OP3286. BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE (in French) (Bartók), Live Performance, 17 April, 1950, w. Ansermet Cond. Renée Gilly & Lucien Lovano; BÉLA BARTÓK: Romanian Folk Dances (Played by the Composer, recorded 1940, New York); BÉLA BARTÓK & JOSEPH SZIGETI: Violin Sonata (Debussy), Live Performance, 13 April, 1940, Washington; OSKAR KÁLMÁN [Creator of the role of Bluebeard, 1918]: Zauberflöte - In diesen heil'gen Hallen - recorded 1929, Berlin. (France) Malibran 175. - 7600003778079
“It might be said that Marjorie [Lawrence] qualified for inclusion in the Paris musical fraternity from the moment she began lessons with Cécile Gilly….Being a pupil of Madame Gilly carried status, for among connoisseurs of singing in Paris Cécile Gilly was legendary….Cécile Gilly proved to be the ideal teacher for the present state of Marjorie’s voice, her current level of accomplishment and her aspirations to be a dramatic soprano….integrating the registers into a seamless progression of notes and eliminating any audible ‘gear changing’….For Marjorie’s [preparation for the Met in New York] she renewed her acquaintance with the young pianist who had accompanied her at her audition with Gilly who [was] Madame’s eldest daughter, Renée, just a year older than Marjorie and assisting her mother while she prepared for a career of her own as a mezzo-soprano…Marjorie’s diaries for the years she studied in Paris show that she spent as much time working with Renée as she did with Cécile…learning every note of any role they studied….”
- Richard Davis, WOTAN’S DAUGHTER, pp.37 & 38
"Noted for the clarity and sensitivity of his enunciation of the text, Lovano enjoyed a distinguished career of 30 years with French Radio. Gilly was the daughter of noted baritone Dinh Gilly. She made her debut at the Salle Favart 11 Sept., 1933, as Charlotte in WERTHER, then her Palais Garnier debut on 13 October, 1936, as Hérodiade. She was highly regarded by Marjorie Lawrence who was duly instrumental in helping develop Lawrence's voice when she arrived in Paris. Sadly, she made no records."
- Jean Ziegler
"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 Denerez, 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