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Marius-François Gaillard’s Debussy: performances and recordings – controversy and legacy

Rae, Caroline ORCID: 2012. Marius-François Gaillard’s Debussy: performances and recordings – controversy and legacy. Presented at: L'héritage de Claude Debussy: du rêve pour les générations futures, Université de Montréal, Canada, 29 February - 3 March 2012.

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Marius-François Gaillard (1900-73) has long been a mere footnote in French music of the interwar years, remembered if at all for conducting the Paris première of Varèse’s Intégrales (revised version) in 1929. Yet, he first gained attention as a pianist during the First World War, becoming known for his Debussy performances at the Salle Gaveau concerts for the ‘blessés de la guerre’. In 1920, he became the first pianist to perform the (then) complete piano works of Debussy, a feat he repeated at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in March 1922, attracting the unreserved praise of Emma Bardac. In 1928, he embarked on a series of Debussy recordings for Disques Odéon, as well as piano rolls for Pleyela. This paper will explore Gaillard’s Debussian and pianistic credentials to propose that had his reputation not been tarnished by the negative and highly politicised criticism at the time of his completion of the Ode à la France, the quality of his pianistic achievement would merit a position at least equivalent to that of Viñes or Gieseking.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Additional Information: International conference marking the 150th anniversary of Debussy's birth, organised by the Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création de de recherche en musique (OICRM), Université de Montréal. Conference paper to be published in an expanded version.
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:15

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