Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute): The Complete Erato Records - Volume 1, 1954-63
No texts or translations
ERATO 2564 619044 [10 CDs: 16 hours]

The last elite French instrumentalist whose recordings I reviewed en masse was Maurice André. In his case Warner was the company responsible for large-scale boxed set reissues, and in the case of his decade-older compatriot, flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal, it’s Erato. This is the first box in a series devoted to his complete recordings for the company and is subtitled ‘Auspicious Beginnings’, charting LPs made between 1954 and 1963. There is a 28 page booklet, with a brief biography of Rampal and a time-line, charting from his birth in 1922 until his death in Paris in 2000. The sleeves reproduce the LP covers – usually two or three – that have been transferred. Unlike other such miniaturisations these are not straight LP-to-CD restorations; rather, they last between 59 and 76 minutes.

Many of these recordings have long since passed into the annals of great flute playing, and the high-level nature of the collaborations is such that musical pleasure is pretty much guaranteed, notwithstanding subsequent changes in performance style in Baroque music. Erato’s A&R department chose astutely. The first disc, where, as so often, Rampal is accompanied by the Ensemble Instrumental Jean-Marie Leclair under Jean-François Paillard is a case in point. The pioneering recordings of Blavet, Buffardin and Corette, with some estimable flautist colleagues, as and when required, still sound infectious, and the Mozart Divertimenti are boldly contoured. The Pergolesi Concertos, meanwhile, are notable for the ravishing phrasing in the slow movements – No.2 in D major, in particular.

The second disc features Paillard’s very strong ensemble in Vivaldi and Telemann and there is a raft of sonatas from Quantz, Sammartini and Loeillet. Rampal plays the piccolo in the Vivaldi, and is joined in the sonatas by harpsichordist Robert Veyron-Lacroix – a recurrent figure in Rampal’s LPs, and one of the most prominent and prolific of all French keyboard players of his generation. This disc also contains two arias from Bach’s Magnificat in D major, where Rampal and flautist Robert Hériché lend distinction to the instrumental writing. Kurt Redel is the conductor and Margarethe Bence and Helmut Krebs the singers.

For those who think that Rampal was engaged purely for Baroque and Classical repertoire in the mid-1950s, Disc 3 will come as a pleasing rebuke. Rampal and Veyron-Lacroix, showing his pianistic chops, play the sonatas of Prokofiev, Martinů, and Hindemith – the latter two still alive at the time of the recordings - in excellent style and with fine tone. There’s wit in the Prokofiev, expressive nobility in the slow movement for the Martinů and as a bonus there’s Roussel’s Trio in F major with two thirds of the Pasquier String Trio – Pierre and Etienne. Rampal recorded that staple for flautists, Mozart’s Concerto for flute and harp, on more than this one occasion. Lily Laskine, who also left several recordings of the work, is his partner, Paillard conducting. Mozart is coupled with Jolivet’s Serenade and Françaix’s Wind Quintet No.1 with the French Wind Quintet, an illustrious body of some of the best instrumentalists in the country. These further examples of contemporary repertoire add ballast to the programme.

Discs five and six include the Bach sonata sequence that he and Veyron-Lacroix recorded in Paris in 1962. In four of the sonatas Jean Huchot is the cello continuo player – hugely articulate and impressive playing all round – and there are brief pieces by Telemann and Locatelli. There are also excerpts from Fritz Werner’s St Matthew Passion from 1958 – Helmut Krebs reappears here – in which Rampal is joined by another excellent compatriot-flautist, Maxence Larrieu. There’s more Bach in the seventh disc, where he plays the solo Sonata (Partita) in A minor, BWV1013 – a piece he recorded with Veyron-Lacroix and Huchot on disc six. There is also a superb Debussy Sonata with Pierre Pasquier and Lily Laskine and the Danses sacrée et profane with Paillard and his eponymous orchestra. Telemann’s Six Fantasies for solo flute were recorded in 1963 and reveal his command of rhythmic and expressive components, as well as a rich sense of characterisation.

There’s more Telemann on the eighth disc which is devoted solely to his Quartets and a Trio from various sources with colleagues in the Paris Baroque Ensemble. Disc nine introduces a new accompanying orchestra in the shape of the Saar Radio Chamber Orchestra directed by Karl Ristenpart in 1963. They play Tartini, Sammartini, Pergolesi and Vivaldi concertos with Rampal. With Jacques Lancelot, Gilbert Coursier and Paul Hogne, Rampal plays four of Rossini’s Quartets and he ends the tenth and final disc, appropriately, not only with Mozart – the six Flute sonatas, K10-15 - but with Veyron-Lacroix as the typically sensitive and thoughtful accompanist.

Fine transfers, as one might have anticipated from this source, come from Art & Son Studio, Paris and were made this year. This is the first complete reissue of all these Erato recordings and with the second box already available, Rampal completists had better check their shelves and get busy.

Jonathan Woolf

CD 1
Michel BLAVET (1700-1768)
Concerto in A minor [14:12]
Pierre-Gabriel BUFFARDIN (1690-1768)
Concerto in F minor: Movement 1 only [5:02]
Anne-Marie Beckensteiner (harpsichord continuo): Ensemble Instrumental Jean-Marie Leclair/Jean-François Paillard
Michel CORRETTE (1709-1795)
Concerto for three flutes in G major, Op.3 No.6 [8:58]
Robert Hériché and Christian Lardé (flutes): Marie-Claire Alain (organ): Michel Tournus (cello)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Divertimenti No.5 in C major, K187 [8:16]
Divertimenti No.6 in C major, K188 [8:29]
Robert Hériché (second flute)/Ensemble/Jean-François Paillard
Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736)
Flute Concerto No.2 in D major [10:13]
Flute Concerto No.1 in G major [11:31]
Saar Chamber Orchestra/Karl Ristenpart

CD 2
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Concerto in C major, RV443 [10:48]
Concerto in C major, RV444 [10:29]
Anne-Marie Beckensteiner (harpsichord continuo): Ensemble Instrumental Jean-Marie Leclair/Jean-François Paillard
Giovanni Battista SAMMARTINI (1701-1775)
Sonata in F major for recorder, flute and continuo, No.1 [5:53]
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Sonata in G minor, for recorder, flute and continuo TWV 42:g9 [7:36]
Jean-Baptiste LOEILLET (1653-1728)
Sonata in D minor, for recorder, flute and continuo Op.2 No.4 [7:44]
Mario Duschenes (recorder): Robert Veyron-Lacroix (harpsichord)
Georg Philipp TELEMANN
Concerto in E minor, for recorder, flute, strings and continuo [15:41]
Mario Duschenes (recorder): Anne-Marie Beckensteiner (harpsichord continuo): Ensemble Instrumental Jean-Marie Leclair/Jean-François Paillard
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Two Arias from Magnificat in D major, BWV243: Duet – Et misericordia [3:47]: Aria Esurientes implevit bonis [3:02]
Margarethe Bence (alto): Helmut Krebs (tenor): Robert Hériché (flute): Max Braun (cello): Franz Ortner (double bass): Munich Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra/Kurt Redel

CD 3
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Flute Sonata in D major, Op.94 [21:41]
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Flute Sonata [17:39]
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Flute Sonata [12:49]
Robert Veyron-Lacroix (piano)
Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937)
Trio in F major, for flute, viola and cello Op.40 [14:39]
Pierre Pasquier (viola): Etienne Pasquier (cello)

CD 4
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Concerto in C major for flute, harp and orchestra, BWV299 [29:26]
Lily Laskine (harp): Ensemble Instrumental Jean-Marie Leclair/Jean-François Paillard
André JOLIVET (1905-1974)
Serenade for wind quintet and principal oboe [15:20]
Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997)
Wind Quintet No.1 [18:20]
French Wind Quintet

CD 5
Johann Sebastian BACH
Flute Sonata in B minor, BWV1030 [18:26]
Flute Sonata in E flat minor, BWV031 [10:29]
Flute Sonata in A major, BWV1032 [11:35]
Flute Sonata in G minor, BWV1020 [11:34]
Robert Veyron-Lacroix (harpsichord)
Flute Sonata in C major, BWV1033 [8:14]
Flute Sonata in E minor, BWV1034 [13:26]
Robert Veyron-Lacroix (harpsichord): Jean Huchot (cello)

CD 6
Johann Sebastian BACH
Flute Sonata in E major, BWV1035 [10:49]
Sonata (Partita) in A minor, for solo flute, BWV1013 [13:39]
St Matthew Passion BWV244: No.1, Choir; ‘Komm, ihr Töchter’ [9:33]: No.9 Recitative ‘Du lieber Heiland’ [1:00]: No.10 Aria ‘Buss und reu’ [4:39]: No. 33 Duo and double choir ‘So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen’ [4:37]: No.35 Choral ‘O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross’ [7:58]: No.58 Aria ‘Aus liebe will mein Heiland sterben [5:46]: No.65 Recitative ‘Ja! Freilich will in uns’ [0:41]: No.77 Recitative ‘Nun ist der Her zuh Ruh gebracht’ [2:26]
Georg Philipp TELEMANN
Canonical Sonata in D minor, Op.5 No.4, TWV 40:121 [5:12]
Pietro LOCATELLI (1696-1764)
Sonata for two flutes in E minor, Op.4 No.1 [7:22]
Maxence Larrieu (flute)

CD 7
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Sonata for flute, viola and harp, L137 [17:14]
Danses sacreé et profane, L103
Pierre Pasquier (viola): Lily Laskine (harp): Jean-François Paillard Chamber Orchestra/Jean-Pierre Rampal
Johann Sebastian BACH
Sonata (Partita) in A minor, for solo flute, BWV1013
Georg Philipp TELEMANN
Six Fantasies for solo flute: No.6 in D minor, TWV 40:7 [4:50]: No.3 in B minor, TWV40:4 [3:31]: No.11 in G major, TWV 40:12 [3:23]: No.1 in A major, TWV 40:2 [2:34]: No.8 in E minor, TWV40:9 [4:00]: No.10 in F sharp minor, TWV 40:11 [3:43]
Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1735-1782_
Sonata in A Minor for solo flute, Wq 132 (H562) [11:26]

CD 8
Georg Philipp TELEMANN
Quartet in G major (Tafelmusik I), TWV 43: G2 [12:32]
Quartet in E minor (New Quartets in Six Suites, No.6), TWV 43:e4 [16:33]
Sonata in A major, TWV 42:A2 [6:22]
Quartet in D minor (Tafelmusik II), TWV 43:d1 [15:43]
Trio in E major, TWV 42:E4 (Essercizii Musici No.18), TWV 42:E4 [7:12]
Paris Baroque Ensemble

CD 9
Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770)
Concerto in G major [10:36]
Giuseppe Battista SAMMARTINI
Concerto in F major [13:09]
Concerto in A minor, RV108 [9:01]
Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI
Concerto No.1 in G major [13:41]
Saar Radio Chamber Orchestra/Karl Ristenpart
Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Quartets for flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon:
Quartet No.4 in B flat major [13:08]
Quartet No.1 in F major [12:05]

CD 10
Gioacchino ROSSINI
Quartet No.6 in F major [11:14]
Quartet No.5 in D major [13:02]
Jacques Lancelot (clarinet): Gilbert Coursier (horn): Paul Hogne (bassoon)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Six sonatas for harpsichord and flute, K10-15
Sonata in F major, K13 [9:23]
Sonata in B flat major, K15 [5:30]
Sonata in A Major, K12 [5:42]
Sonata in C major, K14 [8:13]
Sonata in B flat major, K10 [9:30]
Sonata in G major, K11 [7:33]

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