Born in Paris on the 15th of April, 1951, Francis Kleynjans starts studying traditional guitar at 14 years old at the National High Academy of Music of Paris with Alexandre Lagoya.
He perfects his training with the great Venezuelan guitarist Alirio Diaz.
His talent of concert performer made him become an award winner of Yehudi Menuhin foundation. Since then, he gave many concerts all over Europe and took part in many television and radio programmes.
Francis Kleynjans is also a great composer. Many are the publishers who register his works in their catalogues.
More than 600 parts for guitar, studies and concert parts, solos and duets, trios, quartet but also film music drove him among the greatest guitar composers.
His work was rewarded when he won the first prize of composition at the 22nd contest of guitar organized by Radio France. The part prized " A l뭓ube du dernier jour " was recorded by Roberto Aussel.
In April, 1984, Francis Kleynjans wrote his first concerto for guitar and string orchestra. This part, he interpreted with the philharmonic orchestra of Nice, was presented to the public at the Second International Festival of Guitar of Nice.
Francis has created two others concerti (in 1988 and 1990). They were interpreted by the regional orchestra of Cannes directed by Philippe Bender.
Extract from the catalogue published by Lemoine Editions:
|A L'Aube du Dernier Jour
||Inventions (10 pi?es) Op.76|
|Arabesque en Forme de Caprice
||Canons et Arias Op.92a|
||3 Romances Op. 100|
|Le Coin de l'Enfance
|Passacaille Op. 87
||Fl?e et Guitare|
|2 Pi?es en R?/td>
||Arias (2 pi?es) Op. 92b|
|24 Pr?udes Volume 1
|24 Pr?udes Volume 2
|R?erie pour deux Amertumes
||Adagietto Op. 82 "sur le tombeau de Mahler"|
||Guitare(s) et Orchestre|
|Variations Sentimentales et Capricieuses
||Concert N?2 Op. 80|
|2 Miniatures Op. 102
||Concerto pour 2 Guitares Op. 101|
His discography :
The French press pays homage to him:
Le nouveau Journal: It is worth to follow up closely this interpreter and talented composer .
Centre France: A really great musical moment...
Panorama de la Musique: Remarkable !!!
Le Journal du Centre: Musical as well as spiritual approach, far beyond technique constraints.
La Nouvelle R?ublique: An incredible freedom of expression through an irreproachable technique.
Ouest France: Talent at his fingertips...
Nice Matin: F. Kleynjans makes music with the least phrase, an exceptional concert!
The foreign press speaks about him:
Zwolse Courant (Hollande): A significant event.
Gendai Guitar 1989 (Japon): F Kleynjans is very well known here because its music is often played and very much appreciated.
The press reviews (French GUITARE)
"Francis Kleynjans is a musician whom I know and whom I love for a long time. He is a friend also, a true friend. In my opinion, he is one of the most authentic figures of today guitar. Faithful to his esthetics and true to himself since always, impervious to the least " intellectual or musical surrounding terrorism ", in two words, marvelously honest. His prolixity as composer is as great as the quality of his productions. And even if his "devilish French" style sometimes makes some particularly authorized and intelligent critic define him as "neo-classic", as far as I am concerned, I am delighted by his style, and I am not the only one. If some know how to grow trees, Francis Kleynjans grows roses with his art of writing simple and beautiful things for guitar apprentices. In the range of many of this artist뭩 qualities, this is probably what makes me the more deliciously jealous. He knows it?quot;
- As all the musicians who interest us in this magazine, you are on all fronts: concert performer, composer of a rare prolixity, more than six hundred parts, most of then published, and pedagogue. Is there for you a clear link between these various facets of the guitarist trade?
- They interwoven. The proof is that I learn a lot from the small ones while teaching at the Academy. They force me to compose with a minimum vocabulary reckoning with their technical means, their musical culture, their tastes. Also I have taken a lot of advantage of this " minimalism " in my compositions while preserving my style. Moreover, the works I play in concert are often intended to young guitarists. In fact, I realize with time that in what I do there is always the search for pleasure, wrongfully simple. The "greediness" is to invent this little part for beginners or another virtuoso part of concert without really privileging one or the other. It is often difficult to be simple. Besides, I start to be rather known as a composer and I am basically asked to play my own works in concert, and as a master-class is often added to my music, the loop is looped...
Discrete, elliptic, fragile ?
- Roland Dyens qualifies your style like " devilish French ". What is a " French style " with the guitar?
- Above all, of course, a reference to Debussy, Ravel, Faur? Satie... But also, and this is at the same time what irritates some and charms others, the fact that I never try to disturb nor provoke and this, very consciously. I care about letting people settle comfortably in my music and discover its harshness little by little. French music is the art of the contour, ellipse, discretion in the effects, a fragility which is addressed more to the affect than to the guts. Many finds that corny, so much worse for them.
- Those who criticize you would rather say obsolete...
- But me, I assert this disuse, even in my titles! For instance, I wrote the " Variations sentimentales et capricieuses sur une melodie d'amour" that Tanguy Delan, one of my pupils, has just marvelously interpreted.
- You also have had a Chopin period with the "Vingt-quatre pr?udes" in the twenty-four dial tones.
- Besides, this exercise of style made me discover unsuspected resources for the guitar. In particular for the " unplayable " dial tones, like major Re flat, that by means of modulations have provoked in me rather unusual lucky findings while preserving the harmonic colors specific to the guitar. From this point of view, a guitarist-composer as Tarrega had perfectly understood the necessity for the guitar of a very harmonic writing, very dense, provided " in the center ". My writing for guitar, which kept satisfied for a long time with the principle, very effective moreover, of the accompanied melody, has been evolving for several years to a greater polyphony.
- Have you always composed?
- As far as I remember, yes. At the beginning with the accordion, my first instrument, I invented melodies for hours. Very early, the composition became a mean of suspending time while creating a world around me. Finally, there are not so many differences between my eight years old and today! A little more technique, a little more knowledge. But I make a point of preserving this freshness, this wonder I felt when I found something I liked. Of all my unquestionable works can be well connected, well structured, but I like those which have this small diamond glare, which were born in the enthusiasm, the need of creation.
- Did your classical studies ever bridled this spontaneity you assert?
- No, because I always have been an " Ugly Duckling "! I worked a lot, but not always what I was required to. My first professor, Blas Sanchez, immediately encouraged me to write what " I invented ".
- How do you compose? On paper, directly on the guitar?
- It depends very much. Generally, it starts from an idea that can be a succession of chords, or a melody fragment. I am constantly in awakening, anything I hear can cause an urgent need to compose. Then, normally, everything gets connected according to a mechanics that sometimes surpasses me. And when the mechanics jams, I clog my knowledge by the technique of writing. More and more, my experiences, meetings nourish my music. Sometimes I happen to compose while simply thinking of a person, of her aura. For me, there are two types of compositions: parts that I write for pleasure, which are rather intimate " postcards ", and orders for which I must respect a certain number of obligations i.e. duration, the technical level, etc. But what I seek is above all to emphasize the qualities of tone and color specific to the guitar.
- Are these qualities specific to the cord nylon guitar compatible with the amplification of the guitar?
- Even if I am for amplification, essential in many contexts, one should recognize that it can make lose the essence of the instrument. I think that there is perhaps a limit in power that should not be exceeded. The traditional guitar is above all " a lace ", as would say Roland Dyens. The problem is the same with certain guitars of violin maker, over powerful, and that lose in warmth what they gain in power. Apart from that, amplification proves often to be necessary to sound balance.
Prisons and suburds
- What is your attitude as a pedagogue vis-a-vis a self-educated pupil, who worked the guitar a few years with fingering charts and who comes to see you with a request not always formulated very well?
- According to my fundamental principle, I am not here to put down everything he acquired. I will try to take advantage of the qualities he has developed to bring him gradually the technical elements that are missing to him. Sometimes I even happen to compose while thinking of the problems found by such or such pupil. My aim is to make him know and like a certain esthetics of the guitar, of the music that touches me. Even if he gives up the study of the instrument, as far as the taste to listen remains in him, and perhaps a better power to hear, that뭩 always something! There are no insuperable barriers. Even for a more problematic public one meets in certain suburbs, it is possible to tame anyone who makes the step to come and work the music. If you like, I do not think that the kids of the cities " are condemned " to make rap only!
Pedagogue in concert and concert performer in progress
- Is it simply necessary to speak passionately and without false modesty about the things one likes?
- Exactly! I played in prisons at a time, particularly at the prison of Fresnes where I gave concerts and training. It was hard obviously, but with those who played the game, it was fabulous. A show was set up, each one played according to his means, and I composed a part," Shade ", that is dedicated to them. In certain cases, one realizes that music speaks for itself. If we have faith, if we believe deeply in what we do, that passes... Very humbly, I would say that my pedagogy consists in communicating the pleasure that I have to play guitar, to make music. The requirement comes after when one feels that a pupil, or a public, is hung. My own experience taught me that we can, we must be pedagogue in concert and concert performer in our classes!
- Is there a French school of guitar?
- Yes, undoubtedly, but initiated by two " immigrants "! You probably like it at " French Guitar "! As a matter of fact, the two most outstanding professors of these thirty last years are Alberto Ponce, at the "Ecole Normale", and Alexandre Lagoya, at the National High Academy. Most of the guitarists in activity in France passed through their hands. But one realizes that the little sterile quarrel ( attacks on the left, attacks on the right ) that seemed to oppose these two styles, at a time, gets today, in resume, to the search of a common esthetics, the tones, the colors... Actually I remember that at the Academy where I made my studies, one met pupils more " lagoyens " that Lagoya! They were not always those who made career... It is obvious for me that a same musical goal can be reached by different technical ways.
- Who are the non-classic guitarists who have had an impact on you?
- Those who have above all qualities of lyricism. I will quote Atahualpa Yupanqui, for his authenticity, his purity, his attachment to the ground too. One of his notes and a crystal spouts out! I also love very much Philip Catherine, his imagination, his humanity, his inner song. I like when the guitar sings..... But, beyond the guitar, I like the things that seem essential to me. In this moment I listen to the last quartet of Chostakovitch... What I appreciate above all in music is the absence of artifices. But, to be honest, and even if I am opened to all the musical forms, I am turned more towards classical music, this is the way it is!.