Ernest Bloch – considered one of the Avant-Garde American Composers in the early 20th Century.
Click on the link here for Audio player: Bloch- Concerto Grosso – 1931
A few years ago, when I first put this piece up on Newstalgia, a lot of readers expressed happiness over its inclusion, but weren’t too thrilled about the sound of the recording. Truth was, at the time the audio player I was using at my old site wasn’t very good – it was great for speeches and spoken word, but it blew chunks as far as music was concerned.
Several of you have written asking if it were possible to re-post a lot of the old 78’s I had originally put up on the old site and this weekend it’s one of them.
The Concerto Grosso for Strings and Piano by early 20th Century American composer Ernest Bloch, in what was the world premier recording for RCA-Victor in 1931, featuring the Curtis Institute Ensemble conducted by Louis Bailly.
Not a big seller in its day, and never seeing the light of reissue as far as I know, but with the seemingly millions of small labels and on-line fans, you can never be sure, this may very well be (aside from the earlier post on Newstalgia) the only available recording of this piece. And with the new player, hopefully it will get a few new fans.
Fernand Oubradous – led one of the most influential ensembles of the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Click on the link here for Audio player: Challan – Concerto Grosso for Three Trumpets & String Orch.
Another of the lately-less known French composers featured this weekend. Rene Challan is probably better recognized among collectors as the producer of some of the great recording sessions to come out of France in the 1950’s and 1960’s, associated with EMI France (Pathè Marconi). But he was also a talented and widely respected composer whose works haven’t been performed much, if at all, of late.
This weekend’s post comes from the seemingly endless mountain of French Radio transcriptions of the 1940’s and 1950’s and features Challan’s Concerto Grosso for Three Trumpets and String Orchestra, with Roger Delmotte as one of the trumpet solos.
The orchestra is led by the legendary performer/conductor Fernand Oubradous, whose numerous Chamber recordings for various labels in France in the 1930’s,40’s and 50’s were virtual benchmarks for many works being recorded for the first time.
This radio performance, from an unnamed concert venue and with an equally unnamed date, figures to be around 1948. The work itself was premiered in 1945 and I suspect this was one of the first performances of that piece. I am not sure if the work has ever been made available commercially and certainly this transcription hasn’t seen the light of reissue. So this may be something of rare treat for the curious.
A word of caution though – since a lot of these discs were stored in less-than-ideal circumstances, it may take an adventuresome spirit to go along with the curiosity. Sometimes the technical limitations of the actual performance recording are only magnified by the rotten sounding discs. But who says for Art you don’t suffer?
But honestly, it will take about 30 seconds to get used to and the piece itself is worth hearing. But I had to give you a heads-up.