Jean Doyen - One of the beacons of French Piano in the 1950s.

Jean Doyen - One of the beacons of French Piano in the 1950s.
Jean Doyen – One of the beacons of French Piano in the 1950s.

– Reynaldo Hahn – Piano Concerto – Jean Doyen, Piano – French Radio Orchestra, Eugène Bigot, cond. – 1952 – ORTF – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

This weekend it’s a performance of the not-so-obscure Piano Concerto by the early 20th century composer Reynaldo Hahn. With the legendary Jean Doyen at the piano and the French National Radio Orchestra led by the equally legendary Eugène Bigot. This radio studio recording was made “around” 1952 in Paris.

At the time of this recording, Hahn’s Piano Concerto was not all that well known, but Hahn’s reputation as a composer of songs was very well known and there were numerous recordings of his self-accompanied singing available at the time, as well as recordings by a veritable who’s who of singers from the turn of the century onward. But since then, his Piano Concerto has received a number of performances and is currently available in several recorded versions, including a reissue of the Premier 1934 recording, which featured Hahn himself and the great Brazilian pianist Magda Tagliaferro.

This broadcast features Jean Doyen, who was professor of piano at the Conservatoire de Paris, succeeding Marguerite Long. Among his pupils were Idil Biret, Roger Boutry, Philippe Entremont, Marie-Thérèse Fourneau, Claude Kahn, André Krust, Arthur Moreira Lima, Bernard Job, Dominique Merlet and Chantal Riou.

Doyen is best known for his interpretations of 19th and 20th century French music, notably in the works of Gabriel Pierné, Reynaldo Hahn and Vincent d’Indy and is considered one of the great interpreters of this repertoire and above all, of Maurice Ravel and Gabriel Fauré. He also enjoyed playing Vincent d’Indy’s Fantaisie sur un vieil air de ronde française and Samazeuilh’s Trois Danses. However, he recorded Chopin’s waltzes, and premiered the Variations sur un thème de Don Juan.

Sadly, this particular performance hasn’t had the benefit of a reissue, or even a commercial issue. Maybe for not much longer.

But you can still enjoy it here.

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5 thoughts on “Jean Doyen With Eugène Bigot And The Paris Radio Symphony Play Hahn – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

  1. Many thanks for this rarity. I was wondering, looking over the various recordings of French goodies you’ve posted, whether you have any versions of Le Chausseur maudit in your archive…? Best, m.

    1. Hi Michael: I will check. I suspect there is, but I haven’t gone through all the discs yet. If/when I do, I will post it.
      Best, Gordon

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