RAPHAEL FUMET (1898 - 1979)
Son of the composer Dynam-Victor Fumet (1867-1949), brother of the writer Sanislas Fumet and father of the flautist Gabriel Fumet, Raphaël Fumet showed his exceptional gifts as a pianist and improviser at a very early age. Parallel to his studies with Vincent dIndy at the Schola Cantorum, he worked at a number of Paris cinemas, where he was able to improvise directly on the organ to accompany silent films. His charisma as a musician won him the friendship of many artists, mainly in Montparnasse. He was associated in particular with painters and sculptors still unknown, such as Soutine, Jeanne Hébuterre, Modigliani, Juan Gris, Joseph Bernard and others.
By nature very independent and with little interest in the bitter divisions occasioned by the aesthetic quarrels of his day, Raphaël Fumet withdrew first to the country, to the famous Collége de Juilly in Seine-et-Marne, where he stayed for ten years as director of music. After the disaster of 1940, he left Juilly with his family and settled at Angers, where he taught piano and harmony at the Conservatoire and served as organist at the Church of St Joseph, continuing there the tradition of his father in almost total isolation.
Persuaded that his compositions had little chance of being understood by official institutions, Fumet made practically no attempt to promote his music.
Although condemned to write music in silence until his death in Angers in 1979, without ever hearing an echo of what he composed or ever having anything published, Fumet has left us, in spite of inevitable discouragement, a certain number of works that are significant in their diversity and which bear witness to the anti-conformist freedom of their composer in his search, against all odds, for musical beauty. These include several symphonic works, particularly the great Symphonie de lâme (Symphony of the Soul), a wind quintet, and various chamber works.