Ernest Bour And The Strasbourg Municipal Orchestra Play Music Of Mehul 1950 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

Ernest Bour - a champion of Contemporary music - but was no slouch where the 18th century was concerned.
Ernest Bour – a champion of Contemporary music – but was no slouch where the 18th century was concerned.

Mehul – Symphony Number 2 – Ernest Bour Conducting the Strasbourg Municipal Orchestra – 1950 – Paris Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

The Conductor Ernest Bour is a household name to enthusiasts of Contemporary Classical Music. His premieres of music by Ligeti and Stockhausen are milestones in music of the 20th century. But Bour was a widely admired conductor for many periods of music. This performance, a broadcast relayed by Paris Radio features Bour conducting the Strasbourg Municipal Orchestra in Nicolas Mehul’s 2nd Symphony – a work that epitomizes the Classical period of the 18th/early 19th centuries.

Because Bour was a much-in-demand conductor for records, including a considerable number during the early days of the lp,it’s possible this work was recorded commercially by him, but I have nothing to confirm that. So I will go on the assumption he didn’t record this symphony for a label.

At best guess (as it is with all of these French Radio transcriptions) I am saying this broadcast is from 1950 – the sound is less than ideal. Like most of these discs, they didn’t have protective jackets when I got them, so they were pretty badly damaged as a result – lots of ticks and pops. And this one has a nice high-pitched whine through the first minute or two. But I have done my best to preserve the quality of the music, while trying to get rid of as many offending clicks as possible. So bear with me – history is sometimes painful, but not impossible.

At any rate, an important conductor in repertoire he’s not that well known for. And a composer who has gotten short-shift over the years, but who has also been getting some discovery in recent decades.

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  1. What an unexpected program ! i saw several times Bour conducting and rehearsing. Was amazing about balance; the opposite of a show-off conductor. In particular with his Sudwestfunk Baden-Baden forces he supported all sorts of contemporary repertoire but he said that he also enjoyed so much playing his beloved Mozart or Haydn. Thanks a million for that document.

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