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.
One of the true gifts of the concert stage.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Orchestre National de l’ORTF, conducted by Jean Martinon with Vlado Perlemuter, piano – Recorded March 22, 1956 – Radio France/INA Archives
Even though this year has been filled with great festivals and great artists, the real gems of this summer season of radio listening have to be the series which Radio France Musique produced between July and August of this year, featuring Orchestre National de l’ORTF in some classic and milestone performances by some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.
This week’s concert once again features the legendary conductor Jean Martinon, joined by pianist Vlado Perlemuter in music of Beethoven and Stravinsky. It was originally recorded by ORTF on March 22, 1956 and has been preserved by that keeper of national treasures INA in Paris.
Since the concert is somewhat short, it’s all on one player. And this is what’s on it.
1.Ludwig van BEETHOVEN
Concerto n°3 en ut mineur pour piano et orchestre op.37
Vlado Perlemuter, piano
Orchestre national de l’ORTF, dir. Jean Martinon
2. Igor STRAVINSKY
Le sacre du printemps
Orchestre national de l’ORTF, dir. Jean Martinon
(Archive INA /Enreg : 22/03/1956)
As far as I can tell, the series has concluded. But it’s only hoped it’s a lull before more are broadcast. France Musique and INA are doing a service that has presented art in the best and most enduring possible light. I only wish everybody got into it. These broadcasts are essential listening.
One of the cornerstones of French musical life in the 1950s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Conducted by André Cluytens – Henriette Faure, piano – Besançon Festival – Sept. 1951 – ORTF broadcast – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Something familiar tonight, but rare nonetheless. A performance recorded during the 1951 Besançon Festival featuring l’Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, conducted by the legendary André Cluytens and featuring another noted, but almost forgotten figure, pianist Henriette Faure in a performance of the Ravel Piano Concert for the Left Hand.
What is significant about this performance is Faure was an early champion of the music of Maurice Ravel, and one of the first to perform his works in public. Most of her active recording was done in the 1930s to 1950s, but even then her output wasn’t huge. Her recordings of Ravel’s music are considered virtually definitive because of her close association with the composer. And apparently, those original lp’s are going for ridiculous sums of money in collectors circles.
This performance comes from the same concert as the Schmitt I posted a few weeks ago. So we’re inching closer to a complete concert at some point.
In any event, I don’t believe this performance has been issued in any form, and what became of the masters of this concert is anyone’s guess.
Enjoy and excuse the odd tick, pop and garble. At 62, this recording is doing better than a lot of people.
Performed often during the first 40 years of the 20th century. After that . . .
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Schmitt: La Tragèdie de Salomè – Paris Conservatory Orchestra, Andrè Cluytens, cond. 1950 Besancon Festival – ORTF – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
The music of Florent Schmitt this weekend. A popular figure during the first four decades of the 20th Century, Florent Schmitt fell into obscurity shortly after his death in 1958. A composer of note during the time, but also a critic who made more than the usual number of enemies, his vocal indiscretions once prompted a publisher to refer to Schmitt as “an irresponsible lunatic”. And that may have had some bearing on his neglect in later years.
Schmitt wrote some 138 pieces during his lifetime, composing in most every style except for Opera. During the 1990s, his music started getting a revival of sorts, with a number of his unpublished works being discovered and played for the first time.
This weekend it’s a live performance of one of his better known works, “La Tragèdie de Salomè as played by the Paris Conservatory Orchestra conducted by the legendary Andrè Cluytens during the 1950 Besançon Festival and recorded by the ORTF (Paris Radio).
Cluytens recorded this work commercially, but this performance hasn’t been issued. This is a repost of one I did in June of last year of the same work, but a better transfer and a revised date of performance.
Enjoy if you haven’t heard it yet. Enjoy if you have heard it, but wanted it to sound better.
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.
One of the major figures in American Classical Music in the 1930s and 40s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – John Alden Carpenter – Tango from Dance Suite – NBC Orchestra cond. by Henri Nosco – July 6, 1944 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Some Americana tonight – actually North Americana approximating South Americana by a popular composer of the 1930s and 1940s, John Alden Carpenter who premiered his Dance Suite in 1943. Carpenter was considered one of the more accessible of the Modern composers. His works had an adventuresome spirit, while maintaining an aura of the familiar and he was very popular among the group of Modern American Composers during that time.
This performance, the first broadcast of the 2nd movement, is from July 6, 1944 and features the NBC Studio Orchestra conducted by Henri Nosco, as part of the radio series Music Of The New World. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a commercial recording available of this Suite and certainly no commercial recording of this performance.
So something perhaps unfamiliar and rare, all at the same time.
Earned his reputation in film, but his concert work was no slouch either.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Delannoy: La Pantoufle de vair – ORTF Orchestra – Jean Giardino, cond. – circa 1955 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Largely forgotten today, the music of Marcel Delannoy was wildly popular during the 1930s. So popular, that Maurice Ravel once said he was the “finest composer in France today”. But his reputation was to be had in film – a prolific film composer from the 1930s to 1960. It was largely thought that his work in film prevented him from composing in other forms, which may have damaged his reputation over the decades.
But whatever the case, Marcel Delannoy, largely self-taught, but did study for a time with Arthur Honegger, was fully dedicated to music and its composition.
This weekend’s performance of a suite from the ballet La Pantoufle de vair is from a radio broadcast, featuring the French Radio Symphony conducted by Jean Giardino from around 1955.
At present there is only one recording of Delannoy’s works currently available. A compilation of music conducted by Charles Munch. It’s doubtful this particular performance has ever been issued in any form.
So . . . it’s another rare one tonight.