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“The name ‘Marion’ will always stand for great determination, which imbued your entire career. It will stand for the consummate virtuoso whose playing is both refined and moving. And it will stand for the esteemed teacher. […] Your many outstanding students will proliferate your art for a very long time to come.” These words by Jean-Pierre Rampal, addressed to Alain Marion after his death on August 16, 1998, are a perfect summation of the memory and artistic legacy of one of the great flautists of the second half of the 20th century.

The musical community is very much aware of what it owes Alain Marion. Virtuosi today are common, but great artistic personalities are increasingly rare. And beyond his pure talent, it was Marion’s personal qualities that added so much to his influence. As Pierre Boulez said, “Of course we miss him, but he will henceforth serve as our role model, because for optimism, energy and generosity we need role models and we always will.”

If one were to use three words to describe the Marion’s great international career as performer and teacher, they would be talent, rigour and feeling. His sound—a marvel of beauty and expression—influenced generations of flautists. Philippe Bernold, one of his most brilliant disciples, remembers him this way: “For him, sound was not a quantifiable part of playing […]. Its quality depended entirely on its emotional substance […]. He was as enormously demanding as he was energetic, and we were literally swept along with and transcended by that energy […].

His teaching style may have seemed outwardly simple, and yet it had tremendous resonance with us, his young students. His presence will remain vivid in our hearts forever… Thank you, my very dear professor.” It is the special charisma that emanated from this man and artist which inspired us throughout the creation of this homage.

© Denis VERROUST

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AN 2 2009
AN 2 2009
AN 2 2009

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