S0776. MAURICE GENDRON, w. Jean Françaix (Pf.): Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (Bach); Cello Sonata (Debussy); 'Arpeggione' Sonata in a (Schubert); Fantasia for Cello & Piano (Acc. by the Composer), Live Perf., 2 Jan., 1962 [World Premiere]; w. Bigot Cond. NRDF S.O.: Fantasia for Cello & Orchestra (Françaix), Live Perf., 4 July, 1952, Saarbrücken. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1054. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Maurice Gendron, the French cellist and conductor whose lyrical style brought him international renown, was best known in the United States through his recordings of the standard cello repertory. Mr. Gendron was highly regarded for his elegance in Baroque and Classical works, as well as the deep coloration he applied to the Romantic concertos. Among his best-known recordings are a set of the Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, recorded in 1967, several Mozart and Schubert piano trios with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and the pianist Hephzibah Menuhin, and Boccherini and Haydn concertos, with Pablo Casals conducting.
His American debut took place in 1958 when he played three concertos with the National Orchestral Association in New York City. He returned to play the Schumann Cello Concerto with the New York Philharmonic the following year. Between 1959 and 1967, he performed in the United States frequently, both as a soloist and in collaboration with the Menuhins and the pianist Philippe Entrement.
Mr. Gendron also pursued a conducting career, having studied with the Dutch conductor Willem Mengelberg and the West German conductor Hermann Scherchen. He did not conduct in the United States, but he frequently led orchestras in France, Portugal and Japan, where he made some symphonic recordings. He was an assistant conductor with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta in England in the early 1970s.
Mr. Gendron taught at the Paris Conservatoire until his retirement in 1986. France also awarded him two high civilian honors: Officer of the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit.”
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 Aug., 1990
"Composer Jean Françaix wrote in an accessible, attractive style that often led listeners and commentators to ignore the depth and originality present in much of his music. His father was the director of the Le Mans Conservatory. His mother was a teacher and choir director on its staff. He began to study piano when he was four. Before he was ten he had music lessons from Isidor Philipp (piano) and Nadia Boulanger (harmony, counterpoint, composition). He published a composition at the age of ten, Pour Jacqueline, a piano suite dedicated to his baby cousin.
In 1930 he won first prize in piano at the Paris Conservatory. Pierre Monteux premiered his Symphony in 1932. In the same year he wrote his Concertino for Piano & Orchestra. The premiere of the work in 1934 made Françaix's reputation. He quickly came into demand and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo commissioned a ballet, 'Scuola di ballo' (Dance School), choreographed by Léonide Massine, based on themes of Boccherini. He wrote a piano concerto in 1936 and played it on his first American trip, in 1938. He toured often with cellist Maurice Gendron, the Trio Pasquier and, later, with his daughter Claude as a piano duo partner."
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com