Maurice Jaubert

Maurice Jaubert

Birth
Nice, Departement des Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Death 19 Jun 1940 (aged 40)
Nancy, Departement de Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France
Burial* Baccarat, Departement de Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France

* This is the original burial site

Memorial ID 95887635 · View Source
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Composer, Conductor. France's outstanding creator of film music during the 1930s, his contributions helped define the "poetic realism" movement of French cinema. He wrote lyrical scores for such classics as Jean Vigo's "Zéro de conduite" ("Zero For Conduct", 1933) and "L'Atalante" (1934), René Clair's "14 juillet" ("July 14", 1933) and "Le Dernier Milliardaire" ("The Last Billionaire", 1934), Julien Duvivier's "Un carnet de bal" ("Life Dances On", 1937) and "La Fin du jour" ("The End of the Day, 1939), and Marcel Carné's "Drôle de drame" ("Bizarre, Bizarre", 1937), "Le Quai des brumes" ("Port of Shadows", 1938), "Hôtel du Nord" (1938) and "Le Jour se lève" ("Daybreak", 1939). Mauritius François Jaubert was born in Nice, the son of a lawyer and amateur musician. He attended the Nice Conservatory (winning first prize in piano in 1916) and studied law at the Sorbonne. When he joined his father's firm at age 19 he was the youngest practicing attorney in France. Following military service as an engineer (1920 to 1922) he abandoned the legal profession and resumed music studies at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Boyhood friend Jean Renoir brought him to the cinema as sheet music arranger for his silent film "Nana" (1926), and with the advent of talkies he went on to score some 40 features, documentaries and shorts. From 1931 to 1935 he was music director of the Pathe-Natan studios. He also conducted Arthur Honegger's scores for the films "Les Miserables" (1934), "Flight Into Darkness" (1935), and "Mayerling" (1937), composed for the stage and the concert hall, and was music critic for the journal "Esprit". At the start of World War II Jaubert was mobilized as a Captain in the 1st Corps of Engineers. On June 19, 1940, he was wounded in action at Azerailles near Baccarat, and died a few hours later in a hospital in Nancy. Burial was at the Cimetière de Baccarat. In 1952 his remains were reinterred in his native Nice, where a street is named for him. A musical neoclassicist, Jaubert had much in common with the populist spirit of "Les Six" and Kurt Weill, musicians he championed as a journalist. He rejected ostentatious Hollywood-style film music and produced sparse scores built around strong, deceptively simple melodies that are manipulated to evoke different moods and atmosphere. "Musicians need a little more humility", he noted in 1937. "We do not go to the movies to hear music; it is there to deepen the visual impression". He was particularly concerned with highlighting subjective moments in a film "when the image escapes from strict realism and calls for the poetic extension of music". No director offered him greater opportunities for this than Vigo, whose early death in 1934 thwarted an even richer collaboration. For a slow motion fantasy sequence in "Zéro de conduite" he wrote a cue that was mixed backwards on the soundtrack for an otherwordly effect, foreshadowing a technique of French "musique concrète" of the 1950s. Apart from the cinema Jaubert's oeuvre includes the ballets "Les Pêcheurs" (1925) and "The Shadow" (1937); a chamber opera co-written with Jacques Ibert, "Contraband" (1927); "Intermezzo" (1929) for piano and orchestra; the "Burlesque Suite for 12 Instruments" (1932); "Amazon Dances" (1930), "Le Jour" ("The Day", 1931), "Suite française" (1932), "Ode to the Mountain" (1934), and the "Flemish Concert" (1936) for orchestra; "Intermèdes" (1936) for strings; incidental music for Jean Giraudoux's plays "Tessa" (1934) and "La guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu" ("The Trojan War Will Not Take Place", 1935); and several song cycles. Still little-explored are his religious compositions, the product of his devout Catholicism. From his first piece, an "Ave Maria" for voice and piano (1919), to his last, the "Three Psalms for the War" (1940), he engaged in various settings of scripture and Catholic poets. Perhaps his most ambitious work was the "Joan of Arc Symphony" for soprano and orchestra (1938), to a text by Charles Péguy; the "Easter Cantata" (1938) was the only completed part of a planned choral tryptic on the life of Christ.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 24 Aug 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 95887635
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Maurice Jaubert (3 Jan 1900–19 Jun 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 95887635, citing Cimetière de Baccarat, Baccarat, Departement de Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .