P1307. MARCEL CIAMPI: Prélude, Aria et Final (Franck); Paysage (Chausson) - Broadcast Performance, 10 Feb., 1954; Debussy Solo Recital; w.Fernand Oubradous Cond.: Piano Concerto #1 in C (Haydn), Live Performance, 6 Jan., 1955, Salle Gaveau (both Paris). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-812. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Marcel Ciampi was born in Paris on 29 May 1891 into a family of musicians. His uncle, Théodore Ritter, had studied with Liszt and toured extensively; his father Ezio Ciampi, and his mother Cécile Ritter-Ciampi, were professional singers; and his sister, Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi became one of the great French sopranos of the 1920s and ‘30s. Although he studied at the Paris Conservatory with Louis Diémer, his most influential teacher was Marie Perez de Brambilla, a former student of Anton Rubinstein who is credited with introducing the Russian school of pianism into France. Critics praised Ciampi’s early performances for their ‘great musical imagination’, ‘perfect technique’, and ‘furious temperament’. His repertoire was comprehensive, featuring the major solo works of Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Debussy (with whom he had coached) and including music by Franck, Scriabin, Poulenc, and Enescu (who dedicated his Third Sonata to him).
Ciampi was also very active as a chamber musician, collaborating in concerts throughout Europe with George Enescu, Pablo Casals, Jacques Thibaud, André Hekking, and Yvonne Astruc (whom he married in 1920). His 1927 recording of Franck’s Quintet, with the Capet Quartet, is justly famous.
Ciampi was an illustrious teacher at the Paris Conservatory (1941–1961), where his students included Yvonne Loriod, Cécile Ousset, Eric Heidsieck, and Jean-Paul Sevilla. He formed close ties with Yehudi Menuhin and his family and taught Hephzibah, Yalta, and Jeremy Menuhin; later he taught at the Menuhin School, near London. Ciampi’s recordings, unfortunately not numerous, reflect a subtle approach to sound combined with a real projection of spontaneity. He died in Paris on 2 September 1980.”
- Charles Timbrell