Holder of the Paris Conservatory’s highest awards, staunchly allied to her friends Darius Milhaud and Arthur Honegger, she was called upon by Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau to be part of the "Group of Six" (along with Poulenc, Auric, and Durey).
These young composers, with Cocteau’s encouragement, rebelled against the impressionistic "fog" and the Wagnerian "pathos". Their inspration included popular and traditional musical forms. In Germaine Tailleferre one always finds a respect for musical tradition, in particular that of the 17th century masters, along with an instinctive use of polytonality.
A friend of Stravinsky, Diaghilev, Ravel, Chaplin, Picasso, and a collaborator of the greatest writers of her time, in particular Claudel, Valéry, Ionesco, Soupault, Tardieu...Germaine Tailleferre’s optimistic music has captivated the most celebrated musicians: Ricardo Vinès, Marguerite Long, Arthur Rubinstein, Jacques Thibaud, Alfred Cortot, Lily Laskine, Nicanor Zabaleta... and prestigious conductors such as Pierre Monteux, Thomas Beecham, Léopold Stokowski, Serge Koussevitzky, Willem Mengelberg.
She left behind her, at the end of a long creative life, some 400 works, piano and chamber music, symphonic works, ballets, operas, film music and melodies. She was an officier of the Legion of Honour, holder of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, the Music Prize of the Academy of Arts, the musical Grand Prix of the City of Paris.
Alfred Cortot, who performed her first sonata for piano and violin (with Jaques Thibaud) and her first concerto for piano and orchstra, confers an "elected place" to Germaine Tailleferre in the history of French piano music. Her repertoire: “ ...offers virtuoso performers the precious contribution of a work composed by a musician aware of the highest aspirations of the pianist. ”
Liner notes de Georges Hacquard, Président de l’Association Germaine Tailleferre
Translated by Joan Marlow