Some rarities from French Radio this weekend. The music of Jean Martinon, played by the legendary French violinist Henri Merckel and noted pianist Marie-Louise Caillard – in a broadcast performance circa 1950, recorded by the ORTF in Paris.
Martinon has been known primarily as a Conductor through much of his professional life – as Principle conductor of the Lamoureux orchestra, Paris Conservatory, Israel philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and Hague Residente, Martinon was widely admired and respected and had a long career with those orchestras, as well as guest conducting numerous others.
However, his career as composer took a backseat, and much of his works have been neglected over the years. This performance of the Suite Nocturne for Violin and Piano comes from 1943, and this might be the only recording of that work. Checking the catalogues, I notice it hasn’t appeared anywhere, so this might be the only recording available.
Henri Merckel has had a long and celebrated career as one of the foremost French violinists of the 20th century – he was a frequent collaborator with Marie-Louise Pugnet-Caillard as well as most of the major orchestras throughout Europe.
Not familiar with this work, but have a listen and see what you think.
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