Raymond Charpentier – Enluminures – Quatuor Pascal – Recorded at ORTF Studios, Paris – 1958 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Music of Raymond Charpentier this weekend, as performed by Quatuor Pascal and recorded for broadcast by the ORTF in Paris in 1958.
An all but forgotten composer, as well as journalist, editor and conductor, Raymond Charpentier was very active throughout the 20th century in several capacities. After his death in 1960 his reputation began to fade and his works were performed less and less to the point where he is hardly ever performed today.
Here is a brief biography, as posted in Le Monde on the occasion of his death in 1960:
Born in 1880, Mr. Raymond Charpentier was for many years conductor of the Comédie-Française, between 1921 and 1944. He had also founded the discography section of French Radio broadcasting. For a long time also he was editor of Music Week.
He is responsible for numerous works, including more than thirty scores for stage music for the works represented at the Théâtre – Français. In the field of chamber music, his String Quartet, his Quintet, are especially noteworthy. He produced in all genres and perhaps – because he devoted most of his activity to serving others – did not care enough about his own reputation. –
The Pascal Quartet was a French string quartet musical ensemble which took shape during the early 1940s and emerged after World War II to become a leading representative of the French performance tradition. It was named after its founder, the viola player Léon Pascal, and was occasionally termed the Leon Pascal Quartet.
It’s not clear if Enluminures was recorded commercially or if this the only performance of the piece. It was recorded for broadcast by the French network ORTF and I haven’t seen any commercial recordings of this featuring the Pascal Quartet – so its a safe assumption this is the only known recorded performance of this work.