Thibaud: Chausson Poeme / G. Casadesus: Faure Ballade - Vox / Polydor PL 6450
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Jacket EX / LP VG+
This handsome and quite rare LP from Vox / Polydor (PL 6450, US pressing, black/silver microgroove pressing, mono) features the great French violinist Jacques Thibaud in a highly atmospheric account of Chausson's Poème Op. 25, recorded at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, on 4 November 1947 with conductor Eugene Bigot directing the Lamoureux Orchestra.
Neither in sound nor performance is this a technically immaculate reading, but so characterful is the playing, with an authentically 'French-sounding' orchestra seconding the great violinist. Nearly everything this great violinist set his bow to was touched with distinction, and these remarkable recordings testify to his inimitable, unique artistry – this is a remarkable document of a great artist and a bygone era.
On the B Side we are offered Gaby Casadesus' equally magical rendition of Faure's Ballade for Piano and Orchestra Op. 19, with Manuel Rosenthal conducting the Lamoureux Orchestra, also set down at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, on 7 May 1948. Gaby Casadesus plays with haunting expressiveness, and this ranks as a superlative performance in every way.