Cecile Ousset: The Decca France Recordings | Australian Eloquence ELQ4827395

Cecile Ousset: The Decca France Recordings

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Label: Australian Eloquence

Cat No: ELQ4827395

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 7

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 25th October 2019

Contents

Works

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Diabelli Variations, op.120
Easy Variations (6) in G major, WoO77
Eroica Variations, op.35
Variations (5) on 'Rule Britannia', WoO79
Variations (6) in F major, op.34
Variations (6) in F major on a Swiss Song, WoO64
Variations (6) on 'Die Ruinen von Athen', op.76
Variations (6) on 'Nel cor piu non mi sento', WoO70
Variations (7) on 'God Save the King', WoO78
Variations (7) on 'Kind, willst du ruhig schlafen', WoO75
Variations (8) on 'Tandeln und Scherzen', WoO76
Variations (8) on 'Une fievre brulante', WoO72
Variations (9) on 'Quant' e piu bello', WoO69
Variations (9) on a March by Dressler, WoO63
Variations (10) on 'La stessa, la stessissima', WoO73
Variations (12) on the 'Menuet a la Vigano', WoO68
Variations (12) on the Russian Dance from the Ballet 'Das Waldmadchen', WoO71
Variations (13) on 'Es war einmal ein alter Mann', WoO66
Variations (24) on 'Venni amore', WoO65
Variations (32) on an original theme, WoO80

Brahms, Johannes

Variations (28) on a theme of Paganini, op.35

Chabrier, Alexis Emmanuel

Bourree fantasque
Pieces pittoresques (10)
» no.6 Idylle (Idyll)
» no.7 Danse villageoise (Village dance)

Debussy, Claude

Etudes pour piano (6), Book 1
» no.3 pour les quartes
» no.5 Etude pour les octaves
Etudes pour piano (6), Book 2
» no.7 Pour les degres chromatiques
» no.11 Pour les arpeges composes

Prokofiev, Sergei

Pieces for Piano (10), op.12

Rachmaninov, Sergei

Morceaux de Fantasie, op.3
Morceaux de Salon, op.10
» no.5 Humoresque

Saint-Saens, Camille

Etudes (6), op.52
» no.6 Etude en forme de valse
Etudes (6), op.111
» no.6 Toccata d'apres le cinquieme concerto

Satie, Erik

Gymnopedies (3)

Schumann, Robert

Carnaval, op.9

Artists

Cecile Ousset (piano)

Works

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Diabelli Variations, op.120
Easy Variations (6) in G major, WoO77
Eroica Variations, op.35
Variations (5) on 'Rule Britannia', WoO79
Variations (6) in F major, op.34
Variations (6) in F major on a Swiss Song, WoO64
Variations (6) on 'Die Ruinen von Athen', op.76
Variations (6) on 'Nel cor piu non mi sento', WoO70
Variations (7) on 'God Save the King', WoO78
Variations (7) on 'Kind, willst du ruhig schlafen', WoO75
Variations (8) on 'Tandeln und Scherzen', WoO76
Variations (8) on 'Une fievre brulante', WoO72
Variations (9) on 'Quant' e piu bello', WoO69
Variations (9) on a March by Dressler, WoO63
Variations (10) on 'La stessa, la stessissima', WoO73
Variations (12) on the 'Menuet a la Vigano', WoO68
Variations (12) on the Russian Dance from the Ballet 'Das Waldmadchen', WoO71
Variations (13) on 'Es war einmal ein alter Mann', WoO66
Variations (24) on 'Venni amore', WoO65
Variations (32) on an original theme, WoO80

Brahms, Johannes

Variations (28) on a theme of Paganini, op.35

Chabrier, Alexis Emmanuel

Bourree fantasque
Pieces pittoresques (10)
» no.6 Idylle (Idyll)
» no.7 Danse villageoise (Village dance)

Debussy, Claude

Etudes pour piano (6), Book 1
» no.3 pour les quartes
» no.5 Etude pour les octaves
Etudes pour piano (6), Book 2
» no.7 Pour les degres chromatiques
» no.11 Pour les arpeges composes

Prokofiev, Sergei

Pieces for Piano (10), op.12

Rachmaninov, Sergei

Morceaux de Fantasie, op.3
Morceaux de Salon, op.10
» no.5 Humoresque

Saint-Saens, Camille

Etudes (6), op.52
» no.6 Etude en forme de valse
Etudes (6), op.111
» no.6 Toccata d'apres le cinquieme concerto

Satie, Erik

Gymnopedies (3)

Schumann, Robert

Carnaval, op.9

Artists

Cecile Ousset (piano)

About

The early recordings of a keyboard lioness, long unavailable and new to CD at a special price. Limited edition.

Not generally given to extravagant effusions, William Glock (Controller of Radio 3 and the BBC Proms in the 1970s) had no doubt: ‘There is no one who plays the piano better in the world than she does. There is no one with a more fantastic command of the piano ... not over felt, not under-felt, nothing rushed just to show off and yet the greatest playing I’ve heard for years.’

He was referring to the French pianist Cecile Ousset, whose career had belatedly sparked to life and international recognition with appearances across the UK and US and a new contract with EMI Records. Yet prior to this Ousset had made several recordings since her success in the late 1950s at several major European competitions. She accumulated a considerable catalogue on Eterna, the East German label, but then Ousset signed to make recordings with Sofrason, the Société Française du Son.

These were licensed for wider release by the French arm of Decca, but Sofrason went out of business in 1981 and the recordings have never been reissued – until now. This new Eloquence set includes an appreciation of Ousset’s art by the French pianophile Jean-Charles Hoffélé.

These ‘French Decca’ recordings all date from 1971-76, and they include much solo repertoire that Ousset never recorded again, though they share similar qualities with the much-acclaimed concerto recordings that she made in the 1980s: an unsentimental palette of rubato and tone-colour, a fearless and brilliant command of articulation, and a uniquely French mastery of jeu perlé.

The first album made an imaginative and attractive compilation of fin-de-siècle Parisians from Saint-Saëns to Satie. The second displayed her particular affinity with the Russian post-Romantics, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev; and the third coupled two landmarks of German-Romantic piano literature, by Brahms and Schumann. These all received a later international LP issue on the ‘Ace of Diamonds’ imprint and to very warm reviews.

However, Ousset’s last recordings from this period encompassed the complete variations of Beethoven, issued by French Decca in two volumes (a 3-LP and a 2-LP box). Its disappearance particularly dismayed Ousset herself: ‘I made a big effort on that one,’ she remarked in a 1984 interview, ‘and it came off beautifully’.

‘Ousset has exactly the sort of glitteringly virtuosic technique, as well as the unflagging energy, which [these pieces] demand. Her playing is vividly recorded, giving an effect of real immediacy.’ – Gramophone, January 1980 (French recital)

‘Ousset’s performance is vital and assured, grandly shaped where grandeur is in place, capable of brilliance and a certain cool aggression, tonally apt. In eschewing unnecessary colouring she never starves the music of tone.’ – Gramophone, August 1975 (Brahms/Schumann)

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