

H. Prunières: Obituary, ReM, nos.127–30 (1932), 256 only

Catalogue des livres sur la musique et partitions provenant de la bibliothèque de M. Adolphe Jullien (Paris, 1933) [with introduction by P. Landormy]


Jullien, Gilles

(b c1650–53; d Chartres, 14 Sept 1703). French composer and organist. We can deduce his approximate date of birth from his burial certificate, which describes him as being 50 years old or thereabouts. He held only one post, as organist of Chartres Cathedral, to which he was appointed at the exceptionally early age of between 14 and 17 at a date assumed to be 6 December 1667; his eldest son, Jean-François, succeeded him after his death.

All Jullien’s surviving music is contained in his Premier livre d’orgue (Paris, 1690; ed. N. Dufourcq, Paris, 1952); a second volume was contemplated but never published, and a vocal work, La crèche de Bethléem, described as ‘Cantique sur la naissance de Notre-Seigneur’, is lost. Wherever he learnt his craft he was certainly familiar with current Parisian techniques. His organbook, which appeared in the same year as Couperin’s Messes d’orgue, consists of 80 pieces assembled in eight sets in each of the church modes; apart from a fugue on Ave maris stella this is their sole link with the liturgy. Except for an opening prelude there is no uniformity between the sets in the number of pieces or in their forms: the book is an anthology rather than a series of groups of pieces to be played consecutively. The occasional directions, ‘gayement’, ‘gravement’ and ‘lentement’, suggest mood and tempo, though the first two may refer equally to the use of positif and grand orgue respectively. While registration is implicit in some titles, Jullien suggested schemes for certain pieces, notably those in five parts, of which he claimed to be the originator, though they had appeared in books published by Gigault in 1685 and by Raison in 1688.

The dialogues are of mixed quality. They possess a superficial vitality not inherent in the music but arising from tempo changes, registration and other external factors. In the best (3e, 4e, 5e tons) the opening material is purposefully treated. Fugal writing is seldom a strong point with 17th- and 18th-century French composers, and Jullien is no exception. His fugues are badly organized, showing neither compactness nor growth. The duos and associated pieces for solo stops are more successful. The Trio pour une élévation (3e ton) is memorable for its intrinsic worth and because Jullien included notes inégales to demonstrate how such pieces should be performed. The highlights of the collection are the preludes, which are generally more compact and more solidly contrapuntal. Apart from a unified Fantesie cromatique Jullien’s occasional excursions into chromaticism are not very happy. Unusually in such a book at this period he included, at the end, a choral work, Cantantibus organis.

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