Aimée Van De Wiele Plays Music Of Jean-Jacques Grunenwald – 1963 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone
Aimée Van de Wiele, one of the great Harpsichord players of the 20th century in a broadcast studio recording of the Suite de Danses by French contemporary composer Jean-Jacques Grunenwald. Recorded circa 1963, but most likely 1962.
Though probably not as well known to the casual listener as Wanda Landowska, the artist whom many considered Van de Wiele to be her heir apparent, the Belgian born Van de Wiele first studied at the Royal Conservator of Brussels before continuing her studies at the Paris Conservatory, studying under none other than Wanda Landowska until just before her death in 1959. Shortly after, Van de Wiele became Professor at the Conservatory, following in Landowska’s footsteps.
She recorded a considerable amount during her lifetime (Van de Wiele died in 1991), and was well known for her interpretations of Bach and Couperin. However, it was the legendary recording for Pathé-Marconi of the Concerto Champetre by Francis Poulenc which made the biggest impression among collectors. The piece was written for Landowska, who played the premier in 1929, and subsequently played it frequently throughout her career. But since Landowska was gone,a modern recording of the piece was done just before Poulenc’s death in 1963, and Van de Wiele filled the part admirably.
Jean-Jacques Grunenwald was a prolific composer. Born in 1911, like Van de Wiele, he also studied at the Paris Conservatory where he won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1938. The Suite des Dances dates from 1948. In addition to a prolific legacy, he was also a much sought-after film composer working with many well-known French directors, including Robert Bresson, among others. Although his music is seldom played of late, it is probably more likely you will hear his work via a French Film revival, than a concert hall.
As far as I know, there are no commercial recordings of this piece, and this performance by Aimée Van de Wiele may be the only one that was documented.
Excellent performance and recording. Might be worth taking some time off, just sitting and listening; staring off into space.
Just an idea.