Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Samson François Plays Chopin [II]

Samson Pascal François — was born to the family of a French diplomat. He learned piano from the age of 2, including in Italy with Pietro Mascagni and Belgrade with C. Licar. In 1932-5 he studied at the Nice Conservatoire, in 1935-7 at the École Normale de Musique with Yvonne Lefébure and Alfred Cortot, in 1938-40 at the Paris Conservatoire with Marguerite Long. In 1943 he received the 1st Prize at the Long-Thibaud Piano Competition. He made his debut in Paris in 1941, playing Liszt's Concerto in E-Flat Major. His spellbinding career in Europe and the US was crowned by a concert tour of the USSR (1956, 1969), China (1965) and Japan (1967). He died of a second heart attack, working on a Debussy recording.
He was also a composer : he left a Piano Concerto (1951) and music to the movies Paris féérie and Ballade pour un voyou.
Until recently, François was little known outside France, but is to be considered one of the leading French pianists of the century. Critics who drew a parallel between his art and his eccentric lifestyle saw his as a capricious, uneven artist that followed the mood of the day. François' recordings substantiate this opinion only to an extent. He exhibited great technical freedom but never sank into showy virtuosity (even in works such as Prokofiev's Toccata) other hallmarks of his style include a mastery of dynamic contrasts, refined articulation and tone colour (as in Debussy's Preludes). François tone was never very powerful, however. As a great lover of jazz he showed a vivid rhythmic imagination, which crucially influenced his renditions of Ravel and Prokofiev. The greatest influence on François was the poetic style of Cortot, but he also showed a restraint reminiscent of Robert Casadesus.
François made recordings of the music of Ravel (most of his solo works and the Concerto in G and Concerto in D, unequalled to this day), Debussy (including the Children's Corner, Pour le piano, Images and a beautiful set of Preludes), Fauré, Franck (Piano Quintet), Prokofiev (Concerto n° 3 and 5, Sonata n° 7), Scriabin (Sonata
3), Bartók, Schumann (Piano Concerto, Papillons, Études symphoniques, Carnaval, Kinderszenen), Liszt (both Concertos), Beethoven, and an extensive collection of Chopin recordings, including the complete Polonaises, Nocturnes, Mazurkas, Waltzes, Impromptus, Etudes and Preludes, the two sonatas and two concertos. François' Chopin is interestingly 'un-Polish' (a strategy striking especially in the mazurkas), lyrical but not emphatic, with great depth of expression especially in works such as the Scherzo in E major and Fantasy in F minor.
Wojciech Bońkowski, August 2006


Source : http://en.chopin.nifc.pl/chopin/persons/text/id/4405

Samson François
Plays

 Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

Tracks

Cd. 1

14 Valses
1 N° 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 18 "Grande Valse brillante"  4:58
2
N° 2 in A-Flat Major, Op. 34 n° 1 '"Valse brillante" 5:19
3 N° 3 in A Minor, Op. 34 n° 2  4:45
4
N° 4 in F Major, Op. 34 n° 3  2:31
5 N° 5 in A-Flat Major, Grande Valse, Op. 42  4:24
6 N° 6 in D-Flat Major, Op. 64 n° 1
  1:52
7 N° 7 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64 n° 2
  2:53
8 N° 8 in A-Flat Major, Op. 64 n° 3
  4:08
9 N° 9 in A-Flat Major, Op. 69 n° 1
  4:08
10 N° 10 in B Minor, Op. 69 n° 2
  4:16
11 N° 11 in G-Flat Major, Op. 70 n° 1
  3:22
12 N° 12 in F Minor, Op. 70 n° 2
  3:01
13 N° 13 in D-Flat Major, Op. 70 n° 3  1:54
14 N° 14 in E Minor, Op. posth.  3:01


4 Impromptus
15 N° 1 in A-Flat Major Op. 29  3:02
16 N° 2 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 36  5:34
17 N° 3 in G-Flat Major, Op. 51  4:17
18 N° 4 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66 "Fantaisie-Impromptu"  4:17


*

Cd 2

4 Ballades
1 N° 1 in G Minor, Op. 23  7:36
2 N° 1 in 2 in F Major, Op. 38  6:45
3 N° 3 in A-Flat Major, Op. 47  6:59*
4 N° 4 in F Minor, Op. 52  9:15


4 Scherzos
5 N° 1 in B Minor, Op. 20  8:23
6 N° 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 31  10:06
7 N° 3 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 39  6:39
8 Scherzos No.4, Op.54 in E major  11:50


*


Samson François - p

Recorded at Salle Wagram, Paris ; January, 1963 [Waltzes] ; Salle de la Mutualité, Paris ; November 27, 1957 [Impromptus] ; October 26-28, 1954 [Ballades] ; & September 14 & 15, 1955 [Scherzis]

5 comments:

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