(If you want to skip the introduction, the discography starts here). May 6, 2020. The discographic output of Christian Ferras is now well covered on CD, and I’ve just ordered the two big sets from EMI-Warner (13 CDs, 2017) and DG (10 CDs, 2012) that document most of it (I already had most of their contents, but they contain some first reissues of a few recordings that made them worthwhile), so this is the opportunity for me to publish a Ferras CD-discography. The website of Association Christian Ferras offers one, compiled by violin-specialist Jean-Michel Molkhou and updating the one included in the libretto of the afore-mentioned 10 CD-set “The Art of Christian Ferras” on DG (2012), but it is arranged alphabetically, and I find a special interest to chronologically-ordered discographies, as they give you a glimpse of the artist’s recording history. Moreoever, Molkhou’s discography is not very serviceable to find the referenced CDs on your favorite online website, because he gives only label numbers, not barcodes, nor CD pairings, and not release year, which is a useful information for establishing the chronology of editions. I cannot insist enough that the barcodes are the surest, and sometimes only way to find your CD online – conversely, I’ve spent a lot of time hunting down some of those references with the label number as my only lead; how I was able to finally locate EMI Eminence CD-EMX 2178 is a story in itself – it felt like Sherlock Holmes, discographic sleuth-work; and the fact that the violinist is typed “Christian Ferris” on some websites probably didn’t help…; and about EMI 4 71919 2 with Bach’s 2-Violin Concerto BWV 1043 with Menuhin, see below – this one bites, so much time and efforts for a result that was such a let-down! If the use of a discography is only to pile “abstract” lists of label numbers without allowing you to find the damned CD, then a discography has, in my opinion, little use. In a private correspondence, Molkhou, claiming lack of time due to the circa 60 discographies he maintains, was quite unwelcoming and unhelpful to solve the few questions and riddles about his discography that I submitted to him.
And, after spending an inordinate amount of time trying to track down Molkhou’s EMI “464 132 2” (as presented in the 2012 discography, but if EMI, it should in fact be 4 64132 2… ) with the Bach Double Concerto with Menuhin… I realized that there was probably a typo, as the Ferras discography on the Bach-Cantatas.com website has it as 2-64132-2; in fact, I should have not relied on the 2012 booklet but checked on the Ferras Association website, where it has been corrected; but even that latter reference is problematic, and probably designates the first CD – including, indeed, BWV 1043, but coming, I suppose, in a cardboard slip and not sold individually – from the 2009 51-CD set EMI 2 64131 2 “Yehudi Menuhin The Great EMI Recordings”. Please give us barcodes and spare our time!
Also, as Molkhou’s discography and others I’ve used occasionally, like the one on Bach-Cantatas or the online Menuhin discography hosted by the official Yehudi Menuhin website, consulted for the Bach BWV 1043 (in the same private correspondence, Molkhou told me that he has authored that one as well!) don’t give any information on pairings, they do not let you distinguish between coherent, attractive releases and those where a recording is bundled with junk for the supermarket. A good case in point is again that Bach BWV 1043 with Menuhin, whose first CD release that I could spot was on EMI’s budget collection “Laser”, “The Best of Baroque”, a compilation of mostly snippets by various performers in which the Concerto is the one piece of substance (I don’t count George Weldon’s recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of six numbers from Handel’s Water Music in Hamilton Harty’s arrangement, as “substantial”). And I have left out of my discography, as insignificant, EMI France’s various issues of “Yehudi Menuhin le violon du siècle” from 1991 (referenced by Molkhou and the Menuhin website, although only partly – they fail to get that there were three such issues, two being with the same label number but different barcode), in which, other than the full BWV 1043, you get (on one or two CDs), only individual movements from other works. And did Bach-Cantata really need to mention Classics for Pleasure CDCFP-4688, which turns out to be a 1995 compilation, “Unforgettable Classics – Violin” (link is to Discogs), with only one movement from BWV 1043? VERY forgettable! Not all reissues are of equal value. Also, Molkhou’s discography as published by the Christian Ferras website has not been updated since 2015-16, and even within its scope, it misses quite a few.
the Decca recordings (with two escapades to Telefunken in 1953 and 1955), 1947-1954, the EMI recordings 1957-1964 & 1968, the DG recordings (1964-1968 & 1971) and the later recordings (1966, 1969-1978). And to those, I’ll add a section for the live recordings (links will send you directly to the corresponding section). When a recording is still unreissued to CD, I indicate it – the only major cases are Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3, 5, 8-10 from Ferras’ 1970 remake of the complete sonatas for Guilde Internationale du Disque / Concert Hall (4, 6 & 7 were reissued in 1994 by Fnac Music), and his last recording, also for Guilde, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto made with David Josefovitz in 1978 (but in this latter case I suspect that it HAS been CD-reissued and I’ve missed it: I’ve seen, online, compilations with only the Finale or even an excerpt of it). I’ve intentionally left out a few reissues by pirate labels (Andromeda, Membran/The Intense Media, Memories…), probably dubbed directly from LP, when an “official” and better transfer from tape exists, and likewise even with “legitimate” publications, when snippets, isolated movements or short pieces are included in compilations for the supermarket. I’ve also left out the complimentary CDs that sometimes come with music magazines (I’ve seen a few online from the French magazine Diapason, and Ferras always shared the bill with others), but as one should do with rules, I make a few exceptions. When I’m aware of Japanese and Korean releases, I indicate them, but although I’ve searched quite thorougly on Amazon.co.jp and Tower.jp, I’m in little doubt that I’m missing some, and if you spot omissions, please leave a comment. Some of my datings for recording publications are educated conjectures (usually based on barcode sequence) rather than certainties, either because I couldn’t get a glimpse on the backcover copyright date, or because that date is not given. The labels Forgotten Records and Yves Saint-Laurent, that have provided reissues of early 78rmp or LPs of Ferras and live concerts, come without barcodes and their CDs can be found almost only on their respective website. I provide the links. For convenience I also use the following abbrevations:
OSCC = Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
RPO = Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
LSO = London Symphony Orchestra
BPO = Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Note: Oryx was a Canadian label, and I don’t think they’re in existence anymore, or maybe they are through the website baroquemusic.org. BHP 907 was the 5th installment in a series devoted to the complete Bach keyboard concertos (played at the piano, by Celiny Chailley-Richez, Francoise le Gonidec, Jean-Jacques Painchaud and Yvette Grimaud) recorded from February 1953 to February 1954 under the baton of Enesco and published by Decca. More about these recordings and reissues here (you’ll have to use Google Chrome’s or Google’s Romanian-to-English translator, but the translation is very legible) and on Baroquemusic.org, here (with a glaring mistake: Ferras was never a pupil of Menuhin; he was a pupil of Enesco). The website baroquemusic.org has made them all available in streaming. Start here and click on the links to the individual concertos, which will take you to another website, https://musopen.org/, with various versions of the piece: scroll down until you find Enesco’s.
Note: I don’t know why Ferras is included in this collection. I’m not aware that he was ever the pupil of Boucherit (1877-1962). His teacher at the Nice Conservatory was Charles Bistesi, and René Benedetti and Joseph Calvet at the Paris Conservatory.
Note: the track listing of the DG set wrongly credits Barbizet as accompanist of the Kreisler and Sarasate, and Ernest Lush for Massenet and Fauré
Note: In his 2012 discography, Molkhou treated those HMV/EMI recordings as being the same as those published by Guilde du Disque / Concert Hall, SMS 2702 to 2705. That led to many issues, but I see that’s he later corrected that, confirming my doubts, and on the Ferras Association website the complete traversal on Guilde du Disque is presented as a 1970 remake in stereo. See below in the “Later Recordings” section, Fnac Music 642327 .
Note: there is an enigma to this recording. The 2017 EMI 13-CD box “Christian Ferras The Complete HMV & Telefunken Recordings” which issues it to CD calls it a “Debut Digital Release” – without specifying if that means the same as “First CD release”, but I suppose so. Anyway, the formula seems to imply that it was already issued in analog mode in some way. Yet Molkhou doesn’t mention it at all, neither in his 2012 discography as published in the DG set “L’Art de Christian Ferras”, nor in the discography as hosted by the Ferras Association, which hasn’t been updated since apparently 2016 (that’s the latest editions I’ve seen mentioned there), so if there was once an LP release, he was, at least in 2016, unaware of it, and in the liner notes of the EMI set which he authors (largely reproducing those of the 2012 DG set , which he contributed as well), he is entirely silent about it. Are we to conclude that it was at one point substituted to the 1958 recording in some later LP reissue of the Violin Sonatas, or that it was issued, in analog mode alright, but as audio tape? I don’t have the answer, and Molkhou, in the private correspondence mentioned above, did not clarify that.
Note: compared to the 1991 set, the two subsequent reissues delete “Pièce en forme de Habanera” by Paul Tortelier and Shuhu Iwasaki and substitute Eric & Tania Heidsieck to Samson François & Pierre Barbizet in Ma Mère l’Oye
The CD releases:
Here, I’ll distinguish between the Western releases and the Japanese editions, because these were particularly abundant
1968 recital with Jean-Claude Ambrosini on “Romantic Violin” on DG “Special”, or “Liebesfreud, Liebeleid – Romantische Geigenmelodien mit Chritian Ferras” on DG “Favorit”, or “Mélodies romantiques pour violon avec Christian Ferras” on DG “Paraphe” 427 015-2 (1988) 028942701526. Reissued (without Saint-Saëns and Stravinsky) “Les Grands bis du violon” , DG 447 269-2 (1996) 028944726923
Sibelius Violin Concerto DG “Galleria” 419 871-2 (1988) 028941987129 (with Finlandia, Tapiola by BPO, Karajan) * 2 CDs DG 447 187-2 “Basic Sibelius” (1995) 028944718720 (+ Swan of Tuonela, Tapiola, Finlandia Valse triste by BPO, Karajan and Karelia-Suite, The Bard, Lemminkainen’s Return, Symphony No. 2 by Helsinki Radio Symphony Orchestra & BPO, Okko Kamu) * 2 CDs DG Panorama 289 469 202-2 (2000) 028946920220 (+ Valse triste, Swan of Tuonela, Finlandia, Symphony No. 5 by BPO, Karajan and Karelia-Suite, Symphony No. 2 by Helsinki Radio Symphony Orchestra & BPO, Okko Kamu). See below Japanese editions same program on UCCG-3181 (2000) and UCCG-3831 (2005)
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto reissued many times with Piano Concerto (Lazar Berman, BPO, Karajan), on DG 423 224-2 “Karajan-Edition” (1988) 028942322424, DG 429 166-2 Collection “Privilege” or “Resonance” or “Musikfest” (1989) 028942916623, DG Spain 428 557-2 (1990) no barcode, “part of a classical music collection published by Planeta-Agostini named ‘La Gran Musica’ (50 CDs); this collection was issued with three accompanying books”, see Discogs.com. Czech edition DG 463 786-2 (2001) 028946378625, documented again on Discogs.com. Discogs also documents a 2008 edition by French newspaper Le Monde, volume 8, no label number, no barcode, and a similar one, more sketchily, from Greece, barcode 9789604691418. DG “Galleria” 482 2801 (2015) 028948228010. See also below Japanese editions POCG-91035 (2001) and UGCC-4953 (2014)
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto also released in an 8-CD Karajan-Tchaikovsky collection, DG 463 774-2 (2001) 028946377420, itself reissued in the USA by The Musical Heritage Society 5872784 (date unknown) 717794727821. Reissue 7 CDs DG “Eloquence” 480 4771 “Karajan dirigiert Tschaikovsky” (2011) 028948047710 (+ symphonies, Serenade for Strings, Romeo & Juliet Overtures, ballet-suites, Piano Concerto with Evgeni Kissin, Rococo Variations with Rostropovich, etc)
Brahms Violin Concerto and Violin Sonata No. 1 on DG “Resonance” 429 513-2 (1990) 028942951327, DG “Eloquence” (Australia) 457 298-2 (1999) 028945729824.
Brahms Violin Concerto on DG “2 CD Compact Classique” 413 844-2 (1992) 028941384423 (+ Beethoven Romanzen by David Oistrakh RPO Eugene Goossens, Bruch Violin Concerto by Yong Uck Kim Bamberger Symphoniker Okko Kamu, Dvorak Violin Concerto by Edith Peinemann Czech Philharmonic Peter Maag)
About the dating of that release, see my blog post of 10 September 2020
Beethoven Violin Concerto on DG “Galleria” 437 644-2 (1993) 028943764421 (+ Three Overtures, BPO, Karajan) * Same program reissued on DG 447 906-2 (1995) 028944790627, also found in a 25-CD set DG 447 900-2 “Beethoven Masterpieces” (1995) 028944790023 * Same program on 5 CDs DG 457 918 2 “Beethoven i Concerti” (2002?) 028945791821 (+ Piano Concertos and Choral Fantasy by Pollini, more Overtures by Karajan, Triple Concerto by Mutter, Ma, Zeltser, Karajan) and DG “Galleria” 482 2807 (2015) 028948228072
Concertos of Beethoven Brahms, Sibelius and Schumann’s Violin Sonata No. 2 op. 121 reissued on DG France’s series “Double” 437 949-2 “Christian Ferras Les Grands Concertos pour violon” (1993) 028943794923
Brahms Violin Sonata No. 2 op. 100 on Belart 461 250-2 (1995) 028946125021 (with Violin Concerto by Nathan Milstein Vienna Philharmonic Eugen Jochum)
Sonatas of Franck, Lekeu, Brahms and Schumann’s Violin Sonata No. 1 op 105 and 3 Romances on DG “Double” 457 027-2 “Christian Ferras Grandes Sonates Romantiques pour violon et piano” (1997) 028945702728
Brahms and Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos reissued in a 5-CD collection “Berühmte Violinkonzerte” (Famous Violin concertos) DG 442 8122 (2006) 028944281224, see Discogs.com for details
Bach BWV 1043 with Schwalbé, Karajan in “specially priced, lavishly illustrated CD + DVD limited edition” DG 00289 477 7097 “Karajan The Music The Legend” (2007) 028947770978 (+ Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5, Brahms Symphony No. 4; DVD: Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Suppé Light Cavalry Overture, excerpts from: Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Wagner Rheingold, Brahms German Requiem, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 with Alexis Weissenberg). See below Japanese edition UCCG-9674 * 2 CDs + 1 DVD DG 477 7099 “Karajan 2008” (2007) 028947770992 (+ to the contents of the previous release, this one adds a bonus CD with Beethoven Symphony No. 7 Allegretto and Brahms Symphony No. 2 Allegretto non troppo and interviews, rehearsal excerpts from Vivaldi The Four Seasons: Spring) Note: the product image on the various Amazons appears to be incorrect, and for the edition DG 477 7097 “Karajan The Music The Legend”
All the DG sonatas (Schumann including Romances, Franck, Lekeu, Brahms including Scherzo) and the recital with Jean-Claude Ambrosini reissued on 4 CDs from Brilliant Classics 93791 (2009) 842977037913
Bach Double Concerto with Michel Schwalbé in 10 CD compilation DG Netherlands 480 5648 “Karajan Klassieke Iconen” (2011) 0028948056484
Franck, Lekeu sonatas on DG “Collection du millénaire” 480 5247 (2011) 028948052479 (with Chausson Poème with Sebastian 1953)
Complete Ferras DG except 1971 recital with Shuhu Iwasaki but including first CD reissue of Serge Nigg’s Violin Concerto, on 10-CD set DG 480 6655 “L’Art de Christian Ferras” (2012) 028948066551 (with first publication of 1953 Bach Sonata BWV 1016 with Celiny Chailley-Richez, 1953 French Violin Masterpieces program and 1954 Mozart two Violin Concertos and two Violin Sonatas from Decca, and 1955 Beethoven Violin Romances from Telefunken)
Concerto recordings with Karajan in deluxe set, “original jacket”-type, limited edition 82-CD DG 4770055 “Karajan The 1960s – The Complete DG Recordings” (2012) 0766703323708 or 0028947900559. Note: not a typo, there appears to be a discrepancy on the set between the label number, 4770055, and the barcode, 4790055. Recordings with Ferras on vols. 23 Brahms, 25 Sibelius, 47 Beethoven, 50 Tchaikovsky, 82 Bach. Asian edition DG DN0008 (2011) 8808678140064
Schumann Violin Sonatas 1 & 2 and Romances on CD 18 of 42 CDs DG 479 6220 “111 – The Violin: Legendary Recordings” (2016) 028947962205
The 1971 recital with Shuku Iwasaki on DG 4825037 “Forgotten Ferras” (2016) 028948250370 (with Kreisler Praeludium et Allegro, Sarasate Romanza andaluza op. 22-1: Ernest Lush 1948, Fauré Berceuse op. 19, Massenet Méditation, Ravel-Kochanski Pavane pour une infante défunte, Ravel Tzigane: Barbizet 1951). Previously published (without the complements) on DG Korea 40133 “Air sul G / Violin Favourite” (2015) 8808678122862
Concerto recordings on 330 CD + 24 DVD + 2 Blu-Ray Audio set (!!!) 479 8160 “Herbert von Karajan Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon and Decca” (2017) 0028947981602
POCG-2083 Brahms Sibelius Karajan (1990) 4988005065780
POCG-2097 Tchaikovsky Karajan (1990) 4988005067029 (+ Symphony No. 4)
POCG-7041 Tchaikovsky Sibelius Karajan (1993) 4988005125415
POCG-3435 Beethoven Karajan (1995) 4988005160751
POCG-3436 Tchaikovsky Karajan (1995) 4988005160768
POCG-3437 Brahms Karajan (1995) 4988005160775
POCG-6091 Tchaikovsky Sibelius Karajan (2000) 4988005242686
POCG-6092 Beethoven Violin Concerto Bach BWV 1041 Karajan (2000) 4988005242693
POCG-6093 Brahms Violin Concerto Bach BWV 1042 Karajan (2000) 4988005242709
POCG-6094 Brahms Sonatas 1-3 Barbizet (2000) 4988005242716
POCG-6095 Schumann Violin Sonatas, 3 Romances Barbizet (2000) 4988005242723
POCG-6096 Franck Lekeu Barbizet (2000) 4988005242730
POCG-6097 Liebesfreud – Favorite Violin Pieces Jean-Claude Ambrosini (2000) 4988005242747
POCG-91035 Tchaikovsky Karajan (2001) 4988005239716 (+ Piano Concerto w. Berman)
UCCG-3181 (2 CDs) Sibelius Karajan (2000) 4988005256270 (+ Valse Triste, Swan of Tuonela, Finlandia, Symphony Nos. 5 by Karajan, Karelia Suite, Symphony No. 2 by Okko Kamu). See above Western releases same program on DG Panorama 469 202 2 (2000)
UCCG-9054 Tchaikovsky Karajan (4CDs) in “Meisterwerke von Tschikowsky” [sic], Karajan (2000) 4988005262011 (+ Symphonies 4-6, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker Suites, Piano Concerto)
UCCG-3831 (2 CDs) Sibelius Karajan (2005) 4988005387158 same content as UCCG-3181 (2000)
UCCG-5078 “The Best 1000” Brahms Concerto Karajan, Sonata No. 1 Barbizet (2006) 4988005447104
UCCG-9674 (1 CD + 1 DVD) Bach BWV 1043 Schwalbé Karajan in “Karajan The Music The Legend” (2007) 4988005496720 (+ Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5, Brahms Symphony No. 4; DVD: Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Suppé Light Cavalry Overture, excerpts from: Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Wagner Rheingold, Brahms German Requiem, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2). See above Western releases DG 00289 477 7097 (2007). I haven’t found a Japanese counterpart to DG 477 7099 “Karajan 2008”
UCG-9001 (242 CDs) Concerto recordings “Herbert von Karajan Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon” (2008) 4988005499455, see contents on MusicBrainz
UCCG-9819 (3 CDs) Sibelius Karajan (2008) 4988005520029 (+ Symphonies 4-6, Swan of Tuonela, Tapiola, Finlandia, Valse Triste, Pelléas et Mélisande-Suite) SHM-CD
Note: “The high quality SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic.SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc, allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players.”
UCCG-5286 “The Best 1200” Humoresque Violin Favourite Ambrosini (2012) 4988005704337
UCCG-4941 Bach 1041-43 Karajan (2014) 4988005808714 (+ Brandenburg 6) SHM-CD
UCCG-4944 Beethoven Karajan (2014) 4988005808745 SHM-CD
UGCC-4946 Brahms Karajan (2014) 4988005808769 (+ Haydn Variations) SHM-CD
UGCC-4953 Tchaikovsky Karajan (2014) 4988005808837 (+ Piano Concerto Berman) SHM-CD
UCGG-9105 (2 SACDs) Sibelius Karajan (2017) 4988031240069 (+ Symphonies Nos 4-7, Swan, Tapiola, Valse triste, Finlandia
UCGG-9183 (5 SACDs SHM) Beethoven Karajan (2020) 4988031372487 (+ Complete Symphonies, first DG version, 1960s). This one is hot out of the press as I publish this discography, having been released in March
Molkhou, in his 2012 discography as published in the 10-CD DG set “L’Art de Christian Ferras”, didn’t indicate any previous LP publication, only a copyright year of 1971 (which appears on the CD). The Fnac Music reissue is part of a series that reissued recordings originating from La Guilde du Disque (and their later LP releases on Festival Classique), but in 2012 Molkhou treated the Guilde releases of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas as being of the 1958 recordings also published by EMI. By 2014 he had corrected that, now treating this Fnac release as a reissue of the Guilde recordings now dated from 1970, and in the private correspondence mentioned above, Molkhou tells me that it was certified to him by Emi Jacobs, “in charge of the EMI archives for at least 30 years”, that there had been TWO complete recordings of the violin sonatas by Ferras, the one from 1958 and one from 1970, which sticks with all the other information I have on those Guilde publications. In fact, after writing these lines, I chanced on an archive from the French Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA): an interview of Pierre Barbizet from 1971, where he’s just received the Guilde set with the complete sonatas, confirms that they are a remake “made last year in Geneva”, and finds the Kreutzer Sonata, that he’s just listened to, better than the 1958 version: “I don’t think we play better; but we breathe better”. If you understand French, see at 2:30. So that leaves the other Guilde Beethoven Violin Sonatas, 1-3, 5, 8-10, stil unreissued to CD and the major remaining gap in Ferras’ CD representation. See below the “Not Reissued” section.
Note: this CD, sold at the time in news stands, is documented on Discogs.com. Here’s a better cover photo:
There’s also an Italian edition, same year, no barcode, “I Maestri della Musica” GMD 2/21, “not for sale individually, attached to vol. II installement 21 of I Maestri della Musica”, Istituo Geografico de Agostini. It is documented on Discogs.com. Likewise with a Spanish edition, same year, no barcode, in the collection “Los Dioses de la Musica” from a publisher called Editorial Planeta, and I haven’t even been able to establish the label number. From elements gathered online, they may have come in popular encyclopedic books, five volumes published in 1989.
I’ve arranged these in rough chrolonogical order of performance, although when the CD documenting a given performance includes another performance from a later date, I don’t repeat the reference but leave it in the slot of the earliest performance.
Bach Fugue from Sonata BWV 1001, Wieniawski Polonaise No. 1 op. 4, Beethoven Romance No. 2 op. 50, Dinicu Hora Staccato (with André Collard, 6.IX.46, Concert des lauréats, Conservatoire de Paris), Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 9 (Pierre Barbizet 1952), Milhaud Le Boeuf sur le toît (Pierre Barbizet 1953), Debussy Violin Sonata (Pierre Barbizet 1952) Yves Saint-Laurent YSL 800 T “Christian Ferras vol. 2” (2019)
Incredible to think that the 1946 Laureate concert at the Paris Conservatoire – Ferras was 13 years-old then! – would have been recorded and the acetates kept. I don’t know the source of the three other recordings.
Rodrigo Concerto de estio (Orchestre National, Ataúlfo Argenta 4.IV.51) Tahra TAH 427 (2002) 3504129042714 (+ Stravinsky Pulcinella, Brahms Symphony No. 2 from same concert) * CD 2 of 10 CDs Membran 600531 “Ataúlfo Argenta From Spain with Love – Milestones of a conductor legend” (2019) 4053796005311 * CD 4 of 22 CDs Scribendum SC815 “The Art of Ataúlfo Argenta” (2019) 5060028048151
Beethoven Violin Concerto (Sinfonie-Orchester des Hessichen Rundfunks, Böhm live 1951), Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 (same orchestra, Dean Dixon live 10.III.61) Originals SH 846 “Limited Edition: Only 3000 numbered copies produced” (1995), 8011662903693 (also found under distributor’s barcode 723722081026). Beethoven also on Urania URN 22.178 (2001) 8025726221784 (+ Mozart Symphony No. 35 “Haffner”). You can hear the Beethoven on YouTube.
Note: in an interview given to the French magazine Musica in 1965 and reproduced in the Disques Montaigne set TCE 8.270 (see below), Ferras mentioned, among his favorite concertos, “of course” those of Bartók, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, “that I dream of recording someday”. He never had the chance to. There is a live testimony of his in Stravinsky, with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Ansermet from 1966 (see below Clavès 50-2516), and this Prokofiev First. So far, no live have surfaced of Prokofiev’s Second and Bartók’s. So those who own one of the 3,000 numbered copies of Originals SH 846 (took me hours to find the barcode… and the cover photo, courtesy of Yahoo Auctions Hong-Kong) better hoard it… or consider donating it to me.
Beethoven Violin Concerto (Berlin Philharmonic, Böhm live 18-19XI.51) Tahra TAH 448 (2002) 3504129044817 (with Piano Concerto No. 4, Backhaus Böhm RSO Berlin 9.X.50), reissue Tahra Tah 4030 (2010) 3504129403010. Also on Arioso Classical CB 007 (2003) 4560139890072 (+ Böhm conducts Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 Backhaus RSO Berlin 9.X.50, Piano Concerto No. 5 Elly Ney Vienna Philharmonic 12.IV.44, Leonore Overture No. 3 Vienna Philharmonic 9.II.44), and on Audite CD 95590 with Berg Violin Concerto (Radio Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, Massimo Freccia live 1964) (2011) 4022143955906
Brahms Violin Concerto Hessian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rudolf Kempe 12.IX.53 Archipel ARPCD0233 (2007) 4035122402339 (+ Dvorak Symphony No. 9 2.III.53)
Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1 op. 6 (NWR Symphony Orchestra, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt 15.XI.54) in Tahra TAH 568-569 “Inédits Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt” (2005) 3504129056810 (+ Pachelbel Canon & Gigue 21.VIII.54, Haydn Symphony No. 103 “Drumroll” 18.X.54, Bruckner Symphony No. 9 28.IV.52)
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 K219 (Orchestre National, Carl Schuricht 3.II.55) 2 CDs Altus (Japan) ALT170 / 171 “Ina Series” (2009) 4543638001705 (+ Brahms Tragic Overture, Beethoven Symphony No. 3 from same concert) * 2 CDs Tahra 668-669 “L’Orchestre National de France” (2017) 3504129066819 (+ Beethoven Symphony No. 3 Kubelik, Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen Zareska Schuricht, Brahms Symphony No. 1 Stokowski)
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 K219 (Orchestre National de l’ORTF, Carl Schuricht 2.II.55), Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (Orchestre National de l’ORTF, Wolfgang Sawallisch 25.V.65), Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (Orchestre Philharmonique de l’ORTF, Charles Bruck 1.III.68), Jean Martinon Violin Concerto (Orchestre Philharmonique de l’ORTF, Charles Bruck 6.XII.68) 2 CDs Doremi “Legendary Treasures” DHR 7880/1 (2009) 723721395759
Chausson Poème (Orchestre radio-symphonique de la radiodiffusion française, Eugène Bigot 12.XI.55) Forgotten Records FR 570 (2011) with Beethoven 2 Romances, Kreisler and Sarasate with Ernest Lush (see above Telefunken and Decca). Also on Yves Saint-Laurent YSL 0985 T “Christian Ferras vol. 3” (2020) with Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (Symphony Orchestra of the Prague Radio, Václav Jirásek 27.V.58), Schumann Violin Sonata No. 2 op. 121 (Pierre Barbizet 1959)
Bach Sonata for solo violin BWV 1005, Tartini The Devil’s Trill (29.II.56, with Pierre Barbizet in Tartini), Mozart Violin Sonata K526 (14.IV.57 with Barbizet), Bach Sonata for solo violin BWV 1005 (3.II.60) from the Hessicher Rundfunk Frankfurt. Melo Classic MC 2001 (2013) 791154050231 see Discogs.com
Berg Violin Concerto (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ansermet live 3.IV.57), Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ansermet live 5.X.66) Clavès 50-2516 (2005) 7619931251622
Sibelius Violin Concerto (Orchestre symphonique National Lisbon, Pedro de Freitas Branco 16.XI.57), Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (Orchestre National de la RTF, Eugen Jochum 9.IV.64), Yves Saint-Laurent YSL 0606 T (2018)
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4 K218 (Orchestra Scarlatti di Napoli, Pietro Argento 21.II.58) in Tahra TAH 670-671 “La Fête à Stradivarius vol. 1” (2009) 3504129067014 (+ Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5, Ida Haendel Rai Roma Ferruccio Scaglia 11.I.58 / Mendelssohn Violin concerto, Zino Francescatti Rai Torino Ferruccio Scaglia 18.XII.53 / Brahms Violin Concerto, Gioconda de Vito Bavarian Radio Orchestra Jochum 14.XI.56)
Brahms Violin Concerto (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ernest Ansermet live 12.III.58), Lalo Symphonie espagnole (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ansermet 6.IV.60) Forgotten Records FR 1173 (2016)
Brahms Violin Concerto (Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch live 6.III.59), Forgotten Records FR 1181 (2016) (with Bartok Viola Concerto with Joseph de Pasquale & Munch)
Note: in an interview given to the French magazine Musica in 1965 and reproduced in the Montaigne set TCE 8.270 (see below), Ferras said that his “real” debut, no more a child prodigy but “an authentic artist”, dated from that Brahms performance with Munch in Boston.
Brahms Violin Concerto (Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch live 7.III.59) Yves Saint-Laurent YSL 0608 T “Charles Munch vol. 26” (with Honegger Symphony No. 4 from the same concert) (2018)
Bach Violin Concerto BWV 1042 (Collegium Musicum of London, John Minchinton), Violin Sonata BWV 1005 (John Minchinton) 12.VII.59, Forgotten Records FR 872 (2013)
Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 9, Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 2 op. 66 (Wilhelm Kempff, Pablo Casals live 15.VII.59), 12 CDs Music & Arts CD-1187 “Casals Festivals at Prades vol. 2 (Live Concert Performances” (2006) 017685118722 (see complete contents on Muziekweb.nl). Mendelssohn also on AS Disc AS 353 “Hommage à Pablo Casals” (1990) no barcode (+ Mozart Piano Quartet K493 with Menuhin, Ernst Wallfisch, Casals & Myeczyslaw Horszowski 1956, Brahms Trio No. 3 with Alfred Loewenguth, Casals & Horszowski) (also documented on Muziekweb, an invaluable website for the discographer)
[Addendum 4 April 2022] Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4 K218 (Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Carl Schuricht 15.VIII.59 in Menton, France). Yves Saint-Laurent YSL 1292 T “Carl Schuricht vol. 5” (with Haydn London Symphony No. 104, Mozart Symphony “Haffner” No. 35 from the same concert) (2022)
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 K219, Lalo Symphonie espagnole (Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Paul Paray 25.II.60), Forgotten Records FR 975 (2014)
Berg Violin Concerto (Berlin Philharmonic, Joseph Keilberth, live Salzburg Festival 17.VIII.60) Testament SBT2 1472 (2011) 749677147228 and Orfeo C 838 112 B (2011) 4011790838120 (both with Schubert Rosamunde Overture, Bruckner Symphony No. 9 from the same concert).
Berg Violin Concerto (Orchestre Philharmonique de la Radiodiffusion française, Rafael Kubelik 9.IX.60) Forgotten Records FR 699 (2012) (with Brahms Symphony No. 4 from the same concert)
Bartok Violin Sonata No. 2, Brahms Violin Sonata no. 3 op. 108 (Pierre Barbizet live 18.IX.60), Claude Delvincourt 3 Danceries , Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1 op. 6 (Pierre Barbizet 5.III.54) INA Mémoire Vive IMV 052 (2004) 3329184685221
Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 1 (Barbizet live 13.VIII.62), No. 7 (Barbizet live 13.VIII.62), No. 9 (Barbizet live 24.V.61), Violin Concerto (Orchestre National de France, Joseph Keilberth live 30.V.67) 2 CDs Montaigne TCE 8.270 (1987) 3305721587203. Note: about the Violin Concerto, see below 21.IX.67 * Violin Concerto and Sonata No. 1 reissued on 3 CDs PECO SSCD 003 “Les Grands concerts inédits du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées III” (1998) no barcode Note: this series from PECO – a label otherwise and hitherto unknown to me – taps in the early series “Théâtre des Champs-Elysées” from Disques Montaigne: this one collates the Violin Concerto and Violin Sonata No.1, plus the complete contents of TCE 8740 “Pierre Monteux Dirige Un Concert Russe” (Beethoven Symphony No. 2, Stravinsky Petrouchka, Rimsky-Korsakov The Golden Cockerel Introduction & Wedding Procession, Prokofiev Classical Symphony, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, Orchestre National 3.V.56 & 8.V.58). The series appears to have stopped at SSCD 004.
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Orchestre National, Eugen Jochum 9.IV.64 in “Orchestre National de France 80 ans de concerts inédits” (80 years of unreleased concerts), 8 CDs INA Radio France FRF020-27 (2015) 0779411264362
Brahms Violin Concerto Orchestre Philharmonique de l’ORTF, Charles Bruck 14.VII.66, INA Mémoire Vive 262007 (1993) 3383002620078 (Wotre Music distribution) , INA Mémoire Vive 247152 (1997?) 3229262471527 (Musidisc distribution), Ina Mémoire Vive IMV007 (1998?) 3329184680721 (Abeille Music distribution), (+ Brahms Violin Concerto David Oistrakh, Orchestre Philharmonique de l’ORTF, Charles Bruck 30.V.67)
Beethoven Violin Concerto Orchestre National, Joseph Keilberth 21.IX.67 (?), CD 5 of 9 CDs Spectrum Sound (Japan) CDSMBA040 “Spectrum Sound Presents 10th Anniversary” (2020) 4580481400101 (+ Brahms Symphony No. 1, Haydn Variations: Furwängler Hamburg 27.X.51, Furwängler Symphony No. 3: Joseph Keilberth BPO 6.III.56, Beethoven Symphony No. 7: Abbado Orchestre National de France 28.VI.80, Shostakovich Symphony No. 5: Sanderling Berlin Symphony Orchestra 3.X.66, Brahms Symphony No. 4: Markevitch Russian National Symphony Orchestra 25.II.60, Schubert Arpegionne Sonata: Paul Doktor, André Collard 6.II.59, Fauré Trio op. 120: Trio de France (Jeanne Gautier, André Lévy, Geneviève Joy) 9.I.60, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4: Kempff, Orchestre National, Jochum 22.X.60, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4: Haskil, Orchestre National, Cluytens 8.XII.55, Bach Cello Suites 1 & 3: Starker 1.IV.78, Cello Suite No. 2: Rostropovich 29.VI.77, Beethoven: Violin Concerto Francescatti, Orchestre National, Maazel 18.VI.61, Schubert: Piano Trio No. 2 (1st & 2nd movements) Trio de France 6.III.60)
Note: I don’t have this recent set, but I have to wonder if the performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Joseph Keilberth conducting Orchestre National de France is really, as the label claims, from 21.IX.67, and hence different from the one published back in 1987 by Disques Montaigne. The latter is from 30.V.67, and the online archive from Théâtre des Champs-Elysées confirms that date (THANK YOU for making that document available!). Spectrum says that the performance was also given at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Could the same work with the same performers have been programmed four months apart in the same venue? The online archive of TCE has no document to substantiate it, but I don’t believe their archive is meant to be complete. I haven’t found samples online to allow me to determine.
Beethoven Triple Concerto (Eric Heidsieck, Paul Tortelier, Orchestre National, Jean Martinon live 11.III.70), Brahms Double Concerto (Janos Starker, Orchestre National de France, Charles Bruck live 7.X.69) Doremi DHR 7716 (2008) 723721341459.
Beethoven Triple Concerto and Violin Romances (Orchestre National, Martinon live 11.III.70) on Altus (Japan) ALT367 “Ina Series” (2017) 4543638003730 (+ Grosse Fuge. Note: the concert ended with the 5th Symphony, not included)
Sibelius Violin Concerto (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karajan 25.IX.71) on Yves Saint-Laurent YSL 1348 T “Karajan vol. 22” (2022)
Beethoven Violin Sonatas 1-3, 5, 8-10, Pierre Barbizet, 1970 from LP Guilde du Disque / Concert Hall SMS 2702 (5 & 9), 2703 (1 – 3), 2704 (4, 6 & 8), 2705 (7 & 10)
see above FNAC Music 642327 for reissue of Sonatas 4, 6 & 7 and comment. That the rest of the sonatas weren’t reissued to CD, by FNAC or others, is the big frustration in the Ferras discography.
Beethoven Violin Concerto Orchestra National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, David Josefovitz 7-8.VI.78 from LP Guilde du Disque DLD SMS 2922
Note: I’m surprised that this was not reissued (I’ve seen only the Finale or even an excerpt thereof in a compilation CD), in view of the fact that Ferras’ other Guilde recordings, Brahms, Lalo and others, did come out on CD, on labels like Editions Atlas or Guilde Internationale du Disque. If anybody has further info, please leave a comment.
And, having reached this point, folks, I believe it is time to PUBLISH. I launched in this discography as an aside to the one I was preparing for the EMI labels “Les Introuvables”, “Les Rarissimes” and “Pianistes français”. I thought I had about all the necessary information and that it would be a quick job. But, as always, one thing leading to the other…. And when I thought all was ready to go public, and did what I thought would be a final check on Amazon.jp and Tower.jp (using both “Ferras” and… “フェラス” as my lead!) to make sure I had collected every reference… new CDs and editions seemed to pop up at every corner! Today is May 25, 2020.
And as a goodbye bonus for those who had the courage to read to the end, a fine telecast of Ferras playing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with Orchestre National de l’ORTF under the baton of Zubin Mehta, May 26 1965:
1 thought on “Christian Ferras (1933-1982) – A chronological CD discography”
I must say that my 60 year old records of Yehudi are better than any new disc I have heard, so far. They elicit tears. But they are few in number so I will follow you and find some more
Thank you for your fine work,