Sunday, October 17

The death of André Tubeuf, writer and musicographer

Normalien, associate of philosophy, the writer and musicographer André Tubeuf, who died on July 26, at the age of 90 years in Paris, had “entered” in music by the means of the disc before becoming a reference of the critic musical, aside from his teaching activities. Brilliant mind, subtle ear and superior quality pen, he has distinguished himself in numerous texts, from simple instructions to documented biography, as a precious listening guide. Especially for everything related to the voice.

André Tubeuf was born on December 18, 1930 in Smyrna (now Izmir), Turkey, where his father, a public works engineer, participated in the construction of railways. Her mother, born on the island of Crete and daughter of the French consul in Salonika, broadened the family’s eastern horizon. In the mid-1930s, she settled in Zonguldak, a mining town on the shores of the Black Sea, where the young André attended a school run by Franciscans before continuing his studies at the French high school in Istanbul.

In the spring of 1941, the Tubeuf left Turkey to stay a few months in Syria (in Aleppo, a city in which the college student felt closer to French culture) then, until the end of the war, in Beirut (Lebanon). . The records (among others, recordings of performances at the Comédie-Française) allow André Tubeuf to discover the world of theater and to soak up a language (that of Racine or Corneille) that he would later use. with masterful dexterity.

Self-taught training

At the end of 1946, he entered the khâgne at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, in Paris. The theater still attracts him as much (especially that of Jean Giraudoux defended by Louis Jouvet) but the music begins to resonate in him, through the radio broadcasts, which he listens, quietly, during the Latin lessons thanks at the galena station that one of his two brothers made for him. These differences in academic attention did not prevent him from entering the Ecole normale supérieure in 1950, a situation which gave him more freedom – and finances – to go to concerts, or even to the Opera, without however give up self-taught training through discography. If André Tubeuf is impressed by the works (mainly by Bach and Beethoven), he is just as impressed by the performers, pianists (Wilhelm Kempff, Artur Schnabel, Dinu Lipatti) or violinists (Yehudi Menuhin, Fritz Busch).

At that time, he developed a passion for singing, “ not for the pleasure of the jerk he will specify, in 2016, during a series of interviews with Lionel Esparza broadcast on France Music, but because “The song was the only instrument” that he could practice.

Received at the agrégation in philosophy in 1954, André Tubeuf was appointed to Nancy, then, in 1957, to Strasbourg, a city where he would quickly become one of the great cultural promoters and in which his house was a must for many artists. renowned. These meetings will lead, in most cases, to delicious writings, to present a record (like those from the legendary “References” collection published by EMI) to write a portrait (from Elisabeth Schwarzkopf to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau) or to nurture a test (The Musical Offering, Robert Laffont, 2007).

Taught until 2012 without any preparation and without any book in hand, but focusing all the interest in speaking, his philosophy courses left enough time for this disciple of Vladimir Jankelevich to twice accept responsibilities in the ministry. of culture (in the office of Jacques Duhamel in 1972, then in that of Michel Guy, in 1975) and to invest in music criticism, by collaborating in the weekly Point, from 1976, but also for specialized magazines such as The Opera Stage, Tuning fork Where Classica. And, of course, to publish thirty books, including one Schubert, to be published in September by Actes Sud. One will undoubtedly find there the skill of André Tubeuf to put words on the music and that, even rarer still, to put on the listening.

André Tubeuf in a few dates

December 18, 1930: Born in Smyrna (Turkey)

1954: Agrégation in philosophy

1972-75: Policy officer at the Ministry of Culture

1976: Musical critic at “Point”

2007: Publishes “The Musical Offering”

July 26, 2021: Death in Paris

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