Ernest Ansermet

The Mono Years: 26CD Boxset


Release Date: 19 January, 2024

As a conductor, philosopher, mathematician and composer, Ernest Ansermet occupied an exceptional position in the world of music. At the frontier of modernity, he offered up recordings of music by several composers whom he counted among his friends: Debussy, Ravel, Roussel and Stravinsky but also Honegger, Frank Martin, Bartók and Prokofiev – all of whom are represented in this collection of recordings made for Decca between 1929 and 1955. The collection opens with a recording of six of Handel’s Op. 6 Concerti Grossi made with a specially formed band of London musicians, the ‘Decca String Orchestra’ in 1929, the year in which the label was founded. Ansermet returned to the studio to record for the label from 1946 and from then on became one of its most frequently recorded conductors. Fortunately, the music of his friend Igor Stravinsky is strongly represented in this collection. Of other composers Ansermet knew personally, several landmark recordings of works by Maurice Ravel are significant. 1952 was a particularly busy year for the conductor and his Orchestre de la Suisse Romande - with recordings of Handel, Prokofiev as well as his famous interpretation of Debussy's "Pelléas et Mélisande". An orchestral version of Mussorgsky's two-minute "Gopak" was recorded as the last work in this collection. The stereo recording from 1955 was only available as a test pressing - this box presents it as a veritable world premiere.

CD Box Set