Robert Casadesus

Biography

Born: April 7, 1899; Paris, France   Died: September 19, 1972; Paris, France  
Robert Casadesus was the quintessential French musician, a passionate perfectionist who carried the Gallic virtues of precision, clarity, and elegance into the mid-twentieth century as an embodiment of the living spirit of classicism -- precision animated by passion, clarity attained through sensuous scintillance, and elegance as the expression of the most lucidly aware animation. Born in Paris to a distinguished family of musicians -- his father Read more and three uncles enjoyed careers as performers and composers -- Robert took first prize for piano at the Paris Conservatoire at age 14. Studies with Louis Diémer -- early enthusiast of the French clavicenistes, premiere soloist and dedicatee of Franck's Variations symphoniques for piano and orchestra -- graced Casadesus with the mantle of the inheritor. In 1921 he married fellow Diémer pupil Gabrielle (Gaby) L'Hôte. The following year he earned Ravel's friendship with his performance of Gaspard de la nuit, which led to European tours with the composer and legendary soprano Madeleine Grey. "You are a composer," Ravel wrote, "because you have the courage to play 'Gibet' as I imagined it, that is, as a slow piece...And virtuoso pianists do not want to play it like that. They double the tempo and make it much faster. That is why I think you are a composer." Indeed, Casadesus' catalog eventually embraced some 68 works, including seven symphonies, concertos for two and three pianos and orchestra, 27 chamber works, and 20 works for piano. It is music for connoisseurs, music of formal concision not devoid of passionate expression, but highly wrought, suggestive, and understated in, typically, lyrically attenuated slow movements, tender and strange, and conclusions of fastidious tumult. It is the antithesis of Mahler's confessional expansiveness, while Stravinsky's neo-Classical manner seems gimmicky and carnivalesque by comparison. Casadesus was a distinguished teacher, beginning his career as professor of piano at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau in 1921, and replacing Isidor Philipp as its head in 1935. But it is primarily as a touring pianist and recording artist that Casadesus is remembered, appearing throughout Europe and the United States over 2,000 times in a career spanning half a century, often in duo-piano recitals with his wife. His authoritative, exhilarating recordings of the Mozart piano concertos with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, the Beethoven violin sonatas and the Franck Sonata with Zino Francescatti, Franck's Variations symphoniques and d'Indy's Symphonie cévenole with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the piano works of Ravel -- to name but the most prominent -- are among the very greatest. Read less

Biography

Born: April 7, 1899; Paris, France   Died: September 19, 1972; Paris, France  
Robert Casadesus was the quintessential French musician, a passionate perfectionist who carried the Gallic virtues of precision, clarity, and elegance into the mid-twentieth century as an embodiment of the living spirit of classicism -- precision animated by passion, clarity attained through sensuous scintillance, and elegance as the expression of the most lucidly aware animation. Born in Paris to a distinguished family of musicians -- his father Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Allegro
II. Adagio un poco mosso
III. Rondo: Allegro
I. Decide - Calme - Anime
II. Sicilienne
III. Grave
IV. Finale: Tres anime
I. Allegro vivo
II. Intermede: Fantastique et leger
III. Finale: Tres anime
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante
III. Final: Allegro non troppo
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Scherzando: Allegro molto
IV. Andante
V. Rondo: Allegro
I. Allegretto ben moderato
II. Allegro
III. Recitativo - Fantasia : Ben moderato - molto lento
IV. Allegretto poco mosso
I. Allegro
II. Larghetto
III. Allegretto
Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, Sz. 110: I. Assai lento - Allegro molto
II. Lento ma non troppo
III. Allegro non troppo
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -"Emperor" - 1. Allegro
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -"Emperor" - 2. Adagio un poco mosso
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -"Emperor" - 3. Rondo (Allegro)
I. Allegro moderato
II. Allegro vivace - III. Andante - IV. Allegro
I. Modéré
II. Mouvement de Menuet
III. Animé
Miroirs [1904-5]: I. Noctuelles
II. Oiseaux tristes
III. Une Barque sur l'océan
IV. Alborada del gracioso
V. La Vallée des cloches
Ma mère l'Oye [1908-10]: I. Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant
II. Petit Poucet
III. Laideronette, Impératrice des Pagodes
IV. Les entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête
V. Le jardin féerique
Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn [1909]
Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré [1922]
Le Tombeau de Couperin: I. Prélude
II. Fugue
III. Forlane
IV. Rigaudon
V. Menuet
VI. Toccata
III. Une Barque sur l'océan
IV. Alborada del gracioso
V. La Vallée des cloches
I. Allegro
II. Largo ovvero Adagio
III. Allegro
Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra in C Major, BWV 1061: I. ...
II. Adagio ovvero Largo
III. Fuga. Vivace
Concerto for 3 Pianos and Orchestra in D minor, BWV 1063: I. ...
II. Alla Siciliana
III. Allegro
Concerto for 3 Pianos and Orchestra in C minor, BWV 1064: I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante
III. Allegro vivace assai
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.26 in D Major, K.537 "Coronation": I. Allegro
II. Larghetto
III. Allegretto
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante "Theme from Elvira Madigan"
III. Allegro vivace assai
Concerto No. 24 in C Minor for Piano and Orchestra, K. 491: I. Allegro
II. Larghetto
III. Allegretto


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