EMI celebrates the artistry of Samson François with previously unreleased recordings on a 36-CD box set
EMI Classics is to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Samson François by releasing a 36-disc box set including all of the pianist’s recordings for the label.
The set includes performances never before released – including French radio recordings of Franck’s Symphonic Variations, Bartók’s Third and Prokofiev’s Fifth Piano Concertos, and recitals from the Salle Pleyel in Paris in 1964 – and a 1958 Chopin waltz cycle that is
new to CD.
Larger (by three discs) than EMI’s previous commemorative edition (released in 1990), this new release also features recordings in which François is accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra, French National Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris, conducted by Constantin Silvestri, Paul Kletzki, Witold Rowicki and André Cluytens.
Samson François was born in Frankfurt, Germany to French parents
in 1924, and studied in Italy with Pietro Mascagni, and, at Alfred Cortot’s suggestion, with Yvonne Lefébure. He also took lessons
with Cortot, and with Nadia Boulonger and Marguerite Long. He
made his first recording, a now-legendary account of Ravel’s Scarbo,
in 1947, the same year of his acclaimed American debut, when he played Prokofiev’s Fifth Concerto in New York with Leonard
He began recording extensively for Pathé-Marconi (EMI France) in the 1950s. His last project for the label was to complete his Debussy cycle with a performance of the 12 Etudes in October 1970. He died, from a heart attack, on the 22nd of that month at the age of 46.
Samson François – L’edition Integrale will be released in the U.S. on January 25.