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Rediscovered Master Import

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Audio CD, Import, March 29, 2005
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Editorial Reviews


1. Fantasia for piano in D minor (fragment), K. 397 (K. 385g)
2. Le tombeau de Couperin, for piano: Prelude
3. Le tombeau de Couperin, for piano: Fugue
4. Le tombeau de Couperin, for piano: Forlane
5. Le tombeau de Couperin, for piano: Rigaudon
6. Le tombeau de Couperin, for piano: Menuet
7. Le tombeau de Couperin, for piano: Toccata
8. March & Scherzo for piano, Op. 33 ter (arr. from The Love for Three Oranges, Op. 33): March
9. Morceaux de salon, for piano, Op. 10: No. 3. Barcarolle
10. Hungarian Rhapsody, for piano No. 11 in A minor, S. 244/11 (LW A132/11)
11. Feux d'artifices, prelude for piano, L. 123/12
12. Ritual Fire Dance, for orchestra (from 'El Amor brujo')
13. Jeux d'eau, for piano
14. Nocturne for piano No. 4 in E major, Op. 36
15. Impromptu for piano No. 2 in F minor, Op. 31
16. Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major ('Trumpet', 'Hunt'), K. 576: Allegro
17. Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major ('Trumpet', 'Hunt'), K. 576: Adagio
18. Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major ('Trumpet', 'Hunt'), K. 576: Allegretto

Product Details

  • Performer: Madeleine de Valmalète
  • Composer: Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla, Gabriel Fauré, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, et al.
  • Audio CD (March 29, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Arbiter
  • ASIN: B0007WFXW6
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,510 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rick Robertson on April 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When Allan Evans asked me to write a review, I warned him that it would be difficult for me to give a "fair and balanced review" since I had spoken so glowingly of her "Tombeau de Couperin" in various Internet piano-groups. My unconscionable delay between receiving this disc and actually writing a review can be traced to one thing - after hearing the disc (repeatedly), I knew that the quality of my writing could never match the quality of this artist's playing.

Although Madeleine de Valmalete (a pupil of Isidor Philipp and Joseph Morpain) performed extensively in Europe, often giving concerto performances with major conductors, she is virtually unknown in America, because she never toured here, and she made few recordings. Her only commercial releases were a series of 78s for Polydor in 1928 - some of these were issued in the US on Brunswick. This CD contains all of the Polydors, as well as some private recordings from 1961 and 1992.

The disc opens with a 1992 digital recording of the Mozart Fantasia in D Minor, K. 397. Producer (and longtime pupil of Valmalete) Eric Ferrand-N'Kaoua, who arranged for these sessions, stated that she wanted to "treat herself to some Mozart", and in his words, "the burden of her 93 years seemed to dissolve as soon as she sat down at the piano." Contemporary "Mozart specialists" may frown upon some of the interpretive things she does in her Mozart, but it still makes for enjoyable playing - with a heck of a lot of history behind it. The last item on the disc is the technically taxing Mozart Sonata in D, K. 576. In some of the bristlier passages here, we may be reminded of her age, but at 93 the playing is still miraculous and certainly worth hearing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rugby on June 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Born of French aristocracy, First Prize at the Paris Conservatory at age 14 with diploma handed her by Faure, a favorite of Saint-Saens, recitals and engagements across Europe with major conductors, devotion ultimately to teaching, first in her own school and later ,at his request,joining Cortot at his Ecole Normale, setting the stage for worthy performances unhindered by pretense or ego. A life and career spanning the 20th Century,1899-1999.

Her 1992 Mozart K.397 Fanatsy and K.576 Sonata are satisfying;make you want to hear them immediately again. Romantic, big-boned,but true to the music's heart . At 93, we have timeless readings of music simple for children, difficult for adults, spun of pure gold in her hands.

Then come a series of works from 1928 Polydor sessions in Berlin:

The Ravel Tombeau is relevatory,and apparently the first recording of this work. In her view, the work is not an exercise in "impressionistic" composition; or a virtuoso display; but an earnest tribute to and re-creation of the great harpsichord style,sound,and ornamentation. Her Prelude, Fugue, Forlane,and Menuet are especially telling, left-hand voicing overlooked by many,reverent,sparingly pedaled performances. Even the accomplished Casadesus recording misses some of her depth of detail. Her hands work in concert to create integral wholes, not unrelated gestures. Valmalete shows there is more Couperin in the Ravel than Rameau in Debussy's Hommage.

Then, great Liszt!! The first 2/3 of her 11th Rhapsodie reminds me of the elegance and color suggested in Busoni's 13th Rhapsodie recording, and dePachman. Then, at the end, a powerful, free-wheeling display, in total simply playing the excellent Kentner version under the table, Kentner at 6:05, Valmalete 5:17.
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