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.
Conductor, Musicologist but not particularly known as a composer.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: The Paris Wind Ensemble – Blanchard: Quartet for Woodwinds – ORTF Studio recording – circa 1955
Roger Blanchard (1919-2011) wasn’t particularly recognized as a composer. His many recordings as founder of the Roger Blancard Vocal Ensemble are probably better known. But in the 1950s he was an up-and-comer from the Paris Conservatory with a bright future as a composer of Contemporary music.
Here is one of those compositions – his Quartet for Woodwinds, as performed on this ORTF studio session by The Paris Wind Ensemble from approximately 1955.
Another unissued performance via French Radio.
Andrè Navarra – one of the more eloquent exponents of French Cello playing.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/lalo-cello-concerto-navarra-cluytens.mp3]
(Bear with us on the Audio Player situation – hopefully it will be straightened out by next week) (UPDATE: It’s fixed)
Over to Paris this weekend for a Radio studio recording of the Lalo Cello Concerto, with the legendary Andrè Navarra, cello and the Paris Conservatory, conducted by the great Andrè Cluytens.
No date on the disc, but judging from the other sessions around this time, it would be about 1949 by my calculations; maybe a little earlier, maybe a little later. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific – there’s no information to be had at the moment.
Nevertheless, any broadcast performance with either Andrè Navarra or Andrè Cluytens is cause for celebration anyway. And since I am doubtful this performance has been reissued, or even issued in any form other than this French Radio Transcription disc, it constitutes a rare find to go along with being an enjoyable find.
And that’s how Sunday nights should go.
So enjoy this one, and come back next week.
Jacques Ibert – A stature that’s increased over the years.
Click on the link for Audio Player: Jacques Ibert – Capriccio
Covering some familiar territory tonight. Familiar composer, but a less familiar work. Jacques Ibert has enjoyed a popularity undiminished with time. Versatile and well regarded during his lifetime, his popularity has only increased since his death 50 years ago.
A prolific composer, not all his works have been presented either on a regular or sporadic basis. This weekend it’s one of those lesser performed works. His Capriccio for Chamber Ensemble features the Ensemble of The Paris Conservatory conducted by Louis Martin in this broadcast concert from French Radio circa 1954.
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Andrè Cluytens – One of the giants of French music.
Click on the link: Schmitt – La Tragèdie de Salomè – PCO – Cluytens – 1949 Besancon Festival
Another recording from the 1949 Besancon Festival. This week, a live performance of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragèdie de Salomè featuring the legendary French/Belgian conductor Andrè Cluytens leading the Paris Conservatory Orchestra.
Schmitt has slipped a bit in popularity over the years – his works aren’t played all that much in concert halls. But at the time of this recording (from the venerable and formidable pile of French Radio Transcriptions), he was one of the leading lights in early 20th Century French music, who was able to add (early on) Igor Stravinsky as an admirer and supporter.
Andrè Cluytens is still regarded as one of the truly great conductors of the 20th Century. And if anything, his reputation has only gotten stronger over the years. He was closely associated with the Paris Conservatory for most of his career, and over the years the treasure trove of his live concert recordings have surfaced commercially, much to the gratitude of a whole society of collectors. But a lot still haven’t, and I think we can count this particular performance among that many that haven’t been reissued.