Monique de la Bruchollerie

8.99 €

Until a fateful automobile accident in Romania 1966 impaired her performing abilities, Monique de la Bruchollerie (1915-1972) occupied a powerful position in the history of French piano music. A pupil of Isidor Philipp, she went on to study with Alfred Cortot, Emil von Sauer, and Raoul von Koczalski. The live Chartres recital revived by meloclassic for Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise recreates two works – the Schumann and the Beethoven – that Brucholllerie performed at age 13 when she won the Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatory. These rare live broadcast recordings make their first appearance on CD.

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MONIQUE DE LA BRUCHOLLERIE – The Chartres Piano Recital 1959

1-4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op.110 [18:54]
5. Soler: Sonata ancienne [02:07]
6. Galles: Sonata ancienne [02:28]
7. Rodríguez: Sonata ancienne [02:50]
8. Liszt: Funérailles, HS.173/7 [12:03]
9. Chopin: Nocturne in E Major, Op.62, No.2 [05:11]
10. Chopin: Berceuse in D-flat Major, Op.57 [04:34]
11-30. Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 [26:58]

Recorded ∙ 05 September 1959 ∙ Chartres ∙ Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française ∙ Live Recording

Additional Information

Article number: MC 1005
Release date: 02 May 2014
UPC barcode: 0791154050057
Total time: 75:09

Producer and Audio Restoration: Lynn Ludwig
Booklet Notes: Michael Waiblinger
Design: Alessia Issara
Photographs: Benedykt Jerzy Dorys and Boris Lipnitzki
With special thanks to Peter Ziegler
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2014 Meloclassic

Monique Adrienne Marie Yver de la Bruchollerie was born in Paris on April 20, 1915. It was a lucky coincidence for Bruchollerie’s future career that her parents were friends of legendary pianist and teacher Isidor Philipp, who discovered the girl’s talent and immediately started giving her lessons. Barely aged 7, she became a student of the Paris Conservatoire in Professor Philipp’s class. At 13 she graduated from the Conservatoire, winning the Premier Prix (1928) and the Prix Pagès, awarded by Conservatoire authorities every five years to the best Premier Prix winner of the previous four years.


In 1932 she gave a sensational concert at the Salle Pleyel, with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire orchestra under the direction of Charles Munch, playing three piano concertos. This performance marked the beginning of the 17-year-old’s international career and led her into signing an exclusive three year contract with the Société des Concerts. Subsequently, Bruchollerie studied with Alfred Cortot in Paris, Emil von Sauer in Vienna and Raul Kochalski in Berlin. Between 1936 und 1938 she went on to take part in more piano competitions. After gaining third prize at the Vienna Competition, Bruchollerie entered the Chopin Competition of 1937, where she was placed seventh. The following year she gained tenth place at the Eugene Ysaÿe Competition in Brussels.

Monique de la Bruchollerie 2

In 1941 she scored a personal triumph playing three concertos in one evening with the Paris Conservatory Orchestra under Charles Munch. Her concert career gained new momentum after World War II. During the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s she played several dozen concerts a year. She made her North American debut in Boston with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Ernest Ansermet on December 14, 1951 at Symphony Hall; and at Carnegie Hall in New York with the same orchestra and conductor on February 13, 1952, when she played Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor Op. 30. Her New York debut was followed by her first Carnegie Hall recital on February 23, 1952, playing Bach, Mozart, Chopin’s Piano Sonata in B flat minor Op. 35, five pieces by Debussy and Saint-Saëns’s Toccata. A month later on March 06, Bruchollerie gave the New York première of a piano concerto written by Jean Rivier, and conducted by George Szell. Subsequently she appeared as a soloist in Philadelphia, Chicago and other US cities. When she returned to give another solo recital at Carnegie Hall in March 1953, Bruchollerie was described as displaying “… playing of unquenchable enthusiasm and exuberance.” Her program consisted of Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue BWV 903, Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C major K. 545, short pieces by Brahms, Chopin and Shostakovich, the Theme and Variations Op. 3 by Szymanowski, and Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 3 Op. 28. The press rated her performances very highly writing: “an artist of stunning technique and unequaled temperament”, “monumental playing coming from the depths of the soul”, “the virtuoso playing of Monique de la Bruchollerie is simply superhuman”, “a pianist of unusual artistic personality”, etc.

Whilst through the rest of the world she performed in North and South America, Russia and Africa. She also appeared many times in Poland, touring the country in 1938, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1957 and 1958. For example in 1957 she played three times just in Warsaw; the following year she played Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor with the National Philharmonic Orchestra under Jan Krenz, which was recorded by the Polish radio. Polish critics praised her, among them Bohdan Pociej who wrote: “Monique de La Bruchollerie is above all a virtuoso of colossal musical temperament and […] great musicality”.

Monique de la Bruchollerie

Throughout her career as a pianist Bruchollerie always devoted time to teaching, and held a professorship at the Paris Conservatoire. On 18 December 1966, during a series of concerts in Romania, Bruchollerie was injured in a car accident which ended her stage career. She dedicated the remainder of her life to teaching. Her repertoire was very wide, including works by Bach, Mozart, Clementi, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Débussy, Franck, de Falla, Szymanowski, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Bruchollerie made a few sides for the French company Pacific around 1950: Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in A flat Op. 110 and a disc of Tausig’s arrangements of Scarlatti’s Pastorale and Capriccio demonstrate playing of a strong personality. Her main recordings were those made for HMV in 1947 and a few LPs for American Vox in the early 1950s. After her debut in the USA, Bruchollerie was signed by Vox in 1952, making LPs of concertos by Tchaikovsky and Brahms, as well as the Variations Symphoniques of César Franck and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini Op. 43, in which she is partnered by Jonel Perlea and the Concerts Colonne Orchestra. German Vox also recorded with her a recital on November 19, 1949 in Stuttgart, Furtbachhaus and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in Baden-Baden under Ernest Bour. These tapes have been never released.

She was a jury member at international music competitions in Paris, Budapest, Versailles, Brussels and Munich.

Bruchollerie died on 15 December 1972 in Paris

© Michael Waiblinger 2014

Audiophile Audition Classical Review July 2014

The powerful French virtuoso Bruchollerie is captured in a live recital at the peak of her “formidable” powers.
Published on July 22, 2014

Monique de la Bruchollerie = BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110; SCHUMANN: Carnaval, Op. 9; LISZT: Funerailles; CHOPIN: Nocturne in E Major, Op. 62, No. 2; Berceuse in D-flat Major, Op. 57; SOLER: Sonata ancienne; GALLES: Sonata ancienne; RODRIGUEZ: Sonata ancienne – Monique de la Brucholerie, piano – MeloClassic MC 1005, 75:09 (5/2/14) []

Until a fateful automobile accident in Romania 1966 impaired her performing abilities, Monique de la Bruchollerie (1915-1972) occupied a powerful position in the history of French piano music. A pupil of Isidor Philipp, she went on to study with Alfred Cortot, Emil von Sauer, and Raoul von Koczalski. Her power at the keyboard and range of repertory made her the Gallic equal of titan Greek virtuoso Gina Bachauer. At least twice in her concert career, Bruchollerie performed three concertos in one evening under Charles Munch. She toured as a soloist with Sergiu Celibidache in South America. Among her commercial recordings, those for Vox Records still command respect in the concertos of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Brahms.

The live Chartres recital revived by MeloClassic (5 September 1959) for Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise recreates two works – the Schumann and the Beethoven – that Brucholllerie performed at age 13 when she won the Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatory. The opening Moderato cantabile molto espressivo in Op. 110 reveals a plastic, fluent vocal line, limber and strong in trill and bass chords. Urgency and intimacy collaborate to create a poignant realization of Beethoven’s directive, con amabilita. The liquid ideas in E-flat Major communicate a studied resonance. The F Major Scherzo sounds a bit more Teutonic than its wonted self, but Bruchollerie can make the figures dance, too. The D-flat trio assumes a perverse humor. The grand Adagio movement begins with a staid recitative from Bruchollerie that segues to a song of lamentation (klagendlied) over throbbing eighth notes. Despite the solemnity and depth of the three-voice Fuga, Bruchollerie maintains a transparent texture, though her bass sonorities could be attributed to Bach-Busoni. From the booming organ sonority Bruchollerie moves to a diaphanous cloud of propelled color, made more intellectually dazzling since Beethoven turns his fugue subject upside-down. A few finger slips do not spoil the explosive effect of her coda, to which the audience responds warmly.

Bruchollerie then proffers three miniatures – sonatas anciennes – by Soler, Galles, and Rodriguez. The Soler sparkles like the best Scarlatti. Bruchollerie can diminuendo and accelerando at once with subtle grace. The Galles plays like an ungainly gavotte with a taste for delayed cadences and pleasant arpeggios. The Rodriguez possesses, much in the manner of Soler, a decided Iberian rhythmic character, rife with music-box trills. In fact, this virtuosic piece has often been attributed to Soler.

The Liszt Funerailles from his Poetic and Religious Harmonies provides Bruchollerie a vehicle for ardent heroics. Hers is a somber, stentorian reading, certainly befitting the 1849 events that inspired the work, particularly the execution of Count Lajos Batthyeany by the Austrian government. In the midst of the percussive, later galloping, defiance, we find a tragic lyricism that endures in the great Liszt processionals in which real events and mythic stature merge seamlessly.

The two Chopin works balance poetic temperament with an idiosyncratic sense of Classical form. The last of Chopin’s official canon of nocturnes combines parlando and bel canto impulses with a ravishing fioritura. Typiucally, the heavily syncopated element has its adumbration early. Bruchollerie drives the piece hard, but she knows when to relent to allow its grand gestures to have their head. Rich textural movement plays against an almost static chordal progression. The Berceuse dazzles as a study in touch and color over a repetitive ostinato that Handel would have envied. Again, the combination of fluidity and liquid color anticipates the Debussy keyboard ethos. Brochollerie conducts the entire exercise in silken watercolors.

For her finale extraordinaire, Bruchollerie delivers the eternal, mercurial Carnaval of Robert Schumann. She employs all of her potent gifts for percussion, metric shifts, and uncanny speed – tempered or aggravated by a willful rubato – to parade for us Schumann’s cast of characters. Arlequin certainly receives a few accented knocks on the head. A suave Valse noble compelled me to turn up the volume for Bruchollerie’s piano, which sounds a mite distant. So many of the individual personae receive a nervous, stinging punch from Bruchollerie, that they become refreshed. She includes the staid but ripe monument Sphinxes. She obviously loves her Chopin. With Papillons, Bruchollerie resumes her frenetic chariot race that must eventually pass through Paganini’s wizardly antics and culminate in the Marche des Davidsbuendler contre les Philistins. Formidable! in any language.

© Gary Lemco

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