June 6, 2010

(Andre Cluytens - one of the true luminaries of French music . . .who happened to be Belgian)

A tiny cheat today. This recording actually comes from a set of transcription discs sent out by the French Broadcasting System in the late 1940s and early 1950s to radio stations promoting the cause of French music and French performers. The likelihood of this particular performance showing up at your record store in 1949 was remote at best, but it's so good and so rare that I had to put aside the notion that everything in these posts has to run at 78 rpm and offer it for you today.

This performance of Debussy's Jeux was made roughly around 1949, and possibly earlier. It features the French National Orchestra led by the legendary Andre Cluytens. Cluytens is probably more closely associated with the Paris Conservatory, an orchestra he was almost synonymous with from the early-1950s until his death in 1965.But his association with the French National Orchestra pre-dates that by some years and even though he recorded comparatively little with them, several of those recordings are considered classics.

This performance of Jeux has never been available commercially, as far as I know. Who has the masters is anyone's guess.

So until you can find a better copy or source, here is this one for now.

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