C1657. GABRIEL PIERNE Cond. Concerts Colonne Orch.: Mendelssohn, Grieg, Strauss & Wagner. [Breathtaking transfers of these glorious performances! Highly recommended!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-758, recorded 1929-30. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Gabriel Pierné has been called the most complete French musician of the late Romantic/early Twentieth Century era. In his own music Pierné blended a seriousness of purpose (acquired in part through his studies with Cesar Franck) with a lighter, more popular flavor reminiscent of Jules Massenet (with whom Pierné also studied); his dedication to the music of his contemporary French composers earned him a reputation as a conductor of deep integrity….by 1871 he had entered the Paris Conservatoire to study composition with Massenet and organ with Franck (Franck's organ class, however, often focusing more on composing than on playing). At age 11 Pierné earned a medal for his solfège skills, and he later went on to win top prizes in organ, composition, and piano, as well as (in 1882) the coveted Prix de Rome (for the cantata EDITH).
In 1890 Pierné succeeded his teacher, Franck, as organist at St. Clotilde Cathedral, a distinct honor for a young man of 27. In the late 1890s he abandoned his career as an organist and in 1903 made his debut as assistant conductor of the Concerts Colonne (of which he served as principal conductor from 1910 to 1934, devoting a great deal of rehearsal time to the preparation of new works). In addition to his activities on the podium, Pierné served on the administration of the Paris Conservatoire and composed for the Ballet Russes (three successful ballets produced between 1923 and 1934). In the years prior to his death in 1937 he was elected to the Académie des Beaux Arts and made a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur.”
- Blair Johnston, allMusic.com