composers included in this discography are those who wrote concertos and other
works for soloist(s) and orchestra that have been issued on CDs and LPs and
who were born in or came to live in France. As France has always been a magnet
for artists of all types, it should be no surprise that many of composers herein
listed were born in other countries. Although
the concerto and other concertante works have never been as central to French
composers as they have been to their German and Russian colleagues, as this
work clearly shows, their production has not been insignificant. Only a few
concertos documented below, by Lalo, Ravel, Poulenc and Saint-Saëns, and
several other concertante works by Chausson, Debussy, Faure, can be considered
as part of or on the fringes of the standard repertoire. While a number of concertos were written in the early-nineteenth century, they
made little impact on a musical culture that was clearly dominated by opera
and ballet. Even when the symphony came into vogue, later in that century, with
the exception of Saint-Saëns
and Lalo, there were still few concertos being produced by France's most
prominent composers. There was some improvement in this situation in the twentieth
century and that accounts for the fact that the majority of works listed below
date from that time. Concertos are still being written now, but, like most other
traditional forms, in greatly diminished numbers.
Recorded is here defined as being available in a physical format that can be (or could
have been) purchased or obtained from either a commercial or non-commercial
source. Tape recordings, DVD's, music available exclusively as downloads from
the internet and formats other than CDs or LPs are not included.
The entry for each composer consists of two sections. First there is a compact
biographical paragraph that notes some essential information such as place of
birth, higher musical education (including schools and prominent teachers),
subsequent musical careers in addition to composing, and details of other concertos
that have not been recorded. Compositional styles are not discussed in these
paragraphs, and readers are referred to the bibliography where various reference
books that cover this subject are listed. The second part of each composer entry
consists of lists of his or her concertos that have been recorded and the various
recordings of each work. A concerto is very broadly defined defined for the
purposes of this discography to include any work that has the word "concerto,"
"concertino" or "concertante" in its title whether or not
a soloist is involved. Also included is any work in which an instrumental soloist
is continually involved, whatever its title may be. For every concerto that
has them, the opus number, key signature and title are noted and the year of
composition (when known) is stated for all. The entries of the concertos that
have had multiple recordings are listed alphabetically by soloists' names. Each
listing of a recording consists of the following components (again, if known):
(1) performers – soloist(s), conductor, orchestra, (2) other works on the recording,
(3) label and catalogue number and year of issue and (4), if the recording is
a reissue, the original LP or CD release, and its year of issue. Please note
that the performers listed are for the entry work and not necessarily for the
work or works that complete the disc. Also, in most instances, when an entry
work is included in a large collection (especially if most of the other works
are not related to the discography's subject), the list of couplings is not
given but is replaced by the title of the collection.
As noted above, Stephen Ellis has edited this work. However, he was much more
than an editor who corrected my errors both inadvertent and egregious, but he
also enlightened me with his vast knowledge of composers of the modern era and
recordings of their works. His contribution was indispensible and greatly appreciated.
Thanks also once again to Len Mullinger for hosting my work on his superb MusicWeb
International website and also to David Barker for straightening out the technical
problems that I submitted along with the document.
(1) All recordings
listed are CDs unless specifically designated as LPs.
(2) Finally, as this discography is published online, it can always be a work
in progress, as the author has the ability to amend the document when necessary
with very little difficulty. A work of this type is bound to contain errors
and omissions as so much material has been gathered from so many diverse sources.
Therefore, I ask anyone who consults this discography and finds such errors
or omissions to please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be very
(Click on the link to go to the entry for each composer)
Many contemporary composers have
their own websites and others can be found on the websites of their publishers.
There are also websites for earlier composers and conductors that are maintained
by societies that promote their music and recordings. These can be found by
typing the composer's name