Ernest Ansermet

Biography

Born: November 11, 1883; Vevey, Switzerland   Died: February 20, 1969; Geneva, Switzerland  
For 50 years he directed an orchestra that was second-rate in tone and technique, yet Ernest Ansermet drew performances from it that cut right to the heart of the music. A musician of catholic taste, Ansermet was a reliable, insightful interpreter of composers from Mozart to Martin. His recordings in the 1950s and 1960s with the Suisse Romande Orchestra, which he founded, retain strong interest for collectors who value nuance over tonal sheen. Read more These recordings are of especial interest as they provide a link to composers active in Paris in the early twentieth century, with whom Ansermet was closely associated.

As a child, he studied math with his father, a teacher, and music with his mother. Ansermet's early training seemed to add up to a career in mathematics; he specialized in that subject at Lausanne University, graduating in 1903. Ansermet served as a professor of mathematics from 1905-1909. But during this time his interest in music only increased; he kept an eye trained on the technique of local conductors, and took courses in music with Alexandre Denéréaz, Otto Barblan, and Ernest Bloch. Ansermet sought further advice on conducting from Felix Mottl in Munich and Artur Nikisch in Berlin, then concentrated mainly on teaching himself the art of the baton.

His first professional efforts were leading the summer Kursaal concerts in Montreux (1912-1914), and conducting symphonic concerts in Geneva (1915-1918). In 1918 he organized the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, from the start performing a substantial amount of contemporary French and Russian music. Ansermet befriended many of the great progressive composers of the time, especially Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Igor Stravinsky. Through Stravinsky, Ansermet met Serge Diaghilev and was appointed principal conductor of the latter's Ballets Russes, touring with the company to Paris, London, Italy, Spain, South America, and the United States. During a 1916 tour Ansermet made his first recordings with the Ballets Russes orchestra -- the beginning of a half century of making intriguing records with less-than-stellar ensembles. Through his association with the Ballets Russes, Ansermet was able to premiere many of the period's most important dance scores, including Falla's Three-Cornered Hat, Prokofiev's The Buffoon, Satie's Parade, and Stravinsky's Pulcinella. As an extra-curricular wartime diversion, on September 28, 1918, Ansermet premiered Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat in Geneva.

He developed the reputation of -- in the words of Nicholas Slonimsky -- "a scholarly and progressive musician capable of fine interpretations of both classical and modern works." Although the Suisse Romande Orchestra, with which he recorded for Decca in the 1950s and 1960s, could be criticized for its wiry strings and sour woodwinds, the group delivered to Ansermet highly accurate performances notable for their clear textures and delicate timbral balances.

Ansermet was, not surprisingly, a gifted conductor of Classical-era music, but he had little opportunity to record it. He is best remembered for his sui generis recordings of the music of his French contemporaries Debussy, Ravel, and Roussel, and his Swiss compatriots Honegger and Martin. But Ansermet was also a strong champion of such other contemporary composers as Bartók and Britten, premiering the latter's opera The Rape of Lucretia. He retired from conducting in 1967, to the end performing and committing to disc such rarities as Magnard's Symphony No. 4.

Ansermet's compositions include a symphonic poem, Feuilles de printemps; he also orchestrated Debussy's Six épigraphes antiques, among other pieces. His publications include Le Geste du chef d'orchestre (1943) and Les Fondements de la musique dans la conscience humaine (1961), in which he used mathematics to discredit 12-tone and other advanced compositional techniques. Read less

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Biography

Born: November 11, 1883; Vevey, Switzerland   Died: February 20, 1969; Geneva, Switzerland  
For 50 years he directed an orchestra that was second-rate in tone and technique, yet Ernest Ansermet drew performances from it that cut right to the heart of the music. A musician of catholic taste, Ansermet was a reliable, insightful interpreter of composers from Mozart to Martin. His recordings in the 1950s and 1960s with the Suisse Romande Orchestra, which he founded, retain strong interest for collectors who value nuance over tonal sheen. Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
2. Molto vivace
3. Adagio molto e cantabile
4. Presto - Allegro assai
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Adagio
III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante tranquillo
III. Allegro molto
Ravel: Shéhérazade - Sur des Vers de Tristan Klingsor - 1. Asie
Ravel: Shéhérazade - Sur des Vers de Tristan Klingsor - 2. La flûte enchantée
Ravel: Shéhérazade - Sur des Vers de Tristan Klingsor - 3. L'indifférent
Debussy: Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien - Mystère - 1. La Cour des lys
Debussy: Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien - Mystère - 2. La Chambre magique
Debussy: Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien - Mystère - 3. Le Concile des faux dieux
Debussy: Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien - Mystère - 4. Le Laurier blessé
Debussy: Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien - Mystère - 5. Le Paradis
Debussy: La Boîte à joujoux - orchestrated Caplet - Prelude - Premier Tableau
Debussy: La Boîte à joujoux - orchestrated Caplet - Deuxième Tableau - Le Champ de Bataille
Debussy: La Boîte à joujoux - orchestrated Caplet - Troisième Tableau - La Bergerie à vendre
Debussy: La Boîte à joujoux - orchestrated Caplet - Quatrième Tableau - Epilogue
3. Clair de lune
Clair de lune
1. From Dawn till Noon on the Sea (De l'aube à midi sur la mer)
2. Play of the Waves (Jeux de vagues)
3. Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea (Dialogue du vent et de la mer)
1. Allegro
2. Andante - Interlude (L'istesso tempo)-
3. Con moto
1. Adagio
2. Presto
3. Menuetto
4. Finale (Presto)
1. Adagio - Allegro vivace
2. Adagio
3. Allegro vivace
4. Allegro ma non troppo
Dance of the Polovtsian Maidens
Polovtsian Dances
1. Sinfonia
2. Serenata
3a. Scherzino
3b. Allegro
3c. Andantino
4. Tarantella
5. Toccata
6. Gavotta con due variazioni
7. Vivo
8a. Minuetto
8b. Finale
1. Tempo molto moderato, quasi adagio
2. Allegro molto vivace
3. Il tempo largo
4. Allegro
Préambule
Pierrot
Arlequin
Valse noble
Eusebius
Florestan
Coquette
Papillons
A.S.C.H. - S.C.H.A.
Chiarina
Chopin
Estrella
Reconnaissance
Pantalon et Colombine
Valse Allemande
Paganini
Aveu
Promenade
Pause
Marche des "Davidsbünler" contre les Philistins
1. Prélude
2. Forlane
3. Menuet
4. Rigaudon
Pour invoquer Pan, dieu du vent d'été
Pour un tombeau sans nom
Pour que la nuit soit propice
Pour la danseuse aux crotales
Pour l'égyptienne
Pour remercier la pluie au matin
The Fountain of Valle Giulia (La fontana di Valle Giulia all'alba)
The Triton Fountain (La fontana di Tritone al mattino)
The Fountain of Trevi (La fontana di Trevi al meriggio)
The Villa Medici Fountain (La fontana di Villa Medici al tramonto)
1. Caprie Taormina (Barcarola e Siciliana)
2. Lamento
3. Intermezzo
4. Tarantella "Puro sangue"
1. Villanelle
2. Le spectre de la rose
3. Sur les lagunes
4. Absence
5. Au cimetière (claire de lune)
6. L'île inconnue
1. Asie
2. La flûte enchantée
3. L'indifférent
1. Allegro tranquilo
2. Andante molto moderato
3. Presto
1. Moderato
2. Poco lento
3. Moderato
4. Adagio, piacevole
5. Poco agitato (cadenza)
6. Allegro
Debussy: Petite Suite, L.65 - 1. En bateau
Debussy: Petite Suite, L.65 - 2. Cortège
Debussy: Petite Suite, L.65 - 3. Menuet
Debussy: Petite Suite, L.65 - 4. Ballet
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Scherzando (Allegro molto)
3. Intermezzo (Allegretto non troppo)
4. Andante
5. Rondo (Allegro)
"Je ne pourrai plus sortir"
"Pourquoi pleures-tu?"
Je suis perdu aussi
"Voici ce qu'il écrit à son frère"
"Qu'en dites-vous?"
Interlude...Il fait sombre...Hoé! Hisse hoé!
Vous ne savez pas...C'est au bord d'une fontaine
Interlude
"Ah, ah, tout va bien"
"Voyons, donne-moi ta main"
Interlude
"Oui, c'est ici, nous y sommes"
"Mes longs cheveux descendent"
"Je les tiens dans les mains"
"Que faites-vous ici?"
"Prenez garde! Par ici"
"Ah, je respire enfin"
Interlude
"Viens, nous allons nous asseoir ici"
"S'ils s'embrassent, petit père?"
"Où vas-tu?"
"Maintenant que le Père de Pelléas"
"Pelléas part ce soir"
"Ne mettez pas ainsi votre main à la gorge"
Interlude
"Oh! Cette pierre est lourde"
"C'est le dernier soir"
Nous sommes venus ici il y a bien longtemps
"On dirait que ta voix"
"Quel est ce bruit?"
"Ce n'est pas de cette petite blessure"
"Attention, je crois qu'elle s'éveille"
"Mélisande, as-tu pitié de moi?"
Non, non, nous n'avons pas été coupables
"Qu'avez-vous fait?"
"Qu'y a-t-il?"
"Attention... attention!"
Overture - Scene
Introduction - Tarantella
Introduction - Mazurka - Scene
Danse cosaque - Valse brillante
Can-Can - Scene
Introduction - Valse lente
Scene - Nocturne
Galop - Finale
Tableau 1: The Shrovetide Fair
Tableau 2: 's Room
Tableau 3: The Moor's Room
Tableau 4: The Shrovetide Fair
Chant du Rossignol : Poème symphonique (2002 Digital Remaster): Introduction
Chant du Rossignol : Poème symphonique (2002 Digital Remaster): Marche chinoise
Chant du Rossignol : Poème symphonique (2002 Digital Remaster): Chant du rossignol
Chant du Rossignol : Poème symphonique (2002 Digital Remaster): Jeu du rossignol mécanique
Scheherazade - Symphonic Suite Op. 35 (2002 Digital Remaster): I. The Sea and Sinbad's Ship
Scheherazade - Symphonic Suite Op. 35 (2002 Digital Remaster): II. The Sory of the Kalendar Prince
Scheherazade - Symphonic Suite Op. 35 (2002 Digital Remaster): III. The Young Prince and the Young Princess
Scheherazade - Symphonic Suite Op. 35 (2002 Digital Remaster): IV. The Festival at Baghdad - The Sea - The Ship goes to pieces on a Rock summounted by a Bronze Warrior
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116 (2002 Digital Remaster): I. Introduzione (Andante non troppo - Allegro vivace)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116 (2002 Digital Remaster): II. Gluoco delle coppie (Allegretto scherzando)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116 (2002 Digital Remaster): III. Elegia (Andante non troppo)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116 (2002 Digital Remaster): IV. Intermezzo interrotto (Allegretto)
Concerto for Orchestra Sz116 (2002 Digital Remaster): V. Finale (Pesante - Presto)
1. La fête au palais de l'empereur
2. Les deux rossignols
3. Maladie et guerison de l'empereur de Chine
The Shrovetide Fair
In Petrushka's Room
In the Moor's Room
The Shrovetide Fair (evening)
1. Introduction
2. The Harbingers of Spring, Dance of the Adolescents
3. Mock Abduction
4. Spring Rounds
5. Games of the Rival Tribes
6. Procession of the Sage
The Sage
7b. Dance of the Earth
1. Introduction
2. Mystical Circle of the Adolescents
3. Glorification of the Chosen One
4. Evocation of the Ancestors
5. Ritual of the Ancestors
6. Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One)
1. Ouverture: Allegro moderato
2. Serenata: Larghetto: "Mentre l'erbetta"
3. Scherzino: Allegro
4. Allegro
5. Andantino
6. Allegro
7. Ancora poco meno: "Contento forse vivere"
8. Allegro assai
9. Allegro - alla breve: "Con queste paroline"
"Sento dire no'ncè pace"-"Una te fa la zembrece"
13. Allegro - alla breve
14. Tarantella
15. Andantino: "Se tu m'ami"
16. Allegro
17. Gavotta con due variazioni
18 Vivo
19. Tempo di minuetto: "Pupillette, fiammette d'amore"
20. Allegro assai
1. Birth of Apollo
2. Variation of Apolllo (Apollo and the Muses)
3. Pas d'action (Apollo and the 3 Muses)
4. Variation of Calliope (the Alexandrine)
5. Variation of Polyhymnia
6. Variation of Terpsichore
7. Variation of Apollo
8. Pas de deux (Apollo and Terpsichore)
9. Coda
10. Apotheosis
Lullaby in the storm
A Village Fête
By the Mill
The Lullaby of the Land beyond Time and Place
The Soldier's March
Music to Scene I
Music to Scene II
The Royal March
The Little Concert
Three Dances (Tango-Waltz-Ragtime)
The Devil's Dance
Great Choral
Triumphant March of the Devil
1. Sinfonia
2. Serenata
3a. Scherzino
3b. Allegro
3c. Andantino
4. Tarantella
5. Toccata
6. Gavotta con due variazioni
7. Vivo
8a. Minuetto
8b. Finale
1. Moderato alla breve - Tempo agitato senza troppo accelerare - Tempo I
2. Larghetto concertante -
3. Allegretto - Meno mosso - Tempo I - Più mosso - Tempo I
4. Largo - Tempo giusto, alla breve - Poco meno mosso
1. Allegro
2. Andante - Interlude (L'istesso tempo)-
3. Con moto
1. Largo - Allegro - Più moso - Maestoso
2. Largo
3. Allegro
1. Presto
2. Andante Rapsodico
3. Allegro Capriccioso
1. Andante
2. Napolitana
3. Española
4. Balalaika
1. March
2. Waltz
3. Polka
4. Galop
Danse
Excentrique
Cantique
Madrid
1. Exaudi orationem meam, Domine
2. Expectans expectavi Dominum
3. Alleluia, laudate Dominum
Premier Tableau: "La Tresse"
Deuxième Tableau: Chez le Marié
Troisième Tableau: Le Départ de la Mariée
Quatrième Tableau: Le Repas de Noces
Overture
Air - "Oh, my dearest, my dearest, dearest one"
Song of the Gypsy
Dialogue
Air - "No, no! I'll not forget our late lamented cook"
Dialogue
Duet - "We've never had such perfect weather"
Dialogue
Quartet - "Days and nights of working"
Dialogue
Duet - "Parasha!" - "Ah! Vasili dearest"
Dialogue
Air - "Alone, I wait alone"
Coda
1. Moderato assai
2. Scherzo (Vivo - moderato)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major S124 (2001 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro maestoso
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major S124 (2001 Digital Remaster): II. Quasi adagio
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major S124 (2001 Digital Remaster): III. Allegretto vivace - Allegro animato
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major S124 (2001 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro marziale animato
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos / Part 1 - Introduction
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos / Part 1 - Afternoon
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos / Part 1 - Dance of the miller's wife
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos / Part 1 - The Grapes
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos / Part 2 - Dance of the neighbours
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos / Part 2 - The Miller's Dance
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos / Part 2 - The Corregidor's Dance
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos / Part 2 - Final dance
Falla: El amor brujo - Introducción y escena...en la cueva
Falla: El amor brujo - Canción del amor dolido
Falla: El amor brujo - El Aparecido...Danza del Terror
Falla: El amor brujo - El Círculo Mágico...A Media noche
Falla: El amor brujo - Danza ritual del fuego, para ahuyentar los malos espí-
Falla: El amor brujo - Escena
Falla: El amor brujo - Canción del fuego fátuo
Falla: El amor brujo - Pantomima
Falla: El amor brujo - Danza del juego de amor
Falla: El amor brujo - Final. Las campanas del amanecer
1. Winter
2. Spring
3. Summer
4. Autumn
1. Villanelle
2. Le spectre de la rose
3. Sur les lagunes
4. Absence
5. Au cimetière (claire de lune)
6. L'île inconnue
1. Asie
2. La flûte enchantée
3. L'indifférent
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 1 - Introduction (Moderato assai) - No.1 Scène (Allegro giusto)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 1 - No.2 Valse (Corps de Ballet)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 1 - No.4 Pas de trois: a) Intrada (Allegro) - b) Andante sostenuto - c) Allegro semplice - d) Moderato - e) Allegro - f) Coda (Allegro vivace)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 1 - No.7 Sujet - No.8 Danse des coupes (Tempo di polacca)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 / Act 2 - No.10 Scène (Moderato)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 2 - No.11 Scène (Allegro moderato) - No.12 Scène (Allegro)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 2 - No.13a Danse des cygnes: Valse
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 2 - No.13e Danse des cygnes: Pas d'action: Odette et le prince/Deuxième danse de la reine des cygnes (Andante)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 / Act 2 - No.13d Danse des petits cygnes (Allegro moderato)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 2 - No.13f Danse des cygnes: Danse générale (Valse)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 2 - No.13b Danse des cygnes: Odette solo/Première danse de la reine des cygnes (Moderato assai)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 2 - No.13g Danse des cygnes: Coda (Allegro vivace)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 3 - No.15 Danse de fançailles (Allegro giusto)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 3 - No.17 Scène: Entrée des invités (Fanfares) et la valse (Allegro)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 3 - No.18 Scène (Allegro)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 3 - No.21 Danse espagnole (Allegro non troppo. Tempo di bolero)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 3 - No.22 Danse napolitaine
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 3 - No.23 Mazurka
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 3 - No.20 Danse hongroise (Czárdás)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 1 - No.5 Pas de deux: a) Intrada-Valse - b) Andante - c) Valse - d) Coda (Allegro molto vivace)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 4 - No.28 Scène (Allegro agitato)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op.20 - Act 4 - No.29 Scène finale (Andante)


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