Fauré – Sonata Number 2 for Cello and Piano – André Navarra, Cello – Annie d’Arco, Piano – 1951 – ORTF – Paris
Music of Gabriel Fauré this weekend. Sonata Number 2 for Cello and Piano with 2 legends: André Navarra, cello and Annie D’Arco, piano – in session for ORTF in Paris in 1951.
He was born into a musical family in Biarritz, his father being a bassist of Italian descent. His parents took steps to prepare him for music before setting him up with an instrument, teaching him scales and solfège before he began studying cello at age seven. Two years later, he was accepted as a student at the Toulouse Conservatory, and graduated in 1924 with first prize at age thirteen. He then continued his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris, learning cello from Jules-Leopold Loeb and chamber music from Charles Tournemire. He graduated two years later at age fifteen, again taking first prize.
Navarra slowly continued to establish his career throughout the 1930s, receiving a major boost in 1937 when he won first prize at the Vienna International Competition. However, his career was abruptly halted by World War II in 1939. During this time he abandoned his cello and served with the French infantry.
In 1945, after a period of practice to regain his physical skills, André Navarra resumed his career. In 1949, he accepted a professorship at the Conservatoire de Paris as a successor to Pierre Fournier, and meanwhile toured extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Soviet Union, playing with the era’s great conductors. His performances included premieres of cello concertos written for him. Among them was one by André Jolivet, which Navarra recorded for Erato; it received release in the United States on Westminster XWN-19118 (mono) and WST-17118 (stereo). He also recorded a particularly well-received version of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Sir John Barbirolli conducting.
Annie d’Arco (28 October 1920 – 5 March 1998). Born in Marseille, d’Arco studied the piano with Marguerite Long and won the Geneva competition in 1946. She gave her first concert with the Orchestre Lamoureux, under the direction of Eugène Bigot.
She performed both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, notably with Henryk Szeryng, André Navarra, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Jean-Éric Thirault and Pierre Pierlot. She taught the piano at the École normale de musique de Paris for many years, and had many students with distinguished careers, including Christophe Larrieu, Catherine Joly and Marylin Frascone. She was married to Gilbert Coursier, a French horn player.
D’Arco died in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris at age 77.
Dive in and enjoy.
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