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Marcelle Meyer’s Rameau reissued on Erato Disques

Rameau: The Keyboard Works

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Marcelle Meyer would no longer exist in the memory and affection of music lovers if Henri Screpel, founder of the henceforth legendary label Les Discophiles Français, had not hired her, in 1946, to be associated with his daring policy. Screpel had created his recording company in 1941, in the middle of the Occupation, a period hardly favourable to any industry. But, at the time, Paris hungered for entertainment, and the theatres and cinemas were constantly full, publishing flourished, and 78rpm albums were very popular, despite the difficulty of obtaining supplies for making lac discs. To muffle the sounds of jackboots,

one was going to be able to play Desormière’s Pelléas et Mélisande on the phonograph. Screpel set about putting together series in which he linked a performer to a very specific repertoire. Contrary to expectations, he turned to Marcelle Meyer, the muse of Les Six and paragon of avant-garde music in the interwar period, to record not Poulenc or Stravinsky – but Bach, Scarlatti, Couperin and Rameau.