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LUCETTE DESCAVES (1906-1993)
French pianist



Lucette Descaves was a student of the Paris Conservatory when Gabriel Fauré was the director of that august institution.  She subsequently became assistant to Yves Nat, eventually taking over his piano class.  Marguerite Long considered Descaves to be her spirituel heir.  Her own pupils numbered Bruno Fabius, Brigitte Engerer, Bruno Rigutto, Katia et Marielle Labèque, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Pascal Rogé.

She worked closely with a number of the most significant composers of her time including Prokofiev, Martinu, Albert Roussel and Arthur Honegger.

The recording of the etude by Gabriel Pierné amply demonstrates her extraordinary technique and infinitely subtle control over tone, dynamics and articulaion.

The piano concerto by André Jolivet that is offered below was written for her.  Lucette Descaves was as much in her element with the music of her contemporaries as she was with the music of Mozart.

Since there are so few examples of her playing, I have included  an excerpt from the Scaramouche suite for two pianos by Darius Milhaud which has some nice shots of her playing.



Mozart  Thème & 12 Variations, K 354 "Je suis Lindor"

recorded in 1956




Pierné  Etude de concert, Op 13




Jolivet  Concerto for piano and orchestra (1951)
i Allegro deciso - ii Senza rigore - iii Allegro frenetico

Ernest Bour conducting l'Orchestre Radio-Symphonique de Strasbourg

recorded live in 1968




Milhaud  "Scaramouche" Suite for two pianos, Op 165b

recorded in 1957 with pianist Bruno Fabius










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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