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Norbert MORET

Norbert MORET

NORBERT MORET (1921–1998)

Norbert Moret was born on the 21st November 1921 in Ménières, a small village in the Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. After studying at Fribourg’s College St. Michel, he continued his musical training at the Fribourg and Lausanne Conservatories. He was married in 1948 and he went to Paris in the same year to attend classes under Olivier Messiaen, Arthur Honegger and René Leibowitz.

In 1950, he left France for Austria to complete a course with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Wilhelm Furtwängler.

Back in Fribourg in 1951, he became a choir master, then a teacher. There followed a long period of reflection, searching and doubt. “I was trying to bring to maturity a form of expression that I felt was close but not yet achieved. First of all, I had to recover my original strenght, the courage to be myself, far from the academic world and schools, and especially discover the basics, get to the bottom of my own life in an uncompromising and anxious quest for Love”.

This long journey towards maturity founds its completion in Germes en Eveil. “After searching for nearly 25 years, I found a way out and I could begin to write the works I heard deep within myself”. There is a strange parallel between these 25 years of gestation and the 25 years that followed, during which he exchanged the role of observer for that of craftsman until his death. In 1974, Norbert Moret was awarded the Swiss Musicians Association composition prize for Germes en Eveil. The performance of this work would be a revelation for the Swiss musical world. It was also the start of a long friendship with Paul Sacher from whom he accepted several commissions.

In 1978, the Hymnes of Silence swept him onto the international stage. In 1984, he won the Europapreis für Muzzik in Strasbourg. His music was played in Vienna , Milan, Boston, New York, London, Stuttgart, Hiroshima and Moscow... Soloists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Thomas Demenga, Kei Koïto and the Tallis Scholars of Oxford...performed his works. Masters such as Seiji Osawa, Paul Sacher, Horst Stein, Collin Davis, Lawrence Foster, Armin Jordan, Jesus Lopez-Cobos... conducted his works.

Norbert Moret died on the 17th November 1998 after long years of physical distress. However, his illness never affected his serenity or his drive to accomplish a truly Benedictine labour.

While Moret’s musical language is firmly contemporary, his music is still greatly inspired by the romantic, both in its exaltation of feelings and contemplation of nature, and in the sources that fuelled its inspiration : “the destiny of Man, dreams, the song of love”.

“Creation is the mysterious pattern of arabesques and paths that shatter the finite and defy eternity to the utter limit, where madness lies waitting. For any act of creation is an act of madness”.

Catherine Hayoz-Moret

See all works composed by Norbert MORET

Works composed by Norbert MORET

See all works composed by Norbert MORET


Concerto pour violoncelle
Collegium Musicum Zurich
Dir. : Paul Sacher
Vlc : Mstislav Rostropovitch
CD Erato 2292-45530-2 ou Ex Libris CD6103 ou Tel 2292 45 530- 2ZK

”En rêve” - Concerto for violin
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Dir : Seiji Ozawa
Sol : Anne-Sophie Mutter
CD DG 431 626-2

Double concerto pour violon et violoncelle
Collegium Musicum Zurich
Dir : Paul Sacher
Sol : Romana et Luciano Pezzani
CD Grammont CTS-P 23-2

Hymnes de silence
Basler Sinfonie Orcheste
Dir : Paul Sacher
Sol : Heine Kuehner
CD Erato 2292-45530-2 ou Ex Libris CD6103 ou Tel 2292 45 530- 2ZK

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Dir : Horst Stein
CD Grammont CTS-P 23-2

Trois pièces
Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne
Dir : Laurence Foster
CD Grammont CTS-P 23-2