Agnelle Bundervoët – Complete Recordings on Decca France
Agnelle Bundervoët
Label
Decca
Catalogue No.
4841507
Barcode
00028948415076
Format
2-CD
About

Three exceptionally rare Decca LPs of a much prized French pianist, newly remastered and released on CD for the first time.

Rheumatism forced Agnelle Bundervoët to retire from the platform at the peak of her career in the late 1950s, though she continued to pass on to her students at the Conservatoire of Versailles the beautifully defined articulation, mastery of high expressive contrasts, and remarkable rhythmic drive that distinguish the recordings of Schumann, Brahms and Liszt on this collection, which will attract the attention of all pianophiles.

One of those students was Frédéric Gaussin, who contributes a personal memoir and authoritative survey of her life and career to this Eloquence collection. He remembers Bundervoët as a very demanding teacher: ‘implacable but fair, generous, an acute psychologist, a spiritual person, dispensing pieces, studies and writing exercises with the knowledge and far-sightedness of a world-class physician’.

Born in 1922, Bundervoët began to learn the piano at the age of four, and within three years she was enrolled at the conservatoire in Marseilles. She was accepted at the Paris Conservatoire by the age of ten, even though she was too young to undertake the formal program of study, but the pedagogue Lazare-Levy recognized her exceptional intellect, prodigious technique and innate musical gifts. She was awarded the conservatoire’s Premier Prix for six years in succession, and her talents extended beyond the piano to singing, organ playing and choir directing.

Her first album, a Bach recital, was awarded a Grand Prix du Disque, but she was dissatisfied with the engineering of the Ducretet-Thomson recording; the trio of Decca albums (recorded in 1955–57) enjoys a far wider dynamic range and a much richer timbral palette, more faithfully capturing the elegance and refinement of her playing in the flesh. They hardly reflect the breadth of her repertoire, which took in much new music, but they now count as a precious testament to a notable if now little-known inheritor of the French piano tradition.

TRACK LISTING / ARTISTS

CD 1           

FRANZ LISZT (1811–1886)

1 Rhapsodie espagnole, S.254
2 Au bord d’une source (No. 4 of Années de pèlerinage, Première année: Suisse, S.160)
3 Valse oubliée, S.215 No. 1
4 Gnomenreigen (No. 2 of Études de concert, S.145)

Grandes Études de Paganini, S.141

5 No. 4 in E major (Arpeggio)
6 No. 5 in E major (La Chasse)
7 No. 6 in A minor (Theme and Variations)
8 Mephisto Valse No. 1, S.514

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833–1897)

9–35 Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel, Op. 24

 

CD 2           

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833–1897)

1 Rhapsody in B minor, Op. 79 No. 1
2 Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79 No. 2
3 Rhapsody in E flat major, Op. 119 No. 4

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810–1856)

4–9 Intermezzi, Op. 4
10 Toccata in C major, Op. 7
11–17 Fantasiestücke, Op. 12

Agnelle Bundervoët, piano

AGNELLE BUNDERVOËT’S COMPLETE RECORDINGS FOR DECCA FRANCE NEWLY REMASTERED AND ON CD FOR THE FIRST TIME

Track previews
Rhapsodie espagnole, S. 254
4 Piano Pieces, Op. 119: 4. Rhapsody in E-Flat
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XX
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XXI
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XXII
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XXIII
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XXIV
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XXV
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Fuga
2 Rhapsodies, Op. 79: No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 79/1
2 Rhapsodies, Op. 79: No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 79/2
Six Intermezzos for piano, Op. 4: No. 1: Allegro quasi maestoso
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XVIII
Six Intermezzos for piano, Op. 4: No. 2: Presto e capriccioso
Six Intermezzos for piano, Op. 4: No. 3: Allegro marcato
Six Intermezzos for piano, Op. 4: No. 4: Allegretto semplice
Six Intermezzos for piano, Op. 4: No. 5: Allegro moderato
Six Intermezzos for piano, Op. 4: No. 6: Allegro
Toccata in C Major, Op. 7
8 Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: 1. Des Abends
8 Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: 2. Aufschwung
8 Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: 3. Warum?
8 Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: 4. Grillen
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XIX
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XVII
Années de pèlerinage I, S. 160: 4. Au bord d'une source
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation IV
Valses oubliées, S. 215: No. 1
2 Etudes de Concert, S. 145: No. 2: Gnomenreigen
Grandes études de Paganini, S. 141: No. 4 in E Major
Grandes études de Paganini, S. 141: No. 5 in E Major
Grandes études de Paganini, S. 141: No. 6 in A Minor
Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Theme: Aria
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation I
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation II
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation III
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation V
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XVI
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation VI
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation VII
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation VIII
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation IX
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation X
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XI
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XII
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XIII
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XIV
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24: Variation XV
8 Fantasiestücke, Op. 12: 5. in der Nacht
Recording information

Recordings: Paris, France, 29–30 October 1955 (Liszt), 17 March 1956 (Brahms), 24 September 1957 (Schumann)
Original Decca France Releases: FAT 173-689 (Liszt): 1956, FAT 173-732 (Brahms): 1957, FAT 173-803 (Schumann): 1958

Reviews

‘The musical pleasures of Agnelle Bundervoët’s performance cannot be overstated … the poetic spell, the magic of contrasts, the visionary unity mark this interpretation with the seal of Schumannesque authenticity … The excellent recording, sympathetic to the quick reflexes of Agnelle Bundervoët, should appeal to all Schumann enthusiasts.’ Vie et Bonté, December 1956