Paul Paray leading an imaginary concert
Paul Paray - last episode of the 5 part series. A much loved and admired figure in French Music.

Paul Paray Leads L’Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France In An Imaginary Concert – 1964-1971- Episode 5 (Final) – Past Daily Mid-Week Concert

Paul Paray leading an imaginary concert

Paul Paray – last episode of the 5 part series. A much loved and admired figure in French Music.

Paul Paray – Retrospective with l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France – Last Episode (#5) – Radio France Musique 2014 –

The fifth and last episode of this wonderful series of live performances featuring the legendary Paul Paray leading l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France – this time in an imaginary concert taken from live performances recorded between 1964 and 1971.

Here’s what’s on the player:

1. Richard Wagner
Overture: Der Meistersinger
Concert of 1964

2. Gabriel Fauré
Pelléas et Mélisande *
Concert of March 19, 1970

3. Sergey PROKOFIEV
Classical symphony
Concert of March 19, 1970

4. Florent Schmitt
Tragedy of Salomé
Concert of January 22, 1971

5. Maurice Ravel
Boléro
Concert of February 7, 1969

6. Gabriel Fauré
Pavane
1972

7. Claude Debussy
Last of the 3 nocturnes “Sirènes”
1971

The working life of Paul Paray was interrupted by two World Wars, embraced a revolution in musical thought and is now preserved on a medium whose rudiments barely existed when he was born. That he achieved only minor international celebrity is to be regretted today only in that he left behind a smaller legacy of recordings than has been accorded the famous “names” (Toscanini, Walter – your choice) who led larger orchestras. More to the point, he was French, at a time when conductors were still typed by nationality. The breadth of his repertory is only partly represented by his recordings, and his modest achievements as a composer relegated to footnotes of a time when Debussy, Ravel, Roussel and Milhaud were rewriting musical syntax and grammar. We have much to celebrate in the life of Paul Paray.

Paray wasn’t the kind of conductor to make headlines with his wild lifestyle. In photos, he looks cheerful and relaxed, and in earlier pictures, you can also see a kind of cautious curiosity in his eyes. His reticence did nothing to halt his rise to fame. Among his countless honors and awards, one stands out from the pack. Four years prior to his death, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor. Only two other musicians had received it before him – Camille Saint-Saens and Gabriel Fauré. They were perhaps less reserved than Paray, but the three of them had at least one thing in common: they were tirelessly creative giants of their field.

Enjoy.

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