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"Berceuse" for violin and piano op.22

November 2018

The "Berceuse" op. 22 for violin with piano accompaniment (Combre publisher, Paris, 2018) was considered by Maurice Journeau as one of his most typical works, a sample of his personal style of writing. Composed in Nice, a beautiful sea-side resort of the French Riviera so praised by the 18th century Scottish writer Tobias Smollett, it belongs indeed to a musical period when violin was very important in Journeau's compositional work on the Mediterranean coast. This was mainly owing to his natural inclination for violin, even if piano used to be his daily evening instrument. And even if the composer wrote noticeable works for stringed instruments ensembles (from duet to sextet). Moreover, this instrumental tendency was remarkably conveyed by Gil Graven, a solo violin of the Nice-Côte d'Azur orchestra, who became a faithful musician friend to Maurice Journeau for the remainder of his shorter life. The "Berceuse" op. 22 is not a long work. Yet it is an important one. A tender music full of love for his young wife, already a mother of their first three chidren, who became thus its dedicatee on Christmas 1935.