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Cécile Ousset - Cécile Ousset : The Recordings For Decca France

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Cécile Ousset : The Recordings For Decca France

Cecile Ousset

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The early recordings of a keyboard lioness, long unavailable and new to CD


Not generally given to extravagant effusions, William Glock (Controller of Radio 3 and the BBC Proms in the 1970s) had no doubt: ‘There is no one who plays the piano better in the world than she does. There is no one with a more fantastic command of the piano … not over felt, not under-felt, nothing rushed just to show off and yet the greatest playing I’ve heard for years’. He was referring to the French pianist Cécile Ousset, whose career had belatedly sparked to life and international recognition with appearances across the UK and US and a new contract with EMI Records. Yet prior to this Ousset had made several recordings since her success in the late 1950s at several major European competitions. She accumulated a considerable catalogue on Eterna, the East German label, but then Ousset signed to make recordings with Sofrason, the Société Française du Son. These were licensed for wider release by the French arm of Decca, but Sofrason went out of business in 1981 and the recordings have never been reissued – until now. This new Eloquence set includes an appreciation of Ousset’s art by the French pianophile Jean-Charles Hoffélé.
These ‘French Decca’ recordings all date from 1971–76, and they include much solo repertoire that Ousset never recorded again, though they share similar qualities with the much-acclaimed concerto recordings that she made in the 1980s: an unsentimental palette of rubato and tone-colour, a fearless and brilliant command of articulation, and a uniquely French mastery of jeu perlé.
The first album made an imaginative and attractive compilation of fin-de-siècle Parisians from Saint-Saëns to Satie. The second displayed her particular affinity with the Russian post-Romantics, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev; and the third coupled two landmarks of German-Romantic piano literature, by Brahms and Schumann. These all received a later international LP issue on the ‘Ace of Diamonds’ imprint and to very warm reviews.
However, Ousset’s last recordings from this period encompassed the complete variations of Beethoven, issued by French Decca in two volumes (a 3LP and a 2LP box). Its disappearance particularly dismayed Ousset herself: ‘I made a big effort on that one,’ she remarked in a 1984 interview, ‘and it came off beautifully’. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)


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Cécile Ousset : The Recordings For Decca France

Cécile Ousset

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12 Etudes, L.136 (Claude Debussy)

1
7. Pour les degrés chromatiques
00:02:19

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Claude Debussy, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

2
11. Pour les arpèges composés
00:04:41

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Claude Debussy, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

3
3. Pour les quartes
00:05:43

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Claude Debussy, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

4
5. Pour les octaves
00:02:36

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Claude Debussy, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

3 Gymnopédies (Erik Satie)

5
No.1 Lent et douloureux
00:03:39

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Erik Satie, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

6
No.2 Lent et triste
00:03:08

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Erik Satie, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

7
No.3 Lent et grave
00:02:44

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Erik Satie, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

Étude en forme de valse No. 6, Op. 52 (Camille Saint-Saëns)

8
Étude en forme de valse No. 6, Op. 52
00:06:20

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Camille Saint-Saëns, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

Six Études, Op. 111 (Camille Saint-Saëns)

9
Toccata d'après le cinquième concerto, Op. 111
00:04:22

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Camille Saint-Saëns, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

10 Pièces pittoresques (Emmanuel Chabrier)

10
6. Idylle
00:03:24

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Alexis Emmanuel Chabrier, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

11
10. Scherzo-valse
00:05:13

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Alexis Emmanuel Chabrier, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

Bourrée fantasque (Emmanuel Chabrier)

12
Bourrée fantasque
00:06:13

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Alexis Emmanuel Chabrier, Composer

℗ 1971 Decca Records France

Morceaux de Fantasie, Op.3 (Serge Rachmaninoff)

13
No.1 Elégie
00:05:28

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergey Rachmaninov, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

14
No.2 Prélude in C sharp minor
00:03:59

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergey Rachmaninov, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

15
No.3 Mélodie
00:04:58

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergey Rachmaninov, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

16
No.4 Polichinelle
00:03:06

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergey Rachmaninov, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

17
No.5 Sérénade
00:03:27

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergey Rachmaninov, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

Morceaux de Salon, Op.10 (Serge Rachmaninoff)

18
5. Humoreske
00:02:56

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergey Rachmaninov, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

10 Pieces for Piano, Op.12 (Sergei Prokofiev)

19
1. Marche
00:01:58

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

20
2. Gavotte
00:03:09

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

21
3. Rigaudon
00:01:11

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

22
4. Mazurka
00:01:29

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

23
5. Capriccio
00:02:48

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

24
6. Légende
00:02:47

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

25
7. Prélude
00:02:11

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

26
8. Allemande
00:03:10

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

27
9. Scherzo humoristique
00:02:40

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

28
10. Scherzo
00:02:15

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Sergei Prokofiev, Composer

℗ 1974 Decca Records France

Carnaval, Op.9 (Robert Schumann)

29
Préambule
00:02:42

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

30
Pierrot
00:01:14

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

31
Arlequin
00:01:09

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

32
Valse noble
00:01:32

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

33
Eusebius
00:01:49

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

34
Florestan
00:00:57

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

35
Coquette
00:01:07

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

36
Réplique
00:00:49

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

37
Papillons
00:00:49

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

38
A.S.C.H. - S.C.H.A. (Lettres dansantes)
00:00:58

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

39
Chiarina
00:01:41

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

40
Chopin
00:01:34

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

41
Estrella
00:00:29

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

42
Reconnaissance
00:01:46

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

43
Pantalon et Colombine
00:00:58

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

44
Valse allemande
00:00:59

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

45
Paganini
00:01:25

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

46
Aveu
00:01:15

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

47
Promenade
00:03:00

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

48
Pause
00:00:18

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

49
Marche des "Davidsbünler" contre les Philistins
00:03:41

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Robert Schumann, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op.35 (Johannes Brahms)

50
Book 1
00:12:32

Cécile Ousset, Piano - Johannes Brahms, Composer

℗ 1975 Decca Records France

Album Description


The early recordings of a keyboard lioness, long unavailable and new to CD


Not generally given to extravagant effusions, William Glock (Controller of Radio 3 and the BBC Proms in the 1970s) had no doubt: ‘There is no one who plays the piano better in the world than she does. There is no one with a more fantastic command of the piano … not over felt, not under-felt, nothing rushed just to show off and yet the greatest playing I’ve heard for years’. He was referring to the French pianist Cécile Ousset, whose career had belatedly sparked to life and international recognition with appearances across the UK and US and a new contract with EMI Records. Yet prior to this Ousset had made several recordings since her success in the late 1950s at several major European competitions. She accumulated a considerable catalogue on Eterna, the East German label, but then Ousset signed to make recordings with Sofrason, the Société Française du Son. These were licensed for wider release by the French arm of Decca, but Sofrason went out of business in 1981 and the recordings have never been reissued – until now. This new Eloquence set includes an appreciation of Ousset’s art by the French pianophile Jean-Charles Hoffélé.
These ‘French Decca’ recordings all date from 1971–76, and they include much solo repertoire that Ousset never recorded again, though they share similar qualities with the much-acclaimed concerto recordings that she made in the 1980s: an unsentimental palette of rubato and tone-colour, a fearless and brilliant command of articulation, and a uniquely French mastery of jeu perlé.
The first album made an imaginative and attractive compilation of fin-de-siècle Parisians from Saint-Saëns to Satie. The second displayed her particular affinity with the Russian post-Romantics, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev; and the third coupled two landmarks of German-Romantic piano literature, by Brahms and Schumann. These all received a later international LP issue on the ‘Ace of Diamonds’ imprint and to very warm reviews.
However, Ousset’s last recordings from this period encompassed the complete variations of Beethoven, issued by French Decca in two volumes (a 3LP and a 2LP box). Its disappearance particularly dismayed Ousset herself: ‘I made a big effort on that one,’ she remarked in a 1984 interview, ‘and it came off beautifully’. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)


Details of original recording : Recorded between 1971 & 1976 in France

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