Sunday Gramophone with another recording from the Radio France Transcription Service. A radio performance by Violinist Jeanne Gautier and Pianist Yvonne Lefebure of the Ravel Sonata for Violin and Piano.
May 22, 2011

Yvonne Lefebure - her list of students read like a who's who of French Piano legends.

Something of a rarity tonight which I am not all that sure has been issued commercially. Two artists whose reputations have grown over the years, certainly in the years since their passings. Jeanne Gautier is probably more of a familiar name to record collectors of the 78 rpm and early lp era. She recorded very little, but her recordings are much sought after and her tiny handful of lp's go for stupid amounts of money. Yvonne Lefebure is probably more familiar to collectors since she was a celebrated Professor of Piano at the famed Paris Conservatory and many of the great names of French piano playing of the 1950's, 60's and 70's were taught and guided by her. Like Gautier though, she recorded comparatively little although many of her live recordings, including the famous Mozart K.466 Piano Concerto that featured her with The Berlin Philharmonic under Furtwangler are available as CD reissues in recent years.

This weeks recording comes by way of the French Radio Transcription Service, and as best as I am able to gather, this radio session comes from the circa 1949 period and features Gautier and Lefebure playing the Ravel Sonata for Violin and Piano.

Listening to this recording, I am under the distinct impression this is the way audiences heard it when Ravel first introduced it. It doesn't remind me of anybody else's recording of this, certainly nothing of recent vintage. I would say there is something distinctly unique about this interpretation of what has become a very familiar piece.

In any event, here it is and maybe here for the first time since it was first broadcast. It's this sort of thing that is the reason I love collecting and love sharing.

Enjoy and forgive the dings and scratches. The discs were not in the best shape and I've done what I could to make it listenable.

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