This is part of a new release of archive recordings of French Radio broadcasts, taken from the collection of the Institut National de 1'Audiovisual (INA), and consisting of previously unissued material in 'live concert recordings'. The two performances date from 2 June 1967 in Studio 107 of French Radio (Franck), and 31 May 1966 in Studio 167 (Fauré) - details from the well-documented accompanying booklet in French and English.
This is an exciting new series, and while these particular performances would not be my first choice for these works, they are valuable documents from one of France's greatest pianists - a pupil of the legendary Alfred Cortot - and one of its foremost string quartets in the decades following World War II.
Unfortunately, these mono recordings do show their age, with a dose and sometimes edgy balance - particularly evident in the Franck. A little more space around the music would have given some much needed perspective to playing which often appears hard-driven. There are some lovely moments, however, especially in the two slow movements from players who are immersed in the stylistic world of this glorious music. Edward Blakeman