P0009. YOURA GULLER: Etudes Symphoniques (Schumann); IBERIA - Triana (Albeniz); w. Ansermet Cond. Orchestre de la Suisse Romande: Piano Concerto #4 in G (Beethoven). (France) Tahra TAH 650, Live Performances, 1958-62. Final Sealed Copy! - 3504129065010
“Guller was born in Marseille as Rose-Georgette Guller, of Russian-Romanian heritage. She began her studies at the age of five. She performed in recitals and at the age of nine enrolled at the Paris Conservatory, where she worked with Isidor Philipp. In the 1930s, on the occasion of a concert tour planned for just 10 days, she stayed in China for eight years, returning to France on the verge of the Second World War and the invasion of German troops. As a Jew, she was forced to restrict her activities and to hide. After the war in the 1950s she performed only occasionally due to illness. She made her New York debut in 1971. Youra Guller's career wavered continually between failure and glory. Her life was a tapestry of heady success, nervous breakdowns, sumptuous receptions, drug addiction. Twenty-five years after her death, she has acquired an almost mythical status. Her known recordings are three rare LPs.
Youra Guller died in Geneva at 85.”
"Romanian Jewish pianist (her religion relevant due to her obscurity beginning during the Second World War), born 1895, died 1980. In the 1920s she had a substantial career, including associations with numerous composers and such highlights as performing the cycle of Beethoven Violin Sonatas with Joseph Szigeti. Although she lived to 85, there are rumors of health and drug problems which further curtailed her public performances, none of them substantiated by anything I have found in print.
Apparently she made only three recordings. A Chopin collection, recorded for Ducretet-Thomson in 1956, is so obscure that I have never even seen a listing for the LP, let alone a copy. Its existence was proved when it was reissued on CD by Dante (HPC 021), a production actually licensed from EMI and in splendid sound. (André Charlin was the engineer.) Guller’s playing of 11 Mazurkas and 5 Nocturnes is profound and deeply moving, filled with amazing subtleties but never calling attention to itself."
- Leslie Gerber
“For 50 years Ansermet directed an orchestra that was second-rate in tone and technique, yet Ernest Ansermet drew performances from it that cut right to the heart of the music. A musician of catholic taste, Ansermet was a reliable, insightful interpreter of composers from Mozart to Martin. His recordings in the 1950s and 1960s with the Suisse Romande Orchestra, which he founded, retain strong interest for collectors who value nuance over tonal sheen. These recordings are of especial interest as they provide a link to composers active in Paris in the early twentieth century, with whom Ansermet was closely associated.
[In his youth] he kept an eye trained on the technique of local conductors, and took courses in music with Alexandre Denéréaz, Otto Barblan, and Ernest Bloch. Ansermet sought further advice on conducting from Felix Mottl in Munich and Artur Nikisch in Berlin, then concentrated mainly on teaching himself the art of the baton. In 1918 he organized the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, from the start performing a substantial amount of contemporary French and Russian music. Ansermet befriended many of the great progressive composers of the time, especially Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Igor Stravinsky. Through Stravinsky, Ansermet met Serge Diaghilev and was appointed principal conductor of the latter's Ballets Russes, touring with the company to Paris, London, Italy, Spain, South America, and the United States. During a 1916 tour Ansermet made his first recordings with the Ballets Russes orchestra -- the beginning of a half century of making intriguing records with less-than-stellar ensembles. Through his association with the Ballets Russes, Ansermet was able to premiere many of the period's most important dance scores, including Falla's THREE-CORNERED HAT, Prokofiev's THE BUFFOON, Satie's PARADE, and Stravinsky's PULCINELLA. As an extra-curricular wartime diversion, on 28 September, 1918, Ansermet premiered Stravinsky's L'HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT in Geneva.
Ansermet was also a strong champion of such other contemporary composers as Bartok and Britten, premiering the latter's opera THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA. He retired from conducting in 1967. His publications include LE GESTE DU CHEF D'ORCHESTRE (1943) and LES FONDEMENTS DE LA MUSIQUE DANS LA CONSCIENCE HUMAINE (1961) [B1009 & B1086], in which he used mathematics to discredit 12-tone and other advanced compositional techniques."
- James Reel, allmusic.com
"Tahra is a tiny classical music record company based in rural France. It's run by Myriam Scherchen, daughter of Hermann Scherchen, who co-ran the music label Tahra, which released officially authorized historical recordings of conductors such as Scherchen, Furtwängler, Mengelberg and others, generally drawn from primary recorded sources. Tahra ceased business after the death of the co-principal of the label, René Trémine. And despite its small size, the label has won some of the classical music industry's most prestigious awards, outgunning many of the big multinational conglomerates that dominate classical music today. Tahra's records are historical recordings, often taken from 78s or tapes of decades-old radio broadcasts."
- Julian Crandall Hollick, NPR Music, 28 Aug., 2005