Fauré – Second Quintet for Piano and Strings – Jean Doyen and ensemble – Paris Radio – 1953 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The music of Gabriel Fauré this weekend, performed friend and student Jean Doyen with a stellar ensemble of string players, all culled from the Conservatoire in this performance of Fauré’s Second Quintet for Piano and Strings – recorded for a broadcast performance by ORTF-Paris in 1953.
Gabriel Urbain Fauré 12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, Sicilienne, nocturnes for piano and the songs “Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”. Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style.
Jean Doyen graduated from the Conservatoire de Paris as pianist in 1922. He began learning the instrument with Sophie Chéné (teacher of Blanche Selva), then studied with Louis Diémer (1919) and finally with Marguerite Long. In 1924, he made his solo debut with the Concerts Colonne. He also participated in Jacques Ibert’s ballet Les Rencontres, at the Opera Garnier.
In 1926 he worked at the Radiodiffusion Française, but at the same time he returned to the Conservatoire in counterpoint class with Georges Caussade and music composition with Paul Vidal and Henri Büsser.
From 1941 to 1977, he 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.
In this broadcast performance, Doyen is joined by André Asselin and Jacques Dejean, violins – Etienne Ginot, viola and Paul Bazelaire, cello – all notables in their own right.
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