About this work
Jolivet composed his Chant de Linos as a competition piece for the Paris Conseratory in 1944. In 1945, he replaced the original flute and piano version with one scored for flute, harp, and string trio. Jolivet, who was interested in the evocation of ritual in his music, wrote that a "chant de linos" was an ancient Greek mourning chant, with wailing and dancing. Appropriately, the music is based on a six-tone scale that suggests antiquity: G, A flat, B, C sharp, D, F, and G. Other unusual modes are used in the course of the 11-minute work. The introduction is a recitative-like cadenza. This is followed by the funeral lament, a plaintive section with a polyphonic texture. A more agitated section suggests the wailing and dancing. Another cadenza introduces the second major section of the piece, a wild dance in 7/8.