Less familiar music, performed by legendary figures. This week it’s the Piano Concerto by Claude Pascal, a contemporary composer whose work from 1943 to 2007 is substantial. And in addition, was a professor of Composition at the Paris Conservatory from 1952-1987. He was also a music critic from 1983 to 1991 as well as conductor and, up to his death this past February, served as an adviser on copyright matters at the Paris Court of Appeals.
All that, along with a catalogue of some 30 CDs currently available, it should be natural that Claude Pascal would be a household name. However, that’s not the case outside of France and certainly not the case with the record buying public – aside from those with a propensity to dig for new music. Thank god for those people.
But that’s not to say Claude Pascal is obscure or that his music has no appeal. It is quite appealing and it’s just a question of getting familiar with his work that will change that status.
As for Geneviève Joy. She was a well-regarded and popular pianist and teacher whose championing of contemporary composers did a lot to further the cause of new music in the 20th century. And since she was married to composer Henri Dutilleux, she had first-hand experience at getting the message out to audiences and furthering the interest in what was going on outside the realm of the familiar.
This radio broadcast studio recording comes from the ORTF in Paris. This is Radio France as it was known in the 1960s and a lot was done to promote French music by way of its Transcription service to overseas radio stations. This piece, from the series French Music And Musicians, comes from roughly 1963 and features Joy with the ORTF Chamber conducted by André Girard.
Good music and good music making all around.