One of the shining lights among Women Composers in early 20th Century France.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Desportes: Two Serenades for Three Trombones and Tuba – ORTF – circa 1953 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Yvonne Desportes is probably not a name very well known outside of French music circles. Born in 1907 and passing away in Paris in 1993, Desportes was a prolific composer as well as writer and a well respected professor at the Paris Conservatory. Even with an impressive catalog of over 500 works, including operas, chamber and symphonic works, she is very seldom performed these days, and aside from her textbooks, she is almost completely forgotten.
This weekend it’s Two Serenades for Three Trombones and Tuba, featuring members of the Orchestre National Trombone section with Paul Bernard on Tuba. Since it’s a radio recital from the ORTF, it’s a best guess estimate this broadcast was from 1953. In any event, it is highly unlikely this recording has seen the light of day since it first aired.
A rarity and an unjustified neglect. Seems to go hand in hand.
The Suites were milestones.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Duke Ellington in concert at the Ravinia Festival – July 1, 1957 – CBS Radio Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
The legendary Duke Ellington this weekend. The Radio premier of his Such Sweet Thunder, Suite on characters from Shakespeare as performed during the Ravinia Festival on July 1, 1957.
The Suites of Duke Ellington were milestones – they took Jazz to a whole new level, further expanding on the idiom, taking it to that place where Jazz and Classical rubbed elbows and became best friends. Considering how revolutionary Jazz had become during this period, it was the next logical step and it took someone with the imagination and foresight to bring all those elements together. Duke Ellington was the one.
Unfortunately, this premier isn’t complete. Most likely, a complete recording of this was made at the time, but this was network radio. CBS Radio had time constraints, and there was only 30 minutes available to make the case. So the frustration, knowing there was a ways more to go, and the CBS announcer breaking in and closing the broadcast, is palpable.
But this is history. And as I always say – sometimes history isn’t available under the best possible conditions. But this is a historic performance, and if you haven’t heard it before, or are only now becoming aware of Duke Ellington, here is good place to check it out.
And the weekend rolls on.
Recipients of numerous dedications.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Trio Pasquier, with Jean-Pierre Rampal and Odette Le Dentu – Roussel Quintet Serenade op. 30 – Recorded by ORTF, Paris – circa 1953 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Back to Paris this week for an encore performance (originally posted 3 years ago in not-so-good sound) by the highly acclaimed Pasquier Trio with guests the legendary Jean-Pierre Rampal on flute and harpist Odette Le Dentu in the Quintet Serenade op. 30 by Albert Roussel.
Still guessing as to the date of this broadcast, via ORTF in Paris. I initially said it was 1948, but I am starting to think it may be 1952 or 1953. Any clarification from my French friends would be greatly appreciated.
In any case, a broadcast performance of a work not played often, coupled by a rare performance not made available commercially.
A win-win situation for this Sunday night.
Yvonne Lefébure accompanies Jeanne Gautier in a Radio recital this week.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Piano – Jeanne Gautier, violin – Yvonne Lefébure, piano – ORTF Broadcast, circa 1953
Back to Paris this weekend for a radio broadcast performance of the Ravel Sonata for Violin and Piano as played by two icons of French music in the 20th century, Jeanne Gautier and Yvonne Lefébure.
Jeanne Gautier is probably one of the lesser-known but notable female violinists who recorded in the 1930’s to 1950s but who has pretty much lapsed into obscurity over the years. Less so for Yvonne Lefébure, whose reissues on CD have been numerous in recent years.
As always with these French Radio transcriptions, dates are illusive, but the best guess would put it around 1953. There was a commercial recording of this Ravel Sonata featuring the same musicians, issued on a 45 by the label Le Chant du Monde, but it’s doubtful that performance is derived from this one but it’s possible they may have been recorded around the same time. The commercial disc, at last check, has gone for the princely sum of $1100.00 on Ebay. So . . . . .
In any event, here is the radio recital, as given over the ORTF in the early 1950s.
Elsa Barraine – one of the leading lights in mid-century Women Composers of France.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – click Save As to download: Elsa Barraine – Wind Quintet – Wind Quintet of The FNO – 1956 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
One of the leading lights among Women Composers in France after the end of World War 2, Elsa Barraine was in league with other notable Women (Lili Boulanger in 1913 and Marguerite Canal in 1920) to win the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1929. A wildly versatile career, which also included stints as pianist and sound mixer and Head of Singing at the ORTF (French National Radio Network). After the war (which she was also heavily involved in the French Resistance movement between 1940 and 1944), Barraine was recording director for the legendary French Progressive record label Le Chant du Monde before joining the Paris Conservatory where she taught analysis and sight reading.
Sadly, her compositions are seldom performed today and she has become somewhat obscure in the annals of distinguished French composers of the 20th Century. For no good reason.
This week it’s a radio performance of her Wind Quintet as performed by members of the French National Orchestra Wind Quintet – Jules Goetgheluck, Oboe. Renè Plessier, Bassoon. Bernard Dufresne, Flute. Maurice Cliquenois, Clarinet and Louis Courtinet, Horn.
The recording is from approximately 1956 and was from a broadcast by the ORTF.
Another good reason to start digging around the library for music you’re not familiar with.
Trio Chausson – warming up the airwaves this week.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Trio Chausson In Concert – Radio France Musique – June 9, 2013
Over to Paris this week for a somewhat short (a little over an hour, but very nice) concert by Trio Chausson. It was recorded by the ever-wonderful Radio France Musique on June 9th and features music of Cècile Chaminade, Ernest Chausson and Beethoven.
Since it’s been a nerve-wracking week so far, all the calm available is much needed right around now.
Here’s what’s on the player:
1. Cécile Chaminade
Trio N°2 Op.34 (1887)
2. Ernest Chausson
Trio en sol mineur Op.3 (1881)
3. (encore) Ludwig van Beethove
Finale du 2° trio
Concert donné le 9 juin 2013.
Enjoy and survive the week.
Henri Tomasi – One of the bright lights of mid-century French Music.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Henri Tomasi:Quintet 1952 – World Premier Performance – 1952
The music of Henri Tomasi this week. His Woodwind Quintet 1952, as performed at it’s premier by Quintett a Vent Francaise, featuring Jean-Pierre Rampal, Jacques Lancelot, Paul Hongne and Gilbert Coursier. As a prominent composer in the 20th Century, Tomasi divided his time between a busy composition as well as conducting schedule. He was a prolific composer, producing some 130 works during his lifetime.
Much of his Chamber music has been overlooked in recent years. This world premier performance of the Woodwind Quintet 1952 hasn’t, as far as I know, been made available in any commercial recording. And as I said when I first posted this piece two years ago with a less-than-satisfactory recording at the time, the world premiere recording of this piece hasn’t been reissued either.
So this recording constitutes a rarity and a somewhat neglected piece.
Just the kind of stuff we offer around here.