However, his remarkable career in music—which was to span more than half a century—began without the full encouragement of his parents.
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Rampal's mother and father encouraged him to become a doctor or surgeon, as they felt those professions were more reliable than becoming a professional musician. At the beginning of the Second World War, Rampal duly entered medical school in Marseille, studying there for three years. In , authorities of the Nazi Occupation of France drafted him for forced labour in Germany.
To avoid this, he fled to Paris, where it was easier to avoid detection, by frequently changing his lodgings. While in Paris, Rampal auditioned to study flute at the Paris Conservatoire , where he was taught by Gaston Crunelle from January Years later, he succeeded Crunelle as flute professor at the Conservatoire. After just four months, 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 It launched his concert career overnight and was the first of many such broadcasts.
In 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, Rampal said, "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 , in Switzerland , Austria , Italy , Spain , and the Netherlands. Almost from the beginning, he was accompanied by pianist and harpsichordist Robert Veyron-Lacroix , whom he had met at the Paris Conservatoire in 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.
The recital was repeated the following year in Paris, and news of the young flute-player's virtuosity spread. Throughout the early s, the duo made regular radio broadcasts and gave concerts within France and elsewhere in Europe. Their first international tour came in an island-hopping journey through Indonesia where ex-pat audiences received them warmly. From onwards came his first concerts in eastern Europe—most significantly in Prague, where he premiered Jindrich Feld's Flute Concerto in 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.
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. Rampal's successful partnership with Veyron-Lacroix produced many award-winning recordings, notably their double LP of the complete Bach flute sonatas.
They performed and toured together for some 35 years, until the early s, 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. Even as he pursued his career as a soloist, Rampal remained a dedicated ensemble player throughout his life. The Quintet remained active until the s. Between and , 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 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.
That career was to take him away from the Paris Opera House for extended periods during his tenure there. 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 works. 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. 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.
Rampal was not the first flute player to have taken an interest in the Baroque. Claude-Paul Taffanel , widely held to be the father of the French Flute School , had a liking for the music of the Baroque and was the first to revive interest in the flute sonatas of J. Bach and the flute concertos of Mozart. Marcel Moyse, who took the flute to a new level of popularity between the First and Second World Wars, recorded pieces by Telemann, Schultze, and Couperin ; of Bach's work, he recorded the Brandenburg concertos , the Suite No.
Likewise, Rene le Roy, an equally celebrated soloist in Europe and America during the s and s, achieved success with performances of Baroque sonatas, and also made interpreting Bach's Partita in A minor for unaccompanied flute, BWV a personal speciality after the piece was rediscovered in Rampal pursued his passion for the Baroque repertoire systematically and with extraordinary enthusiasm.
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 and his famous treatise On Playing The Flute , 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 forebears. Also, as early as —51 he became the first to record all six of Vivaldi's Op.
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.
He applied his own bright tone and the liveliness and freedom of his style to the original texts, developing along the way a very individual approach to interpretation and, after the Baroque style, to improvised ornamentation. 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.
During this period, Rampal quickly benefited from the birth of the long-playing gramophone 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 s and beyond. Thus, even in the first 15 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 US. 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.
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. Remaining together over almost three decades, the ensemble proved one of the first musical groups to bring to light the chamber repertoire of the 18th century. Through his recordings for labels including L'Oiseau-Lyre and, from the mids, 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 with Czech flautist, composer, and conductor Milan Munclinger resulted in an award-winning recording of flute concertos by Benda and Richter. Other composers of the era, such as Haydn , Handel , Stamitz , and Quantz , also figured significantly in his repertoire.
He was open to experimentation; once, through laborious over-dubbing, he played all five parts in an early recording of a flute quintet by Boismortier. Rampal was the first flautist to record most, if not all, of 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.
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. From the start, his recital programmes included modern compositions as well. Rampal gave the first Western performance of Prokofiev 's Sonata for Flute and Piano in D, which in the s was in danger of being co-opted for the violin, but which has since become established as a flute favourite.
By the early s, Rampal was established as the first truly international modern flute virtuoso, and was performing with many of the world's leading orchestras. 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. His transcribing in , at the composer's own suggestion, of Aram Khatchaturian 's Violin Concerto recorded showed Rampal's willingness to broaden the flute repertoire further by borrowing from other instruments.
The only piece dedicated to Rampal that he never publicly performed was the Sonatine by Pierre Boulez , which—with its spiky, explosive figures and extravagant use of flutter-tonguing—he found too abstract for his taste. One piece in particular, written with Rampal in mind, has since become a modern standard in the essential flute repertoire. Rampal's compatriot Francis Poulenc was commissioned by the Coolidge Foundation of America in 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". 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 , so Veyron-Lacroix took his place, and the sonata became a key offering in Rampal's US recital debut, helping launch his long-lived trans-Atlantic career.
As the owner of the only solid gold flute No. In , 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. Haynes Flute Company of Boston, did Rampal stop using the original. After one final recording in London, [nb 10] he consigned the golden Lot to the safety of a bank vault in France, and thereafter made the Haynes his concert instrument of choice.
Throughout the s, s, and s, Rampal remained especially popular in the US and Japan where he had first toured in At his busiest, he performed between and concerts a year. 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 that was named album of the year in Japan, where he became adored by a new generation of budding flute-players.
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. His reputation as a celebrity soloist in America became such that, as Esquire reported, one critic dubbed him "the Alexander of the flute, with no new worlds to conquer. Schonberg wrote "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.
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[ Calling Rampal "an indisputably major artist", The New York Times said "Rampal's popularity was grounded in qualities that won him consistent praise from critics and musicians in the first decades of his career: solid musicianship, technical command, uncanny breath control, and a distinctive tone that eschewed Romantic richness and warm vibrato in favor of clarity, radiance, focus and a wide palette of colorings.
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Younger flutists assiduously studied and tried to copy his approaches to tonguing, fingering, embouchure the position of the lips on the mouthpiece and breathing. 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 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, violinists, or singers. He maintained a clear opinion about the right balance between "virtuosity" and aspiring to real musical expressiveness. 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.
Otherwise, with the fingers alone it is not enough Following the foundation of the Nice Summer Academy in , Rampal held classes there annually until In he succeeded Gaston Crunelle as flute professor at the Paris Conservatoire, a position he held until When year-old James Galway sought Rampal out in Paris in the early s, Galway felt that he was going to meet "the master". As Galway says in his own autobiography, "For me, of course, it was simply a sensation to meet this great musician; like a fiddler meeting Heifetz. Rampal's principal American students include concert and recording artist Robert Stallman and Ransom Wilson ,  who has followed in his mentor's footsteps as conductor as well as flautist.
They made their home in Paris, living in the appropriately named Avenue Mozart. In , they had to retract the claim :. Several senior scientists have now said the claim was unrealistic and that the large Himalayan glaciers could not melt in a few decades. There are really two kinds of skepticism at work here. The first is the skepticism about the science itself, the other is skepticism towards the vast array of interests that benefit from climate hysteria, psychologically, politically, or economically.
Both forms of skepticism are utterly defensible. Science is skepticism. Science is questioning, testing, replicating, and re-verifying. All — all — of the great scientists in human history were, to one extent or another, great because they shattered or transformed the scientific consensus of their time. In this way, scientism is a kind of priestcraft — a term coined by the writer James Harington to describe the way clergy would use their divine authority back when everyone saw God as the ultimate source of truth to serve their own interests.
There is a profound irony at work when people such as Boot insist that his opponents are driven by self-interest when they disagree with him. Is it inconceivable that, say, Al Gore — who has made hundreds of millions as a climate-change Jeremiah — has a vested interest in climate change? What enrages me are the scientific practitioners of priestcraft who cannot imagine the possibility that they suffer from the same human foibles. They cherry-pick the issues where science lends political and cultural power to the stuff that they want to do anyway.
When the issue is sex and gender, many of these same people might as well start a bonfire using medical and biology textbooks as kindling. Painting an age-old progressive idol green has nothing to do with science and everything to do with marketing. Cold fusion would be the equivalent of discovering faster-than-light travel.
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Personally, I am very interested in geoengineering — the science of actually fixing the problem. I am convinced the world has a low-grade fever that could get dangerously high in the future. But if you eat bad clams and get a fever, doctors treat the fever. They may also talk to you about your diet, but they first address the illness. They want a New Deal regardless, and the green part is just a rationalization.
Meanwhile, China, India, Africa, etc. And we should want them to get rich. In the meantime, climate change is crowding out concern for, and resources from, all sorts of other problems that have far more immediate effects. I worry far more about eroding biodiversity, over-fishing, ocean acidification, plastic pollution, and the like than I do about climate change. Climate change contributes to some of these problems, particularly ocean acidification, but these are far more fixable right now.
Normally, in these times, Pippa deploys her most powerful weapon: her puppy eyes. But there was a problem: One of them seemed to be looking off in the wrong direction. Given that she was abnormally tired to begin with, we thought she might have had a seizure or some kind of stroke or something.
So, I rushed her to the money depository that operates as a veterinary hospital. The Dingo was clearly convinced that we were going to some canine amusement park, where instead of whack-a-mole, you get to play crunch-a-mole. She ran to the back of the beat-up Honda Element that is our dog car and curled into a quivering ball. In the waiting room, she kept jumping up and crawling over me like there must be some hidden bunker in my body that she could hide in.
I really want to express my appreciation to everyone on Twitter who showed their concern for the girl. Twitter is not loading for me right now. I will be on Meet t he Press on Sunday. My all-Goldberg Constitution Center panel. What was PETA group- thinking?
The latest Remnant , with Charles Cooke. A happy ending. Fiat lux. Nerd wish-fulfillment opportunity. RIP Vishnu. Chick-fil-A supercentenarian. Cheesecake Factory uprising. Hot grease fight. Sloth history cc: senatorshoshana. The Butlerian Jihad must begin now. The last French sword duel. D ear Reader including all passengers on Spaceship Earth , So, as often happens, a weasel crawls up your tailpipe I mean of your car, sicko. So what do you do? Of course not. So what am I really getting at here?
Among the Believers Max Boot, as part of his conservatism-renunciation tour , has been pestering me about climate change. Most Popular. By John McCormack. Nebraska Republican senator Ben Sasse is reluctant to say much about allegations that President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden until Congress learns more.
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