Janine Andrade (1918-1997) was another in the long line of excellent French violinists to have passed through the tutelage of Jules Boucherit, one of the most cultivated artists of his time. At the age of 18 she took advanced lessons from Jacques Thibaud, having already played the Bach Double Concerto with him the year before. The war years restricted her performances, as they did with so many other musicians, but she resumed touring as soon as hostilities were finished. Her career won critical praise until a catastrophic stroke in 1972 brought an end to her public life. She was even denied the possibility of teaching, so severe was her illness, and she spent the last years of her life in a nursing home. She had rather an odd career on disc. She was popular in Germany and recorded the Brahms in Hamburg with Hans-Jürgen Walther, as she did the Tchaikovsky – though this later turned up masquerading as Andre Herbern accompanied by conductor Hans Lille. There are two Mozart concertos with Kurt Masur, and, rather more well-known, the Sibelius with the Finnish Radio and Fougstedt on Decca. Evidence of her popularity in Czechoslovakia – something she shared with Ida Haendel – comes with her Supraphon LPs of encore pieces with the eminent pianist Alfréd Holeček.
This, in a roundabout way, brings us to Meloclassic’s excavation of three Paris radio broadcasts from the years 1958 and 1960. Franck’s Sonata is played with quite a strong forward impulse in the first and third movements, in particular, and the reading is notable for its sense of tensile directionality. Andrade, partnered by Nicole Rolet de Castel, colours her playing with a few, deftly executed slides. Her tone is a touch wiry and doesn’t evince much tonal breadth, but the moods of the sonata are perceptively judged in a rather small-scale way, a few bowing incidents and intonation questions aside. The Fauré sonata comes from a radio programme ‘in homage’ to the composer. She is very good at varying her dynamics here and though, again, her tone isn’t glamorous or especially personalised, she relies more on exploring detail than promoting colour. Again there are welcome slides, and the recording catches de Castel’s piano action when pedalling. The final sonata is Schubert’s G minor, with veteran accompanist – he had been Thibaud’s recital and disc partner for many years – Tasso Janopoulu. Starting strikingly abrasively and abruptly and with some razory chords, Andrade once more proves excellent at deft articulation and plays Schubert with buoyancy and lively collaborative intelligence.
There are attractive and helpful notes and some well-produced photographs in the purple-liveried digipak.