Samson Francois: Complete Recordings (CD + DVD) | Erato 9029526186

Samson Francois: Complete Recordings (CD + DVD)

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Label: Erato

Cat No: 9029526186

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 55

Release Date: 9th October 2020

Contents

Works

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Chorale Prelude BWV639 'Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ' (arr. Busoni)
Chorale Prelude BWV734 'Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein' (arr. Busoni)
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV543 (trans. Franz Liszt)
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV564 (arr. Busoni)

Bartok, Bela

Elegies (2), Sz41 op.8b BB49
Piano Concerto no.3, BB127, Sz119

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Piano Sonata no.8 in C minor, op.13 'Pathetique'
Piano Sonata no.14 in C sharp minor, op.27 no.2 'Moonlight'
Piano Sonata no.23 in F minor, op.57 'Appassionata'

Challan, Rene

Concerto pastoral

Chopin, Frederic

Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise, op.22 (version for solo piano)
Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise, op.22
Ballades (4)
Barcarolle in F sharp major, op.60
Etudes (12), op.10
Etudes (12), op.25
Etudes, Nouvelles (3)
Fantasy in F minor, op.49
Impromptu no.1 in A flat major, op.29
Impromptu no.2 in F sharp major, op.36
Impromptu no.3 in G flat major, op.51
Impromptu no.4 in C sharp minor, op.66 'Fantaisie-Impromptu'
Mazurkas (51)
Nocturnes (21)
» no.1 in B flat minor, op.9 no.1
» no.2 in E flat major, op.9 no.2
» no.3 in B major, op.9 no.3
» no.4 in F major, op.15 no.1
» no.5 in F sharp major, op.15 no.2
» no.6 in G minor, op.15 no.3
» no.7 in C sharp minor, op.27 no.1
» no.8 in D flat major, op.27 no.2
» no.9 in B major, op.32 no.1
» no.10 in A flat major, op.32 no.2
» no.11 in G minor, op.37 no.1
» no.12 in G major, op.37 no.2
» no.13 in C minor, op.48 no.1
» no.14 in F sharp minor, op.48 no.2
» no.15 in F minor, op.55 no.1
» no.16 in E flat major, op.55 no.2
» no.17 in B major, op.62 no.1
» no.18 in E major, op.62 no.2
» no.19 in E minor, op.72 no.1
Piano Concerto no.1 in E minor, op.11
Piano Concerto no.2 in F minor, op.21
Piano Sonata no.2 in B flat minor, op.35 'Funeral March'
Piano Sonata no.3 in B minor, op.58
Polonaise no.1 in C sharp minor, op.26 no.1
Polonaise no.2 in E flat minor, op.26 no.2
Polonaise no.3 in A major, op.40 no.1 'Military'
Polonaise no.4 in C minor, op.40 no.2
Polonaise no.5 in F sharp minor, op.44
Polonaise no.6 in A flat major, op.53 'Heroic'
Polonaise no.7 in A flat major, op.61 'Polonaise-Fantasie'
Polonaise no.8 in D minor, op.71 no.1
Polonaise no.9 in B flat major, op.71 no.2
Polonaise no.10 in F minor, op.71 no.3
Preludes (24), op.28
Rondo in C major, op.73 (two pianos)
Scherzi (4)
Tarantelle in A flat major, op.43
Waltzes (19)
» no.1 in E flat major, op.18 'Grande valse brillante'
» no.2 in A flat major, op.34 no.1
» no.3 in A minor, op.34 no.2
» no.4 in F major, op.34 no.3
» no.5 in A flat major, op.42
» no.6 in D flat, op.64 no.1 'Minute'
» no.7 in C sharp minor, op.64 no.2
» no.8 in A flat major, op.64 no.3
» no.9 in A flat major, op.posth.69 no.1
» no.10 in B minor, op.posth.69 no.2
» no.11 in G flat major, op.posth.70 no.1
» no.12 in F minor, op.posth.70 no.2
» no.13 in D flat major, op.posth.70 no.3
» no.14 in E minor, B56, KK IVa:15, P1:15

Debussy, Claude

Arabesques (2)
Berceuse heroique
Children's Corner
Estampes (3)
Etudes pour piano (6), Book 2
» no.7 Pour les degres chromatiques
» no.8 Pour les agrements
» no.10 Pour les sonorites opposees
» no.11 Pour les arpeges composes
» no.12 Pour les accords
Images pour piano, Book 1
Images pour piano, Book 2
L'isle joyeuse
La plus que lente, L121
Masques
Pour le piano
Preludes (12), Book 1
Preludes (12), Book 2
» no.1 Brouillards
» no.2 Feuilles mortes
» no.3 La puerta del vino
» no.4 Les fees sont d'exquises danseuses
» no.5 Bruyeres
» no.6 General Lavine - eccentric
» no.7 La Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
» no.8 Ondine
» no.9 Hommage a S Pickwick Esq
» no.10 Canope
» no.12 Feux d'artifice
Reverie
Suite bergamasque

Faure, Gabriel

Impromptus (6)
» no.2 in F minor, op.31
Nocturne no.2 in B major, op.33 no.2
Nocturne no.4 in E flat major, op.36
Nocturne no.6 in D flat major, op.63

Franck, Cesar

Piano Quintet in F minor, FWV7
Prelude, Chorale and Fugue
Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra

Francois, Samson

Ballade pour un voyou
Magies noires
» no.2
» no.3
Piano Concerto

Hindemith, Paul

Theme and Variations 'Die vier Temperamente' (The Four Temperaments)

Liszt, Franz

Annees de Pelerinage, 2nd Year, S161
» no.6 Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
Etudes d'execution transcendante (12), S139
» no.7 in E flat major 'Eroica'
» no.8 in C minor 'Wilde Jagd'
Hungarian Rhapsodies (19), S244
» no.1 in E major
» no.2 in C sharp minor
» no.3 in B flat major
» no.4 in E flat major
» no.5 in E minor
» no.6 in D flat major
» no.7 in D minor
» no.8 in F sharp minor
» no.9 in E flat major 'Carnival in Pest'
» no.10 in E major (Preludio)
» no.11 in A minor
» no.12 in C sharp minor
» no.13 in A minor
» no.14 in F minor
» no.15 in A minor 'Rakoczi-Marsch'
Melodies russes (2) 'Arabesques', S250
» I Le Rossignol (Alabiev)
Piano Concerto no.1 in E flat major, S124
Reminiscences de Don Juan (Mozart), S418
Valse Impromptu, S213

Mendelssohn, Felix

Rondo capriccioso in E major, op.14
Songs without Words (Lieder ohne Worte): Book 1, op.19b
» no.4 in A major
Songs without Words (Lieder ohne Worte): Book 5, op.62
» no.6 in A major 'Fruhlingslied'
Songs without Words (Lieder ohne Worte): Book 6, op.67
» no.5 The Shepherd's complaint

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Piano Sonata no.4 in E flat major, K282
Variations (12) in C major on 'Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman', K265

Prokofiev, Sergei

Piano Concerto no.3 in C major, op.26
Piano Concerto no.5 in G major, op.55
Piano Sonata no.7 in B flat major, op.83
Toccata in D minor, op.11
Visions fugitives, op.22
» no.1 Lentamente
» no.3 Allegretto
» no.4 Animato
» no.6 Con eleganza
» no.17 Poetico
» no.18 Con una dolce lentezza

Ravel, Maurice

A la maniere de Borodine
A la maniere de Chabrier
Gaspard de la nuit
Jeux d'eau
Le Tombeau de Couperin
Ma Mere l'Oye (Mother Goose) (arr. for four hands)
Menuet antique
Menuet sur le nom de Haydn
Miroirs
Pavane pour une infante defunte (piano)
Piano Concerto in D major for the left hand
Piano Concerto in G major
Prelude in A minor
Sonatine
Valses nobles et sentimentales

Saint-Saens, Camille

Etudes (6), op.111
» no.6 Toccata d'apres le cinquieme concerto

Schumann, Robert

Carnaval, op.9
Etudes Symphoniques, op.13
Impromptus (10) on a theme of Clara Wieck, op.5
Kinderszenen, op.15
Papillons, op.2
Piano Concerto in A minor, op.54
Piano Sonata no.3 in F minor, op.14
» III Variations on a theme by Clara Wieck
Toccata in C major, op.7

Scriabin, Alexander

Piano Sonata no.3 in F sharp minor, op.23

Artists

Samson Francois (piano)
Pierre Barbizet (piano)
Christian Garros (drums)
Jimmy Gourley (guitar)
Pierre Michelot (double bass)
Maurice Vander (piano)
Quatuor Bernede
Orchestre de chambre de Toulouse
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise
Orchestre National de la RTF
Orchestre national de l’Opera de Monte-Carlo
Philharmonia Orchestra
Tokyo Symphony Orchestra

Conductors

Louis Auriacombe
Andre Cluytens
Samson Francois
Louis Fremaux
Paul Kletzki
Lorin Maazel
Charles Munch
Constantin Silvestri
Witold Rowicki
Georges Tzipine
Masashi Ueda
David Zinman

Works

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Chorale Prelude BWV639 'Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ' (arr. Busoni)
Chorale Prelude BWV734 'Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein' (arr. Busoni)
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV543 (trans. Franz Liszt)
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV564 (arr. Busoni)

Bartok, Bela

Elegies (2), Sz41 op.8b BB49
Piano Concerto no.3, BB127, Sz119

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Piano Sonata no.8 in C minor, op.13 'Pathetique'
Piano Sonata no.14 in C sharp minor, op.27 no.2 'Moonlight'
Piano Sonata no.23 in F minor, op.57 'Appassionata'

Challan, Rene

Concerto pastoral

Chopin, Frederic

Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise, op.22 (version for solo piano)
Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise, op.22
Ballades (4)
Barcarolle in F sharp major, op.60
Etudes (12), op.10
Etudes (12), op.25
Etudes, Nouvelles (3)
Fantasy in F minor, op.49
Impromptu no.1 in A flat major, op.29
Impromptu no.2 in F sharp major, op.36
Impromptu no.3 in G flat major, op.51
Impromptu no.4 in C sharp minor, op.66 'Fantaisie-Impromptu'
Mazurkas (51)
Nocturnes (21)
» no.1 in B flat minor, op.9 no.1
» no.2 in E flat major, op.9 no.2
» no.3 in B major, op.9 no.3
» no.4 in F major, op.15 no.1
» no.5 in F sharp major, op.15 no.2
» no.6 in G minor, op.15 no.3
» no.7 in C sharp minor, op.27 no.1
» no.8 in D flat major, op.27 no.2
» no.9 in B major, op.32 no.1
» no.10 in A flat major, op.32 no.2
» no.11 in G minor, op.37 no.1
» no.12 in G major, op.37 no.2
» no.13 in C minor, op.48 no.1
» no.14 in F sharp minor, op.48 no.2
» no.15 in F minor, op.55 no.1
» no.16 in E flat major, op.55 no.2
» no.17 in B major, op.62 no.1
» no.18 in E major, op.62 no.2
» no.19 in E minor, op.72 no.1
Piano Concerto no.1 in E minor, op.11
Piano Concerto no.2 in F minor, op.21
Piano Sonata no.2 in B flat minor, op.35 'Funeral March'
Piano Sonata no.3 in B minor, op.58
Polonaise no.1 in C sharp minor, op.26 no.1
Polonaise no.2 in E flat minor, op.26 no.2
Polonaise no.3 in A major, op.40 no.1 'Military'
Polonaise no.4 in C minor, op.40 no.2
Polonaise no.5 in F sharp minor, op.44
Polonaise no.6 in A flat major, op.53 'Heroic'
Polonaise no.7 in A flat major, op.61 'Polonaise-Fantasie'
Polonaise no.8 in D minor, op.71 no.1
Polonaise no.9 in B flat major, op.71 no.2
Polonaise no.10 in F minor, op.71 no.3
Preludes (24), op.28
Rondo in C major, op.73 (two pianos)
Scherzi (4)
Tarantelle in A flat major, op.43
Waltzes (19)
» no.1 in E flat major, op.18 'Grande valse brillante'
» no.2 in A flat major, op.34 no.1
» no.3 in A minor, op.34 no.2
» no.4 in F major, op.34 no.3
» no.5 in A flat major, op.42
» no.6 in D flat, op.64 no.1 'Minute'
» no.7 in C sharp minor, op.64 no.2
» no.8 in A flat major, op.64 no.3
» no.9 in A flat major, op.posth.69 no.1
» no.10 in B minor, op.posth.69 no.2
» no.11 in G flat major, op.posth.70 no.1
» no.12 in F minor, op.posth.70 no.2
» no.13 in D flat major, op.posth.70 no.3
» no.14 in E minor, B56, KK IVa:15, P1:15

Debussy, Claude

Arabesques (2)
Berceuse heroique
Children's Corner
Estampes (3)
Etudes pour piano (6), Book 2
» no.7 Pour les degres chromatiques
» no.8 Pour les agrements
» no.10 Pour les sonorites opposees
» no.11 Pour les arpeges composes
» no.12 Pour les accords
Images pour piano, Book 1
Images pour piano, Book 2
L'isle joyeuse
La plus que lente, L121
Masques
Pour le piano
Preludes (12), Book 1
Preludes (12), Book 2
» no.1 Brouillards
» no.2 Feuilles mortes
» no.3 La puerta del vino
» no.4 Les fees sont d'exquises danseuses
» no.5 Bruyeres
» no.6 General Lavine - eccentric
» no.7 La Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
» no.8 Ondine
» no.9 Hommage a S Pickwick Esq
» no.10 Canope
» no.12 Feux d'artifice
Reverie
Suite bergamasque

Faure, Gabriel

Impromptus (6)
» no.2 in F minor, op.31
Nocturne no.2 in B major, op.33 no.2
Nocturne no.4 in E flat major, op.36
Nocturne no.6 in D flat major, op.63

Franck, Cesar

Piano Quintet in F minor, FWV7
Prelude, Chorale and Fugue
Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra

Francois, Samson

Ballade pour un voyou
Magies noires
» no.2
» no.3
Piano Concerto

Hindemith, Paul

Theme and Variations 'Die vier Temperamente' (The Four Temperaments)

Liszt, Franz

Annees de Pelerinage, 2nd Year, S161
» no.6 Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
Etudes d'execution transcendante (12), S139
» no.7 in E flat major 'Eroica'
» no.8 in C minor 'Wilde Jagd'
Hungarian Rhapsodies (19), S244
» no.1 in E major
» no.2 in C sharp minor
» no.3 in B flat major
» no.4 in E flat major
» no.5 in E minor
» no.6 in D flat major
» no.7 in D minor
» no.8 in F sharp minor
» no.9 in E flat major 'Carnival in Pest'
» no.10 in E major (Preludio)
» no.11 in A minor
» no.12 in C sharp minor
» no.13 in A minor
» no.14 in F minor
» no.15 in A minor 'Rakoczi-Marsch'
Melodies russes (2) 'Arabesques', S250
» I Le Rossignol (Alabiev)
Piano Concerto no.1 in E flat major, S124
Reminiscences de Don Juan (Mozart), S418
Valse Impromptu, S213

Mendelssohn, Felix

Rondo capriccioso in E major, op.14
Songs without Words (Lieder ohne Worte): Book 1, op.19b
» no.4 in A major
Songs without Words (Lieder ohne Worte): Book 5, op.62
» no.6 in A major 'Fruhlingslied'
Songs without Words (Lieder ohne Worte): Book 6, op.67
» no.5 The Shepherd's complaint

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Piano Sonata no.4 in E flat major, K282
Variations (12) in C major on 'Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman', K265

Prokofiev, Sergei

Piano Concerto no.3 in C major, op.26
Piano Concerto no.5 in G major, op.55
Piano Sonata no.7 in B flat major, op.83
Toccata in D minor, op.11
Visions fugitives, op.22
» no.1 Lentamente
» no.3 Allegretto
» no.4 Animato
» no.6 Con eleganza
» no.17 Poetico
» no.18 Con una dolce lentezza

Ravel, Maurice

A la maniere de Borodine
A la maniere de Chabrier
Gaspard de la nuit
Jeux d'eau
Le Tombeau de Couperin
Ma Mere l'Oye (Mother Goose) (arr. for four hands)
Menuet antique
Menuet sur le nom de Haydn
Miroirs
Pavane pour une infante defunte (piano)
Piano Concerto in D major for the left hand
Piano Concerto in G major
Prelude in A minor
Sonatine
Valses nobles et sentimentales

Saint-Saens, Camille

Etudes (6), op.111
» no.6 Toccata d'apres le cinquieme concerto

Schumann, Robert

Carnaval, op.9
Etudes Symphoniques, op.13
Impromptus (10) on a theme of Clara Wieck, op.5
Kinderszenen, op.15
Papillons, op.2
Piano Concerto in A minor, op.54
Piano Sonata no.3 in F minor, op.14
» III Variations on a theme by Clara Wieck
Toccata in C major, op.7

Scriabin, Alexander

Piano Sonata no.3 in F sharp minor, op.23

Artists

Samson Francois (piano)
Pierre Barbizet (piano)
Christian Garros (drums)
Jimmy Gourley (guitar)
Pierre Michelot (double bass)
Maurice Vander (piano)
Quatuor Bernede
Orchestre de chambre de Toulouse
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise
Orchestre National de la RTF
Orchestre national de l’Opera de Monte-Carlo
Philharmonia Orchestra
Tokyo Symphony Orchestra

Conductors

Louis Auriacombe
Andre Cluytens
Samson Francois
Louis Fremaux
Paul Kletzki
Lorin Maazel
Charles Munch
Constantin Silvestri
Witold Rowicki
Georges Tzipine
Masashi Ueda
David Zinman

About

Samson François was a true poet of the piano. A brilliant, inspired pianist especially identified with the music of Chopin, Debussy and Ravel, he played with both the proverbial clarity of the French school and a visceral immediacy and spontaneity. Charismatic, sometimes provocative, and numbering jazz among his passions, he achieved celebrity status – notably in France and Japan. The works of Chopin are prominent in this collection – melodic contours were always a priority for François – but the complete list of composers is richly diverse. Three major new bonuses are the long-awaited world premiere release of François’s penultimate live recital, recorded at the Nohant Festival in France in June 1970, just four months before his death at the age of 46; a recital recorded in Tokyo in 1969, and a DVD documentary, written by his son, Maximilien François. This new edition places all recordings in the context of their original couplings and the CD wallets carry the original artwork.

This 55-disc box set marks 50 years since the death, on 22 October 1970 at the age of just 46, of the French pianist (and composer) Samson François. The box is an expanded version of a collection first released 10 years ago. This new edition places all recordings in the context of their original couplings and the CD wallet designs feature the original artwork.

Samson François was a brilliant, inspired pianist, particularly identified with the music of Chopin, Debussy and Ravel. His playing combines the proverbial clarity of the French school with a visceral immediacy and spontaneity. François himself said that a pianist “should never sound under any obligation to play the next note,” or feel constrained by barlines. Gramophone magazine has noted the “strange and alluring genius” of his playing, describing it as “alive with personal magic” and sharing “every imaginative possibility”.

Samson François’s life was colourful, even dramatic. He was born in Frankfurt in 1924 to a French family that moved from country to country, and he often took a creative approach to his own biography. A charismatic, sometimes provocative figure, he achieved celebrity status, notably in France and Japan, and was renowned for his charm and eloquence. His lifestyle was idiosyncratic and undisciplined. A heavy smoker and drinker, he liked to stay up all night, often in jazz clubs. In 1968 he suffered a heart attack on stage, dying two years later.

François’s credentials as a French pianist were impeccable. After initial studies in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, he became a student in Nice and subsequently in Paris, where, on the recommendation of Alfred Cortot, his teachers were Yvonne Lefébure (at the École Normale de Musique, co-founded by Cortot in 1919) and Marguerite Long (at the Paris Conservatoire). He also studied harmony with the great composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. He first performed a concerto in Paris (Liszt’s Piano Concerto no.1) in 1941, at the age of just 17, but his career was well and truly launched by his victory in the inaugural Long-Thibaud Competition in 1943. Beyond France, he appeared around Europe, the USA, the Middle East and Japan, and broke ground with his performances in the Soviet Union and China.

Samson François: The Complete Recordings
The works of Chopin are especially prominent in the collection – the melodic contours of any music were the determining factor for François – but the complete list of composers is richly diverse: Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Debussy, Fauré, Franck, Hindemith, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel (including the famous recording of the two piano concertos, conducted by André Cluytens), Saint-Saëns, Schumann and Scriabin. There is also music by François himself, including a film soundtrack.

During his life, François achieved star status in France and Japan. However, the limited currency of his recordings in some other markets meant that his genius was not fully recognised everywhere. Be that as it may, there can be no doubt that he was one of the leading French pianists of his time – and probably the greatest of them.

For this 2020 release, three major additions have been made to the contents of the 2010 collection:
• The long-awaited world premiere release of a recording of François’s penultimate live recital, which took place in June 1970 – just four months before his death – at the Nohant Festival in central France. He performs music by Schumann and Ravel, but the venue has a special association with his beloved Chopin: Nohant was the country home of Chopin’s mistress George Sand.
• A recital recorded at the Nissay Theatre in Tokyo in 1969 (Franck, Fauré, Debussy)
• The 1998 documentary Samson François l’enchanteur, directed by Christian Girier and written by the pianist’s son, Maximilien François, available for the first time in DVD.

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