Claude Tricot was born on February 25 th , 1926, in Colombes (France). His grandparents lived in parts of the castle, destroyed during the French Revolution, where Queen Henriette, who was the daughter of Henry IV and the widow of the English King Charles I, stayed. This location shaped his childhood.
His father was a wildlife sculptor; he quickly left home. Anxious to offer musical training to her son, his mother enrolled him when he was six to piano lessons offered by the city council. When war broke out, she sent him to boarding school in Chartres where the local organist noticed his talents and helped him improve his technique. Claude Tricot continued his musical training as a bright pupil at the lycée Pasteur in Neuilly, and he discovered Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Treatise on Harmony Reduced to its Natural Principles, which will later orient his research as a composer. This is when Claude Tricot met Victor Gilles. This renowned pianist, who had met several of Chopin’s
pupils, said: “Because he liked legato playing so much, Chopin at times wanted that in the scale the hand should
bend toward the little finger to go up and toward the thumb to go down; he liked to do a glissando with
the nail of his middle finger, to give the wrist and the hand the desired inclination.” This involvement of the hand through an imperceptible lateral movement in the direction of the virtuosic passage was one of
the conditions for the evenness of Chopin’s playing that his contemporaries so admired. (J. J. Eigeldinger, Chopin vu par ses élèves). Victor Gilles transmitted this skill to his young disciple: Claude
Tricot practised it felicitously and to perfection throughout his life.
At twenty-two, following serious health problems, Claude Tricot left Paris and his work at the
Meteorological Institute. He accepted a position as an organist in Orleans first, and then Pithiviers,
where he settled down with his young wife. He was the titular organist of the church of Saint Solomon’s
great organs, built by Jean-Baptiste Isnard.
Claude Tricot pursued his twofold scientific and musical career; professor at the Ecole des HautesEtudes Commerciales of Montreal, he found a new source of inspiration in the Canadian landscape, inparticular on the shores of Lake Saint Louis and of Lake Nominingue in the Laurentians, where hespent his family holidays. Croquis d’un voyage au lac (published as part of the album Préludes,Choudens editions) is a suite of 14 short pieces for piano that exemplifies this mature period.
Paul Verlaine, Art poétique
Back in Europe and now Professor in the Econometrics Department at the University of Geneva (instatistics and probability theory), Claude Tricot bought the piano of his life: a 1930s Erard. For hisinstruments, namely the flute, the harpsichord, and the viola d’amore, he composed more than 83 trios(for soprano, alto, and tenor or bass flutes), and 120 duos (for viola d’amore and alto flute, or for twoalto voices). The manuscripts of these compositions are in the Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris).
Retired in the family home in Normandy and answering the requests of his friends who wished tocelebrate his seventieth birthday, he undertook a new type of composition: melody. The piece Mathilde,on poems by Paul Verlaine that relate his love story with his wife, premiered on May 14 th , 2000, in theGilded Salon of the Château de Breteuil with the soprano Gaële le Roi and the pianist Jia Zhong. Newconcert on October 1 st , 2001, at the Ranelagh Theatre in Paris, with the soprano Isabelle Poulenardand the pianist Nathalie Steinberg. That same year, Claude Tricot finished the composition of Thérèse,a musical conversation in honour of Thérèse of Lisieux, named Doctor of the Church. This piecepremiered with French actor Brigitte Fossey on January 21 st , 2002 at the Church of St Honoré d’Eylauin Paris.
A new musical conversation, Amour, was created in 2003 at the Poets’ Spring in the reception rooms ofthe City Hall of Paris’s 16 th Arondissement. The composer’s melodies on various poems by Charles ofOrleans, Louise Labe, Victor Hugo, Pierre Louÿs, Guillaume Apollinaire were performed there... Inparallel Claude Tricot continued the recording of his works, first with Rejoyce Music in Versailles, andthen in Radio France’s recording studios. Philippe Renard’s musical ensemble interprets his flute trios;the violinist Jean-Pierre Lacour presents the duos with viola d’amore. The soprano Cécile Dibon-Lafarge was, for the composer, the ideal vocal music performer and he accompanied her on the pianotill the end.