C0316. FRENCH COMPOSERS CONDUCT(their own works), incl. HENRI RABAUD (La procession nocturne; Mârouf); REYNALDO HAHN (Le bal de Béatrice d’Este), GUSTAVE CHARPENTIER (Impressions d’Italie); GABRIEL PIERNÉ (Giration). (England) Dutton CDBP 9747, recorded 1927-35. Transfers by Michael J. Dutton. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 765387974725
“Unless it's a cliché, we know the English conservatives. Perhaps this is why the very adventurous British label Dutton Laboratories finally offers us what French publishers rarely offer us these days: a splendid program of French music currently hardly played (alas!) in our concert halls , and yet defended here superbly by their respective composers. FRENCH COMPOSERS CONDUCT is centered mainly on positively miraculous 78 rpm recordings from French Columbia around the 1930s, and, above all, restored to perfection on CD by Michael Dutton.
We have successively on this superb CD the five very colorful IMPRESSIONS OF ITALY by Gustave Charpentier (1860-1956), the author of LOUISE; the very meditative PROCESSION NOCTURNE and the exotic ballet music of the opera MÂROUF by Henri Rabaud (1873-1949), very intelligently coupled with two works with smaller numbers: GIRATION by Gabriel Pierné(1863-1937), a curious little eight-minute ballet to a choreography by Serge Lifar, evoking a contest between a ballerina and an animated top, written to demonstrate that the record can be put to the service of dance and thus created in 1934, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, with a fully recorded musical ‘plate’ – Serge Lifar before Béjart! – and which also won a Grand Prix du Disque français (for ‘phonogenic’ purposes, the instruments chosen by the composer were limited to eleven: string quintet, flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and piano; among the performers are notably Louis Cahuzac on the clarinet and Jean Doyen on the piano); finally, the delicious BAL DE BÉATRICE D'ESTE by Reynaldo Hahn(1874[1875?]-1947), a delicate masterpiece in seven parts evoking with poetry and refinement the sumptuous Italian court balls of the 16th century, with in particular a tranquil Romanesque (dance from Romagna) and a pantomime on love of Leda and Jupiter.
The transfers of the original 78 rpm records to CD by Michael Dutton are of rare perfection, restoring in all their splendor these priceless recordings, magnified by this truly precious and absolutely welcome reissue: we finally have at our disposal the best reports of these venerable engravings. We ardently hope that Michael Dutton will not stop there, and that he will soon offer us a second volume of these FRENCH COMPOSERS CONDUCT, with in particular CYDALISE ET LE CHÈVRE-PIED and RAMUNTCHO by Pierné, LE FESTIN DE THE SPIDER by Roussel and THE TRAGEDY OF SALOMÉ by Florent Schmitt, and, why not, one or another work by Philippe Gaubert, such as LES CHANTS DE LA MEROR THE INSCRIPTIONS FOR THE CITY GATES.”
Michel Tibbaut, RES MUSICA, 23 Dec., 2005