In the years between 1932 and 1939, French musical life continued to unfold with the usual intensity and richness of practical and cultural manifestations, without however that, in terms of composition, new figures of great importance emerged. The most fervent and broadest interest therefore always led to the activity of masters who had already been authoritative for some time, such as the great M. atony until death) and A. Roussel (who in the last five years of work, that is to say until 1937, enriched the French musical heritage with many pages of high value) and the less elderly A. Honegger, D. Milhaud, France Poulenc, G. Auric (the best of the so-called Six), I. Ibert, Roland-Manuel and other exponents of the late and later nineteenth-century generations.
Activities, that of Honegger, Milhaud, Poulenc, Auric, who, without losing any virtue of daring and personal evidence, meanwhile came to overcome certain juvenile positions of a polemical nature by moving towards a wider and considered commitment. After all, followed (more than traveled) in this spiritual orientation, by the activity of those young people who, like H. Zauguet, M. Jacob, H. Cliquet-Pleyel, R. Desormières (the so-called École d’Arcueil, referring to the latest poetics of E. Satie) and like the isolated J. Françaix, the very young P. Capdeville, A. Jolivet, M. Jaubert, J. Alain, J. Vuillermoz, T. Aubin, R. Bernard, Hugon, Challine, Martinon, Pascal, Desenclos, Landowski, Hubeau, Chailley, Audoui, David, Friboulet and others, then subtracted as new avant-garde forces: an avant-garde very different from the previous one, as the one which seemed appropriate not so much the qualification of audacious and bold, as much as that (which in fact was attributed to it) of “right-thinking”, that is, of conformist.
According to Thesciencetutor.org, this was true for many, not for all these young people; among which the time, albeit short but tiring, has already made a first selection; and new names also brought to attention.
Some of the best fell on the field, such as J. Alain, J. Vuillermoz and M. Jaubert, others imprisoned and others in exile or deportation, not many were able to wait for a profitable job during the war. However, since then (in addition to the already known J. Françaix) A. Jolivet, T. Aubin and especially R. Bernard and P. Capdeville were noted, while Desenclos, Pascal and Nigg obtained the Prix de Rome. However, with the end of the war, a new name quickly gained a singular prestige: the name of Olivier Messiaen, a young man who, recently returned from captivity, already attracted many enthusiastic disciples with his music and mystical doctrines. In which fortune we can see a new proof of the change of spirits, from the so-called “objectivistic” and “neoclassical” positions.