Thursday, March 29, 2012

Casadesus: Two Early Concerto Recordings

One of my all-time favorite pianists, the Frenchman Robert Casadesus (1899-1972) (pictured above in characteristic pose with pipe in mouth) is the subject of today's post.  Heir to a musical family - his uncles, Henri and Marius, were founding members of the Société des Instruments Anciens which pioneered in the use of historical stringed instruments - he remains unsurpassed to this day as an interpreter of the music of his friend Ravel, and I grew up on his wonderful recordings of Mozart concerti with George Szell conducting.  Here are two early concerto recordings by Robert Casadesus, the Weber work being a recorded première:

Weber: Konzertstück in F minor, Op. 79, for piano and orchestra
Robert Casadesus with orchestra conducted by Eugène Bigot
Recorded June 6, 1935
Columbia Masterworks set MX-59, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 36.69 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 18.69 MB)

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor, Op. 44
Robert Casadesus with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York
conducted by Artur Rodzinski
Recorded February 5, 1945
Columbia Masterworks set MM-566, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 62.6 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 32.91 MB)

Cover by Alex Steinweiss
My thanks again to Ken Halperin of Collecting Record Covers for supplying me with the Saint-Saëns set.

For those interested in Robert Casadesus, there's a wonderful website, with a complete discography, contributed to by (among others) members of the Casadesus family.

1 comment: