P1322. GERMAINE THYSSENS-VALENTIN, w.Jacques Beaudry Cond. RTF S.O.: Ballade in F-sharp - Broadcast Performance, 2 March, 1962; w.Michel Debost (Flute): Fantasie for Flute & Piano; w.Pierre Mollet (Bar.): La bonne chanson; w.Loewenguth Quartet: Piano Quintet in c - Broadcast Performance, 1961, Paris (all Fauré). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-898. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“I now have not the slightest doubt that Germaine Thyssens-Valentin was a great and inspired pianist; I've heard Fauré playing that approaches, or even occasionally equals hers, but none that surpasses it. Fauré's music has a confiding quality to it, as though it were a message intended for an audience of one, and Thyssens-Valentin is in perfect accord with this. Those messages…are often of great profundity, and she has both the heart and the technique to convey them. I have not often been so struck by Fauré's extraordinary courage in distilling emotions far too deep for words from the silent isolation of his old age. Why is Thyssens-Valentin not better known? I suppose that being a superlative interpreter of Fauré was not a reliable passport to international fame in the middle years of the 20th century.”
- Michael Oliver, GRAMOPHONE, Aug., 2002
["Thyssens-Valentin's] playing of Fauré is distinctive, fluid, understated and of a rare tonal and poetic delicacy and finesse … No other pianist, in my experience, has shown a comparable inwardness or capacity to penetrate to the very quick or essence of one of music's most misunderstood geniuses."
- Bryce Morrison, GRAMOPHONE Awards Issue 2002
"Thyssens-Valentin's direct, graceful, unpretentious performances can seem soothingly maternal and imperturbable, infused with a seemingly lost sense of inner poise and tranquility."
- Benjamin Ivry, CLASSIC RECORD COLLECTOR, Spring, 2007
"In the playing of [the above] superb artist, we encounter all the qualities that make for a profoundly rewarding experience: wonderful tone and dynamics, color, delicacy, nuance, exquisite technical polish, and a complete identification with an eloquent expression of Fauré's idiomatic style. Much of [Thyssens-Valentin's] playing is quiet, whispered intimately rather than spoken."
- David Mulbury, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2002
"... the obvious choices [for one's favorite recordings] are the ones from the nineteen-fifties by Germaine Thyssens-Valentin, for whom Fauré's voice was the vernacular and who plays these pieces with wisdom and grace."
- Richard Brody, THE NEW YORKER
"Pierre Mollet was born in Switzerland, 23 Mar 1920, then became a naturalized Canadian in 1974. While directing amateur choirs he studied voice at the Lausanne Conservatoire with Charles Panzéra and obtained a second prize at the 1946 Geneva International Competition for Musical Performers. He moved to Paris in 1947, taking courses in interpretation with Nadia Boulanger, with whom he participated in many concerts. Between 1948 and 1962 he made extensive tours in France and North Africa for the JM in addition to being soloist with Parisian orchestras. He took part in several festivals, including those of Strasbourg and Aix-en-Provence, and made his debut in 1952 at the Opéra-Comique in the role of PELLÉAS. He recorded the role the same year for Decca-London under the direction of Ernest Ansermet and later sang the role almost 100 times in major cities of Europe and South America.
Mollet came to Canada in 1967 as a jury member at the JMC (YMC) national competition and as soloist with the Orchestre de la Suisse romande at the World Festival of Expo 67. He settled in Montréal, teaching 1968-78 at the CMM. He also taught at the JMC Orford Art Centre in 1967, 1968, and 1974, gave many recitals in Québec devoted to the Lied and to French art song, and performed on the CBC. In 1980 he founded the Ensemble vocal Arioso, which specializes in repertoire for the male voice with or without accompaniment. In 1985, with the Orchestre Métropolitain under the direction of Bernard Jean, Mollet premiered 'Hiver dans l'âme' dedicated to him by its composer André Prévost. The next year he gave its European premiere with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra at the Nyon Festival in Switzerland. In 1990, Mollet was pursuing his career as a recitalist in Quebec and Europe."
- Gilles Potvin, HISTORICA CANADA