The music of Maurice Thiriet this weekend. A prolific composer of many orchestral and instrumental works, Thiriet was also extremely prolific in writing film scores. With some 70 movies to his credit (going from the period 1942-1962), Thiriet is probably better known for his film work than for his concert hall pieces.
Much like the Film composers in Hollywood, who had composed a considerable amount of Orchestral and Instrumental works, so too were French, German and British film composers at the time. These were well paying jobs which afforded exposure of extraordinary compositional skills to a mass audience. And even though some of the movies may have been less-than-artistic ventures; the Waxman’s, Korngold‘s and Thiriet’s were consummate professionals, whose skills were put to good use.
And considering the opportunities a composer has to ply their trade – either by way of teaching, sustaining life on grants or working on films – film composition can be a rewarding artistic experience. Just ask Bernard Herrmann.
But this weekend it’s Maurice Thiriet as an Orchestral composer. In this instance, its incidental music for his ballet La Nuit Venitienne, which he composed in 1939.
In this broadcast studio performance – the ORTF Symphony (French Radio long before they were known as Radio France) is conducted by Pierre-Michel LeConte, a familiar name in the radio studio as well as a popular and much in-demand conductor for smaller labels during the beginnings of the lp era. Checking both CD and lp catalogs, I don’t find any commercial recordings of this work. So it’s entirely possible it has never been available commercially, and certainly this performance has never been reissued in any form.
In any case – a rare piece of music by a gifted composer in what may be the only known recording in existence.