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By Samson Francois. By Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Claude Debussy (1862-1918), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), and Felix Bartholdy Mendelssohn (1809-1847). Classical, Piano. Classical. CD. Naxos #SWR19060CD. Published by Naxos (NX.SWR19060CD).
Item Number: NX.SWR19060CD
Samson Francois was considered an enfant terrible, eccentric and flamboyant; his life and demeanor were rather provocative and subjectivist. This release offers the rare occasion to hear the French virtuoso in a live recording from 1960, containing virtuosity milestones of the piano repertoire, such as Chopin Piano Sonata no.2 and Sergey Prokofiev Piano Sonata no.7 as well as delicate miniatures by Mendelssohn and Debussy. In 1943, be reaching the age of 20, Samson Francois won the Long-Thibaud Competition and thereafter embarked on a career, one of international scale once World War II had ended. Even during the war, Jacques Thibaud brought Francois to the attention of Walter Legge, the English recording producer turned wartime concert organiser; Francois was soon flown to England for an extended tour of factories and camps. From 1945 he toured regularly in Europe, and in 1947 he made his first appearances in the USA. He subsequently played all over the globe, including Communist China in 1964. Concentrating on the Romantic piano literature, and especially the French repertoire, he was acclaimed for his performances of Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, and Frederic Chopin, as well as Gabriel Faure, Debussy, and Ravel.