Henri Merckel. Works by Mozart, Faure, Ravel, Pierne, Bozza

Yes, it’s been a long time since my last post…I’ll try not to make promises I can’t keep, but it’s been very difficult to find time to work on transfers the past few months.  Thank god for the holidays!

So, here’s a collection centered around violinist Henri Merckel (1897-1969), who is not completely overlooked (there are single discs from Music and Arts & Dutton), but is still fairly neglected considering his fairly large discography spanning from around 1930 through the 1960s. Despite his virtuoso pedigree (and ablilities!) and often florid portamenti, overall Merckel gives the sense of being a rather no-nonsense musician, rather than a fire-breather.  He was able to easily adapt to a wide range of styles and periods, from quite a number of Baroque era works to contemporary repertory.  The Ravel shows a beautiful ensemble and coloristic sense and, and a quicksilver responsiveness to his colleagues, including the seldom recorded but fabulous pianist, Eliane Zurfluh-Tenroc.  The Pierne work is a delight, and is played to the hilt!  The Bozza is a rarity, on a label I’ve not encountered before, but while it amply displays Merckel’s virtuosity, it also exhibits Bozza’s second rate writing.  Being generous, perhaps the composer intended certain passages to be an “homage” to Ottorino Resphighi’s Pini di Roma….or perhaps he figured this work would be forgotten before the lawyers came after him!  It seems to exist in a clarinet version as well.

Thanks again to Ward Marston and Mike Gartz for their rare originals, and technical wizardry.  As previously, the editing is my work.

MOZART: Violin Sonata in B-flat major, KV454
Henri Merckel, violin,
Jean Hubeau, piano
Recording d
ate:  January 23, 1942
Anthologie Sonore 111-13
Matr. AS 233-38

PIERNE: Impression de Music-Hall
Henri Merckel, violin,
Pugnet Caillard, piano
Recording d
ate: Feb. 2,  1946
Paris, Studio Albert
Voix de son maître DB11126-27
Matr. 2LA 4472-75 

BOZZA: Rapsodie niçoise
Henri Merckel, violin,
Orchestre Symphonique sous le dir. de l’Auteur
Recording date: April 6, 1943
Florilege HP2051-52
Matr. FLX 44-47 

SAINT-SAËNS: Danse macabre, op. 40
Orchestre symphonique de Paris,
Philippe Gaubert, conductor
Henri Merckel, violin
Recording date: April 4, 1930
Columbia LFX44
Matr. WLX 1325-26,  Takes: 2 & 1

FAURÉ: Piano Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 15
Merckel String Quartet
(Henri Merckel, Alice Merckel,

& Gaston Marchesini),
Eliane Zurfluh-Tenroc, piano
Recording dates: November 29 &30, 1933
Voix de son maître  L973-76
Matr. 2PG 1268-76

RAVEL: Trio pour Piano, Violon et Violoncelle
Henri Merckel, violin,
Madeleine Marcelli-Herson, cello,
Elaine Zurfluh-Tenroc, piano
Recording date: March 12, 1931
Voix de son maître DB4803-05
Matr.  2G 443-48 


This entry was posted in Chamber, Merckel, Uncategorized, Violin, Zurfluh-Tenroc and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Henri Merckel. Works by Mozart, Faure, Ravel, Pierne, Bozza

  1. Hi! These are extremely attractive posts – for one is very interested in the performance histories of Faure and Ravel, and as someone who has begun to collect Henri Merckel. However, whenever I try to convert the downloaded file, I am asked for a password. Is there something I’m missing? Thanks much! DPS

  2. tatifan says:

    Hello David,
    Oh, that’s very odd! I didn’t set a password. I’ll test it out, but could you let me know which download service you used within multiuploader?


  3. Jon Munk says:

    Wonderful post, Neal. Happy to have you back…

    Jon Munk

  4. Thorel Jean says:

    Dear Neal,
    So good to have your interesting posts again !!
    and Happy Holidays !!!!

  5. Hi! I rebooted my computer and tried the “Free File Hosting” option and it worked. I’m really happy to hear the Ravel Piano Trio. It’s always a piece that shows what the musicians are made of. Also, it’s one of Ravel’s more modern pieces – and it’s fascinating to hear it played in a style that now sounds a bit anachronistic, but had to be have been what Ravel heard in his own time. This is one piece, I think, that musicians had to catch up with. Thanks again for all of your posts.

  6. Christopher John Smith says:

    No complaints here – welcome back!

  7. arsumbrae says:

    Thank you Tatifan! Just a HYPER WONDERFUL post!!!!!! 😉

  8. mike harkin says:

    Thanks for the lovely scan of the Florilege! I knew the name from David Hall, but had never seen one. The Ravel Trio was a particular prize in my active 78-collecting days. I’m now limited to CD, and people like your good self are a godsend!

    • mike harkin says:

      Hope it is still available! Hope you got my post on fate of blog: Wireless network of new server plays hell with anything I try to do. Bloody network is down more than it’s up.
      And people wonder why I HATE computers!

  9. John mclaughlin williams says:

    This is a fascinating post. I’m trying to obtain the files, but I get “Bad Gateway” errors. Is it something I said?

  10. Claudio says:

    Thank you so much blogger!! It is simply impeccable to see many great recordings here!! I’m also in love with Henri Merckel & I’ve searched hard for his recordings in these few years. What I’ve got included 2 CDs issued by the Japanese label “Opus-Kura”, for which they manage the production process quite well.

    Greetings from Hong Kong btw 😀

  11. tatifan says:

    I’ve also got Merckel’s Hindemith Concerto here in unassembled form, but there is at least one CD version. It’s not my favorite Hindemith work, somehow. In any case, I’d need to find a score or compare to a recording for the side joins, as I don’t know it well enough.

    Glad you’ve enjoyed!

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