Overall Reviews

I do not know how to express my gratitude. The kind of archival material which you are publishing is of tremendous interest. So that, as you see, we share the same preoccupations. With all best wishes of success in your endeavors.
Bruno Monsaingeon, French filmmaker, writer, and violinist

Dans le microcosme de l’enregistrement historique, Meloclassic occupe une position inédite puisque tous ses « historical recordings » sont des « first CD releases ». On notera le soin parfait avec lequel les bandes originales ont été retravaillées ainsi que la qualité des notes, en anglais seulement, et de la présentation. Bien évidemment, les radios allemandes sont les plus représentées (Hessischer Rundfunk, Süddeutscher Rundfunk, Rundfunk der DDR…) mais on y trouve aussi des bandes de la RTF, de Radio Lausanne, de la radio polonaise, etc. Chaque programme est centré autour d‘un ‘interprète, certains fort connus (Kyrill Kondrachine, Samson François, Devy Erlih, Walter Gieseking, Wilhelm Backhaus, Rudolf Firkusny, Maurice Gendron, Henryk Szeryng…), d‘autres parfois injustement oubliés ou trop rarement représentés au disque (les pianistes Lazare-Lévy, Lélia Gousseau, Monique de la Bruchollerie, Monique Haas, la violoniste Janine Andrade). Mais s’il vous prenait envie de découvrir ou de mieux connaître Poldi Mildner, Bronislaw Gimpel ou Erich Röhn, il y aurait des découvertes à faire dans ce fonds potentiellement inépuisable.
Jérémie Bigorie, Classica

Melo Classic is my label of the year. Their reissue of never before released historical classical radio performances on CD has proved consistently exciting, and they have presented an astonishing array of live broadcast material from the 1930s onwards. It’s a label that continues to show perceptive judgement in its releases – both as to artist and repertoire. I have no hesitation in saying that this is potentially the most exciting tranche of broadcast material to be made available in many years.
Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb International

Revelations from Meloclassic, this is an exceptionally valuable label. Not only is Meloclassic issuing many fascinating never-before-released radio broadcasts (featuring fine artists quite unknown to a wider public), but also the transfers are unhindered by tiresome excessive filtering and the CDs include exhaustive booklet-notes.
Rob Cowan, Gramophone

The recordings are meant to serve as historical documents. The sound quality tends to remain extraordinarily quiet, with no trace of tape or wire hiss.
Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition

MeloClassic, a very new label (established in 2013) specialising in issuing historical radio recordings and performances for the first time on disc, seems set out to be one of the most exciting happenings on the recent classical music scene. All of its 80 releases so far are recordings enjoying their first CD release, thereby resurrecting a huge treasure trove of unknown performances, both by established greats and more obscure musicians.
Jeremy Lee, Top Ear – Hong Kong

Meloclassic, a new label to hit the marketplace – a mouth-watering prospect. Sound quality for these broadcasts is exceptionally clear and well-defined. They have been re-mastered using high-quality master tapes. The CD comes in a well-constructed, space-saving Digipak case. Three pages of liner notes, in English, give a biographical portrait of the artist, together with a selection of black and white photographs.
Stephen Greenbank, Musicweb International

Meloclassic boasts a rich and growing catalogue of exceptional interest. Recent releases include great performances by Henry Merckel, Michèle Auclair, René Benedetti and many other, often-forgotten artists. I urge readers to discover them.
Nathaniel Vallois, Strad

MeloClassic – Travail d’orfèvre. Voici une nouvelle collection d’archives, à tout petit prix, qui saura séduire les collectionneurs en quête de véritables raretés. A partir d’archives de radio totalement inédites, et de fort belle qualité sonore, ce jeune label propose d’entrée de jeu 60 albums des plus attractifs. Pianistes, violoncellistes, chefs d’orchestre et quatuors sont dignement représentés. Au sein de la collection « violon » que j’ai pu découvrir en totalité on y remarque un généreux hommage à des artistes français. Et parmi eux, bon nombre de grandes dames de l’archet aujourd’hui trop oubliées telles Janine Andrade, Myriam Solovieff, Michèle Auclair, Jeanne Gautier, Renée Chemet ou Denise Soriano, dont on (re)découvrira l’élégance de style et la pureté d’inspiration. A côté de quelques monstres sacrés comme Leonid Kogan, Yehudi Menuhin, Tibor Varga, Christian Ferras, Henryk Szeryng ou Arthur Grumiaux, illustrés par des enregistrements inconnus enrichissant significativement leur discographie, on s’attardera sur des étoiles moins célèbres comme Guila Bustabo, Erick Friedman (élève d’Heifetz), Lola Bobesco, Henry Merckel ou Igor Bezrodny. Des violonistes allemands ou autrichiens, illustres concertmasters en leur temps, tel Siegfried Borries, Erich Röhn, Wolfgang Schneiderhan ou Willi Boskovsky, complètent ce panorama du plus grand intérêt.
Jean-Michel Molkhou, Diapason

Recent CD Reviews

April 2016 ∙ Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan

Celebrating Monique de la Bruchollerie. A cornucopia of gems, from spheres both public and private, live and studio-based, from a great French pianist. I’d call this a major historic release.

February 2016 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Monique de La Bruchollerie 100th Anniversary Edition

RECORDING OF THE MONTH. This set has been a revelation to me, and I am grateful to Meloclassic for making this material available in this beautifully produced set. It should be warmly welcomed by devotees of French pianism.

December 2015 ∙ le mag du piano ∙ Frédéric Gaussin

Monique de La Bruchollerie, ou le souvenir français. Soixante ans après, il sera bon de réévaluer sereinement l’héritage artistique de Monique de La Bruchollerie à la lumière neuve de ces douze heures de musique. En la circonstance, sa fille Diane, elle-même une pianiste professionnelle, a livré ce témoignage que nous avons eu plaisir à recueillir.

October 2015 ∙ Classica ∙ Jérémie Bigorie

On notera le soin parfait avec lequel les bandes originales ont été retravaillées ainsi que la qualité des notes, en anglais seulement, et de la présentation.

July 2015 ∙ Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan

Not only is Melo Classic issuing many fascinating never-before-released radio broadcasts (featuring fine artists quite unknown to a wider public), but also the transfers are unhindered by tiresome excessive filtering and the CDs include exhaustive booklet-notes.

July 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ POLDI MILDNER plays Schubert, Chopin, Liszt & Debussy

MeloClassic scores another triumph of historical keyboard restoration with an artist we must reckon among the formerly unsung titans of her art.

July 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ MONIQUE HAAS plays Schumann, Mozart, Ravel & Bach

MeloClassic scores another triumph of historical keyboard restoration with an artist we must reckon among the formerly unsung titans of her art.

July 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ MARIAN FILAR plays Chopin & Brahms

A Holocaust survivor with a grand musical gift, Marian Filar gives us Chopin and Brahms with bountiful panache and style, 1949-1952.

July 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ RUDOLF FIRKUSNY plays Mozart, Schumann & Schubert

Always brilliant and elegant at once, the impassioned Rudolf Firkusny delivers and Austro-German recital culled from recitals 1957-1964.

June 2015 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ BRONISŁAW GIMPEL plays Glazunov, Mendelssohn and Goldmark

Gimpel was one of the most brilliant and communicative violinists of his generation. Whatever chain of circumstances denied him a true international reputation is of less significance now. His legacy should be celebrated and this disc does that handsomely.

May 2015 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ DEVY ERLIH plays Tartini, Bach, Beethoven, Ravel & Encores – The Paris recital 1952

Devy Erlih (1928-2012) has featured in a review or two of mine in the past and it would be good to think that his fairly recent death – he was killed when walking to teach at the École normale de musique in Paris – might stimulate some further reissues. The disc under discussion, however, is not of commercial material as it contains a recital given in Paris in December 1952. Meloclassic has upped its game with a classy English-language booklet to replace the glued in notes, and a change of colour. The result is a fine addition to Erlih’s regrettably small current discography.

May 2015 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ LAZARE-LÉVY plays Rameau, Mozart, Franck, Mompou and Fauré

I’ve had the opportunity to write about Lazare-Lévy (1882-1964) when reviewing Tahra’s excellent tribute album to the great French pianist and pedagogue. Now Meloclassic appears with a fascinating selection from his concerts and broadcasts given between 1950 and 1963. The restoration of this material is particularly valuable because he made so few commercial recordings. All lovers of French pianism will react favourably to this splendid release which is made the more so because Meloclassic has now upped its game in terms of presentation. Gone are the tipped in notes. Now we have an elegant eight-page booklet in the digipack with photographs and well-written notes. The livery has now changed colour too. All of which rounds out a compelling portrait of the French pianist as recitalist, soloist, ensemble pianist and accompanist.

May 2015 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ ELLY NEY plays Schumann, Mozart and Schubert

Recordings devoted to Elly Ney continue to appear from time to time, though they are largely devoted to her commercial legacy. This one mines studio recordings made in Berlin and Breslau in 1944 and captures her in the role as concerto soloist, chamber player and solo recitalist, a nice distribution of talents. Nevertheless it’s always valuable to hear Ney, not least in works that escaped commercial recording. The notes set the scene well, and don’t gloss over the pianist’s aberrant conduct during the Hitler years.

May 2015 ∙ le mag du piano ∙ Frédéric Gaussin ∙ LAZARE-LÉVY plays Rameau, Mozart, Franck, Mompou and Fauré

Dans la mesure aussi où il formera certainement la dernière parution d’intérêt dédiée à Lazare-Lévy – encore qu’il soit toujours possible d’altérer le profil d’un artiste en publiant des rebuts ou des bribes – il faut donc saluer comme il convient ce disque que Meloclassic, fidèle à sa jeune tradition d’excellence, publie aujourd’hui au cœur d’une salve riche et française d’inédits (Samson François, Monique Haas, Lélia Gousseau… : de nombreux autres s’annoncent). Essentielle à notre connaissance du pianiste, cette contribution se distingue d’abord par sa dimension patrimoniale.

May 2015 ∙ Artamag ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ FRIEDRICH WÜHRER plays Beethoven and Schubert

Un des scandales du CD, l’absence quasi-totale du legs discographique engrangé par Friedrich Wührer au cours des années cinquante pour VOX et dont Tahra a fugitivement réédité la seule intégrale des Concertos pour piano de Beethoven. Impossible que son intégrale des Sonates de Schubert ne reparaisse pas, d’autant qu’elle est tombée dans le domaine.

May 2015 ∙ Artamag ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ WILHELM BACKHAUS ∙ Beethoven recitals Ludwigsburg (1953) & Besançon (1959)

Il y a tout un monde entre Wilhelm Backhaus jouant au studio d’enregistrement – son souvent étriqué, interprétation millimétrée – et Wilhelm Backhaus saisi en concert. Le double album essentiellement consacré à Beethoven que publie Meloclassic rassemble une part du concert donné au Théâtre Municipal de Besançon le 15 septembre 1959 (Sonates Nos. 6, 7 et 14) et l’écho d’une autre soirée Beethoven, elle absolument prodigieuse, captée au Château de Ludwisburg le 13 décembre 1953.

May 2015 ∙ Artamag ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ POLDI MILDNER plays Schubert, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy

Je savais peu de choses de Poldi Mildner, mais la désinvolture de son jeu et le pianisme fulgurant qu’elle mettait à la Burleske de Strauss pour Arthur Rother m’avait donné envie d’en savoir plus sur cette pianiste que Rachmaninov avait adoubée après l’avoir entendue à New York jouer son Deuxième Concerto au début des années trente. Les documents regroupés ici sont aussi passionnants que déconcertants.

May 2015 ∙ Artamag ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ MONIQUE HAAS plays Schumann, Mozart, Debussy and Bach

Monique Haas jouait un répertoire très ouvert que le disque documenta partiellement. Mais il suffit d’entendre le phrasé du premier thème de la Sonate KV 310. Plus surprenant encore, l’entendre jouer Bach. Et comment ne pas admirer malgré ses limites de timbre – le clavier de Monique Haas est un rien trop « bref » pour Schumann – ses Kreisleriana sans fantasque mais si chantées et dont les épisodes réflexifs sont désarmants ? A ces trois inédits de son répertoire, l’éditeur ajoute une lecture pleine d’ombres, incroyablement sombre de Pour le piano. Qu’il poursuive!

May 2015 ∙ Top Ear ∙ Jeremy Lee ∙ KIRILL KONDRASHIN conducts Wagner, Ravel and Tchaikovsky

Kondrashin and the Staatskapelle Dresden performing repertoire not normally associated with both performing entities. The mono radio sonics from 1955 (Wagner) and 1960 (the remainder) is quite good for its vintage, and has been lovingly restored for modern ears by Lynn Ludwig, the founder of the label. Wherever you happen to live, I would urge you to grab this invaluable addition to Kondrashin’s discography immediately.

May 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ ROSL SCHMID plays Beethoven, Weber and Strauss

Long-forgotten Rosl Schmid emerges with blistering intensity in three staples from the grand German repertory. The performances, old as they are, reveal their sonic beauties in the presence of absolute quietude, sonically. The only ingredient we miss remains the insane applause that would have, should have, accompanied these revelatory collaborations.

May 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ JOSEPH KEILBERTH conducts Mozart, Haydn and Dvorák

Superbly restored readings from the Keilberth legacy, 1942-1945, guarantee a satisfying tour of the mainstream Austro-German tradition. The “new” MeloClassic packaging adds only more class to an already satisfying experience in historical recordings, and the liner notes by Michael Waiblinger provide ample biographical commentary.