Berioz – Suite from La Damnation de Faust – Orchestra Of The ORTF – Eugéne Bigot, Conductor – 1952 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
A very familiar work with a historic performance. The Suite from La Damnation de Faust by Hector Berlioz in this 1952 Studio broadcast featuring the legendary French conductor Eugéne Bigot and the Orchestra of French Radio in Paris.
Eugéne Bigot was one of the major figures on the music scene in France throughout the early-mid 20th century. He was closely associated with the French Government Broadcasting System (ORTF) as well as a prominent figure at the Paris Conservatory. He recorded a prodigious amount from the early 1930s on into the 1950s.
But his real bulk of activity was through radio, but sadly not very much has survived – although certainly enough to warrant a retrospective of his work. He was particularly active during the war years and, from accounts, broadcast a concert almost every day during the customary lunch hour.
Once France was liberated and the war was over, Bigot increased his activity which continued up until his death in 1965.
Aside from a considerable number of new works and premiers, Bigot did broadcast many of the “tried-and-true” works of French musical literature – one of those is the Suite from Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust which is featured today.
He may not be the household name he was throughout the 1930s and 40s, but he is well known to collectors, particularly those who specialize in French music. He was one of the greats.
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