Pierre Fournier

Biography

Born: June 24, 1906; Paris, France   Died: January 8, 1986; Geneva, Switzerland  
Pierre Léon Marie Fournier was born into a military family. His father was a general; his mother was musical and taught him piano lessons. At the age of 9, he suffered a mild attack of polio. Weakness of his legs made pedaling the piano difficult. So he turned to the cello, and after making rapid progress, he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire. His teachers there were Paul Bazelaire and Anton Hekking; he graduated in 1924 at the age of 17. Read more Fournier made his debut the year after his graduation. This was a solo appearance with the Concerts Colonne Orchestra, which received favorable notices. The almost invariable comment in reviews was the perfection of his bowing technique. He began a successful career as a touring concert artist and as a performer in chamber music concerts, gaining a great reputation in Europe.

In 1937 to 1939, he was the director of cello studies at the Ecole Normal. It was often said that he became a friendly rival with his contemporary, cellist Paul Tortelier, and after attending a Tortelier concert remarked to him, "Paul, I wish I had your left hand." Tortelier responded, "Pierre, I wish I had your right." To Fournier, the secret of his great right hand (i.e., bowing technique) was keeping the elbow high, holding the bow firmly, but allowing the hand and arm to move fluidly. He prescribed the Sevcik violin bowing studies for his cello students.

In 1941, he became a member of the faculty at the Paris Conservatoire, but during the war years, his concert touring career was impossible. Once the war was over, though, was able to resume and he rapidly increased in fame and international stature. His old audience found that he had grown in artistic depth. Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti, meeting Fournier in rehearsals for a 1947 Edinburgh Festival appearance, had not heard him for over ten years and wrote that he was "tremendously impressed by the Apollonian beauty and poise that his playing had acquired in the intervening years. Szigeti, Fournier, violist William Primrose, and pianist Artur Schnabel formed a piano quartet in those years and gave some fabled concerts at which they played virtually all of Schubert's and Brahms' piano chamber music. Sadly, the BBC acetate air checks of this cycle were allowed to deteriorate and have been lost.

Fournier made his first U.S. tour in 1948. His chamber music partner Artur Schnabel spread the word among cellists, other musicians, and critics that they were to be visited by a great new cellist. The New York and Boston critics were ecstatic. He had to give up his Conservatoire post because of his expanding concert career; he appeared in Moscow for the first time in 1959. Commentator Lev Grinberg wrote that he was notable for a romantic interpretation; clarity of form; vivid phrasing; and clean, broad bowing all "aimed at revealing the content."

He had a broad repertoire, including Bach, Boccherini, the Romantics, Debussy, Hindemith, and Prokofiev. Composers Martinu, Martinon, Martin, Roussel, and Poulenc all wrote works for him. He had a standing Friday night date to privately play chamber music with Alfred Cortot, the eminent French pianist, at which they might be visited by musicians like Jacques Thibaud. In 1953, he became a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and was promoted to officer in 1963.

In 1972, he retired to Switzerland and gave master classes. He still gave concerts, even as late as 1984 when he was 78, and a London critic praised the fluency of his playing and his strong and solid left-hand technique. Read less

Biography

Born: June 24, 1906; Paris, France   Died: January 8, 1986; Geneva, Switzerland  
Pierre Léon Marie Fournier was born into a military family. His father was a general; his mother was musical and taught him piano lessons. At the age of 9, he suffered a mild attack of polio. Weakness of his legs made pedaling the piano difficult. So he turned to the cello, and after making rapid progress, he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire. His teachers there were Paul Bazelaire and Anton Hekking; he graduated in 1924 at the age of 17. Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Allegro
II. Adagio ma non troppo
III. Finale: Allegro moderato
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Allegretto con moto
III. Allegro non troppo
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Introduktion & Theme (Mäßiches Zeitmaß)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 1 (Gemächlich)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 2 (Kriegerisch)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 3 (Mäßiges Zeitmaß)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 4 (Etwas breiter)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 5 (Sehr langsam)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 6 (Schnell)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 7 (Ein wenig ruhiger als vorher)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 8
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 9 (Schnell und stürmisch)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Variation 10 (Viel breiter)
R. Strauss: Don Quixote, Op.35 - Finale (Sehr ruhig)
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 5. Menuet I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 5. Menuet I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 5. Bourrée I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 5. Bourrée I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 5. Gavotte I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 5. Gavotte I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 6. Gigue
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra Op. 102 (1990 Digital Remaster): Allegro
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra Op. 102 (1990 Digital Remaster): Andante
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra Op. 102 (1990 Digital Remaster): Vivace non troppo
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 5. Menuet I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 5. Menuet I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 5. Bourrée I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 5. Bourrée I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 5. Gavotte I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 5. Gavotte I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 6. Gigue
Double Concerto in A Minor, Op.102 (1990 Remastered Version): Allegro
Double Concerto in A Minor, Op.102 (1990 Remastered Version): Andante
Double Concerto in A Minor, Op.102 (1990 Remastered Version): Vivace non troppo
Double Concerto in A minor Op. 102 (2006 Digital Remaster): I Allegro
Double Concerto in A minor Op. 102 (2006 Digital Remaster): II Andante
Double Concerto in A minor Op. 102 (2006 Digital Remaster): III Vivace non troppo
1. Allegro
2. Largo -
3. Rondo alla Polacca
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante un poco mosso
III. Scherzo: Allegro
IV. Rondo: Allegro vivace - Presto
1. Prélude
2. Allemande
3. Courante
4. Sarabande
5. Bourrée I-II
6. Gigue
Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 99 in B-flat: Allegro moderato
Andante un poco mosso
Scherzo: Allegro
Rondo: Allegro vivace
Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 63 in D Minor: Mit Energie und Leidenschaft
Lebhaft, doch nicht zu rasch
Langsam, mit inniger Empfindung
Mit Feuer
Allegro energico
Presto non assai
Andante grazioso
Allegro molto
Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 100 in E-flat: Allegro
Andante con moto
Scherzando: Allegro moderato
Allegro moderato
Allegro con brio
Allegro molto - Meno allegro
Adagio
Allegro
Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 87 in C: Allegro
Andante con moto
Scherzo: Presto - Poco meno presto
Finale: Allegro giocoso
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 1. Adagio - Moderato
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 2. Lento - Allegro molto
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 3. Adagio
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 - 4. Allegro
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C, H.VIIb, No.1 - 1. Moderato
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C, H.VIIb, No.1 - 2. Adagio
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C, H.VIIb, No.1 - 3. Finale (Allegro molto)
Haydn: Cello Concerto in D,H.VIIb No.2 - 1. Allegro moderato
Haydn: Cello Concerto in D,H.VIIb No.2 - 2. Adagio
Haydn: Cello Concerto in D,H.VIIb No.2 - 3. Rondo (Allegro)
Lalo: Cello Concerto in D minor - 1. Prélude: Lento - Allegro maestoso
Lalo: Cello Concerto in D minor - 2. Intermezzo: Andantino con moto - Allegro presto
Lalo: Cello Concerto in D minor - 3. Andante - Allegro vivace
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.33 - 1. Allegro non troppo
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.33 - 2. Allegretto con moto
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.33 - 3. Un peu moins vite
1. Allegro con brio
2. Adagio
3. Tema con Variazioni. Andante
1. Allegro
2. Adagio cantabile
3. Scherzo (Allegro)
4. Finale (Presto)
1. Adagio - Allegro vivace
2. Largo con espressione
3. Scherzo (Allegro)
4. Finale (Presto)
1. Allegro con brio
2. Andante cantabile con variazioni
3. Menuetto (Quasi allegro)
4. Finale (Prestissimo)
1. Allegro vivace e con brio
2. Largo assai ed espressivo
3. Presto
1. Poco sostenuto - Allegro ma non troppo
2. Allegretto
3. Allegro ma non troppo
4. Finale (Allegro)
1. Allegro moderato
2. Scherzo (Allegro)
3. Andante cantabile, ma perň con moto - Poco piů adagio
4. Allegro moderato
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 5. Menuet I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 5. Menuet I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 5. Bourrée I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 5. Bourrée I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 5. Gavotte I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 6. Gigue
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 1. Prélude
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 2. Allemande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 3. Courante
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 4. Sarabande
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 5. Gavotte I-II
J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 6. Gigue
Dvorák: Cello Concerto In B Minor, Op.104 - 1. Allegro
Dvorák: Cello Concerto In B Minor, Op.104 - 2. Adagio ma non troppo
Dvorák: Cello Concerto In B Minor, Op.104 - 3. Finale (Allegro moderato)


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