C1655. EDOUARD COLONNE, CESAR BOURGEOIS, RHENE-BATON & PIERRE MONTEUX Cond.: The First BERLIOZ Orchestral Recordings by Parisian Orchestras. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-759, recorded 1907-30. [Quite fascinating to hear these early Berlioz performances so brilliantly restored!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Edouard Judas Colonne was a French conductor and violinist. He was born in Bordeaux (southwest France). Colonne studied at the Conservatory in Paris where he won first prizes in both harmony and violin. In 1858-67 he was first violinist at the Opéra in Paris. In 1873, Colonne, along with music publisher G. Hartman, founded the 'Concert National' at the Odéon Théatre. Two years later, in 1875, the venue changed to the Théatre du Châtelet and the name of the enterprise was changed to The Association Artistique du Châtelet. The Association eventually became known as 'Concerts Colonne'. He was noted for his interest in Berlioz (who was then more highly regarded in the English- and German-speaking countries than in France) and for his support of Wagner's and Mahler's music. He was also the first conductor of eminence to make commercial gramophone (phonograph) records (for the Pathé company, 1906).
The first impression is created by [his] rhythm – an unmistakable, throbbing, eminently flexible pulse….These performances are flourish from start to finish….Colonne was one fine conductor, working with an orchestra far superior to that which one is accustomed to hearing on acoustic discs. Nor does he seem in the least intimidated by the recording horn; gleeful abandon seems to have been the order of the day….it is not often that all the pleasures of listening to historical recordings come into such perfect alignment."
- David Radcliffe, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2006
“René-Emmanuel Baton, known as Rhené-Baton was a French conductor and composer [who] had close relationships with composers of the Breton cultural renaissance, notably Guy Ropartz, Paul Le Flem, Paul Ladmirault and Louis Aubert. As a conductor he was notable for his attempts to expand appreciation of classical music.
In 1910 he was chosen to head the ‘Festival of French music’ in Munich. Serge Diaghilev requested that he conduct the Ballets Russes in London and South America (1912–1913). During World War I he was the head of the Dutch Royal Opera (1916–18) and held summer concerts of the Orchestra in Residence of the Hague in Scheveningen (1914–19).”
“[The Garde Républicaine], so appreciated by Parisians, and which has earned a worldwide reputation, offers the elite of musicians, most of whom are laureates of the National Conservatory of Music. Some even are professors or famous soloists of our great symphonic orchestras.
The strength of the music of the Garde is currently eighty-three musicians….these benefit from different treatment depending on the class. Their recruitment is done by selection in the competition and subject to certain conditions of aptitude for military service.”
- A. Delbe, LAROUSSE MONTHLY ILLUSTRATED, Aug., 1931