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Music and Arts

CD-1260(3) Zino Francescatti – Violin: a treasury of studio recordings, 1931-1955. CD 1: (75:42) Chausson - Concerto in D. Casadesus, Guilet Quartet, 1954. Debussy - Sonata No. 3. Casadesus, 1946. Ravel – Sonata. Balsam, 1955. CD 2: (72:58) Faure - Sonatas, No. 1 in A & No. 2 in e. Casadesus, 1953; Vieuxtemps - Concerto No. 4 in in d. Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra, 1954. CD 3: (77:12) Lalo - Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21. Cluytens, Le Grand Orch. Symph. Col., 1954. Franck - Sonata in A; Casadesus, 1947. Ravel –Tzigane. M. Fauré, 1931. Ravel – Kaddisch, Pièce en forme de Habanera & Berceuse. Balsam, 1955. Audio restoration: Lani Spahr. Notes in French (by J-M Molkhou) & English (by Henry Roth). Includes complete Francescatti discography. ADD. Total time 3 hours, 46 minutes. Special offer: 3 CDs priced as 2! UPC# 017685-126024.

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BUZZ: As annotator Henry Roth points out, during the late 1930s the Great Depression was still raging. Kreisler, Heifetz, the young Menuhin, Szigeti and Milstein represented the topmost echelon of violinists in box office draw, followed by Elman, Huberman, Spalding, the young Ricci and Morini. Enesco had become deeply involved in composition and teaching, and Thibaud was no longer in significant contention, though he still concertized. The young Stern had already made his youthful debut, but was not yet ensconced among the leading mature artists or those ex-prodigies who had built mass audience followings in their childhood. Severe economic retrenchment represented an almost insurmountable barrier to new artists seeking to scale the heights, and in this period many outstanding talents were forced to enter the symphonic or commercial fields in order to earn a livelihood. Many a European violinistic luminary had made an American debut during the Depression years, hoping for success. Despite everything, the United States was still the mecca for musical artists, in terms of financial reward. But only a violinist of the very highest qualifications—and one whose musical personality and character were in some measure different from those of the reigning elite—could hope to launch a top-level concertizing career here. Such an artist was Rene Charles (Zino) Francescatti. At thirty-seven, he was already a fully seasoned performer when he made his American debut in November, 1939, playing the Paganini Concerto No. 1 (complete version) with the New York Philharmonic under Barbirolli. His rise to stardom had been long and arduous, but he was recognized eventually not only as the heir to Thibaud, once the "greatest French violinist," but also as one of the world's leading violinists. The present collection brings together his best commercially issued recordings, mainly of French music, in new digital transfers.

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