Search this Blog


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Flea-market treasures - Igor Stravinsky's "Histoire du Soldat" on Philips "Tresors de la Musique"

Record title: Jean Cocteau - Histoire du soldat
Record label: Philips / 420 773-2
Medium: CD
Year recorded: 1962

Additional performer(s):
Main soloists:
Jean Cocteau (lecteur)
Peter Ustinov (devil)
Jean-Marie Fertey (soldier)
Anne Tonietti (princess)

Igor Markevitch

I. Stravinsky
Track listing:
Histoire du soldat

Playing time 54:03
Recorded Vevey, Switzerland 10/1962

Ulysse Delécluse - clarinet
Henry Helaerts - bassoon
Maurice André - trumpet
Roland Schnorkh - trombone
Charles Peschier - percussion
Manoug Parikian - violin
Joachim Gut - double-bass

Main soloists, Jean Cocteau (lecteur), Peter Ustinov (devil), Jean-Marie
Fertey (soldier) and Anne Tonietti (princess), Markevitch directing.

Conductor: Igor Markevich. In October 1962, on the occasion of his 50th birthday, Igor Markevich presented as a gift to the Swiss village of Vevey, where he had spent the greater part of his youth, an unusual concert. On this occasion, one of the musical diversions was a performance of Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat with the exceptional performers who are heard in this recording, made by Philips a few days later in Vevey.

A legendary recording!

The above is a cut & paste from the Web... BUT, folks... ah!

I found - for the cost of a coffee - a mint, first French pressing of the Philips' disc and when, yesterday evening, I put on the Garrard the heavy wax, my jaw dropped!!!

Peter Ustinov and Jean Cocteau... JEAN COCTEAU!!! were in my studietto...

A recording from 1962 with EVERY and ALL the merits of Philips' recording skill... the voices are simply unbelivable in trueness and the soundstage is huge and EXTREMELY lively... the hoochie-coochie one-of-a-kind voice of a younger Peter Ustinov is - alone - worth the disc... like the Cocteau's drawing on the (original) cover-art.

I was like captured by the French text and the music intervowing... percussions, double-bass, extremely beautiful violins...

BTW, a musing: the poor Princess - i.e. Anne Tonietti, only sings a minuscule part, only few words in all recording, at the very end;-)

A must have in this VERY edition, still available with some luck - on Web or at some flea market... or, better than nothing, Amazoning for the disk, at least...

A truly superb recording!

No comments: