S0768. CHRISTIAN FERRAS, w. Pierre Barbizet (Pf.): Violin Sonata #2, Op.121 (Schumann); w.Vaclav Jiracek Cond. Prague S.O.: Violin Concerto #2 in e (Mendelssohn); w.Bigot Cond. Paris Radio S.O.: Poème (Chausson). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-985, Live Performances, 1955-59. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Christian Ferras was a French violinist who, at the age of 10, won the first prize of the Nice Conservatory and won the first prize of the Paris Conservatory in 1946, where he studied with Rene Benedetti and Joseph Calvet. He started an international career with leading orchestras and conductors, notably recording the romantic concertos of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and others with Herbert von Karajan. Since the recent retirement of Zino Francescatti, he was considered France's leading concert violinist.
Mr. Ferras, who made his New York debut in 1959 when he was 25, won consistently high praise for his musicianship. Howard Taubman, music critic of THE NEW YORK TIMES, wrote that Mr. Ferras was '’uncommonly gifted’ and that his playing had ‘fire and brilliance’. Over the years, the violinist appeared on the concert stage as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Minneapolis Symphony and other leading orchestras. His grasp of the violin repertory, and in particular the works of Bach, Brahms and Mendelssohn, was enhanced by what Mr. Taubman called ‘a texture and muscularity that reflects the Gallic style’ of playing the instrument.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 Sept., 1982
“Small of stature but sumptuous of tone, Christian Ferras represented the best of the Franco-Belgian violin school. Of his two main teachers, René Benedetti inculcated a respect for technique and George Enescu broadened his outlook - he was to command a much wider repertoire than most French violinists of his era. In the 1960s he was the favoured violin soloist of Herbert von Karajan and their recordings together sold by the thousand. Unfortunately the illness that was to lead to his death often kept Ferras away from the concert hall. But today his reputation continues to grow, as his records are discovered by a fresh audience.”
"According to my father’s professional notebook of the year 1955 I’ve been consulting, Ferras rehearsed and recorded Chausson’s Poème with the Radio-Symphonic Orchestra of the French RTF conducted by Eugène Bigot on 12th November 55 in the Paris Armand Moisant Studio, on behalf of the RTF International Music Exchange Service, with foreign broadcasting systems in North America principally.
Well, this must explain why this recording one day got to Ottawa, Montréal or Vancouver, and I presume YSL was up the task of restoration and did an excellent job of it !
Thanks for exhuming this rare concert!"
- Jean-Pierre Bigot