Jean-Jacques Grunenwald – a name much more familiar in Europe, particularly France, than here in the U.S. – Grunenwald was a celebrated Organist, a student of Marcel Duprè and his assistant for 10 years at the famed St. Sulpice Church. He also toured the U.S. in the late 1930s and was commissioned by St. James’ Church on Madison Avenue to compose a piece in honor of the church’s new organ in 1956.
But Grunenwald was also a composer of some note – for the organ, as well as chamber and symphonic works, and a number of Film scores throughout the 1950s.
This weekend its a work Grunenwald composed in 1943, Concert d’ètè for piano and orchestra, which received its world premier on March 4, 1944 with the Paris Conservatory under Andre Cluytens and the composer at the piano. On this broadcast studio performance from Paris Radio in late 1962, it’s played by pianist Marie-Claude Werkowski with the ORTF Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jean-Paul Krèder.
From what I have researched, there don’t appear to be any commercial releases of this piece and, from what I can also tell, it’s very rarely played. Which is too bad because it’s a nice piece – not weighty or pretentious, but skillful and well executed. Might be nice to dust this one off for a concert soon.
In any event, enjoy the piece and add Jean-Jacques Grunenwald to your list of newly-acquainted composers if you aren’t already familiar.
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