A familiar name this week; Ernest Chausson has been widely regarded as one of the key French composers of the late 19th/early 20th century. A composer whose work was largely overlooked at the time, but it wasn’t until later in life that recognition was finally coming in his direction. Sadly, he would never see it, as he had died from a bicycle accident at age 44 just as recognition for his unique and individual qualities were becoming glowingly apparent. Speculation was rife for a while that Chausson had decided to commit suicide, as someone prone to bouts of depression it was suspected that Chausson may have decided to end his life. But several biographers and interviews with those close to him who were still alive, all agreed that Suicide for Ernest Chausson was just not something he would do.
At any rate – he left behind a rich, but not prolific legacy, which is still being discovered and pored over. This piece, Poème de l’amour et de la Mer was written between 1882 and 1890 and was revised in 1893. This performance features Baritone Jean-Christophe Benoit with the ORTF Chamber Orchestra, led by André Girard. Nearest guess, and judging by the programs before and after, that this comes around the year 1962 – could be sooner or could be later, depends on who comes up with the session sheets. As with most all of these French radio sessions, exact dates of recording are almost impossible to get,
But in any event, some rarely heard Ernest Chausson done in a historic broadcast session to end up an otherwise hectic and haywire week.