Marston Records

By Galo, Gary A. | ARSC Journal, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

Marston Records


Galo, Gary A., ARSC Journal


Marcel Ciampi: The Complete 78rpm Solo Recordings is the latest release in Marston Records' Lagniappe series of CDs sent free to subscribers (L010, www.marstonrecords. com). Born in Paris in 1891, Ciampi studied with Debussy and was also known for his performances of Chopin and Liszt; all three composers are represented in this collection. Chopin's Polonaise in E-flat minor, Op. 26, No. 2 shows Ciampi's fiery, sometimes impulsive style of playing. His Nocturne in C-minor, Op. 48, No. 1 is highly personalized in its phrasing, and the Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor contains some unusual voicings. Despite his imaginative and unorthodox approaches to these works, the line never breaks down; everything works in the context of the whole. Liszt's St. Franacoise de Paule merchant sur les flots is an extraordinary performance, with Ciampi making a coherent whole of a piece that can ramble in the hands of a lesser artist; his technical abilities are beyond reproach. For lack of a better word, Ciampi's approach to Debussy is surprisingly "masculine" and free of fussiness in the eight Preludes featured on this disc (and not unlike what can be heard on the composer's 1904 recordings with Mary Garden). "Feux d'artifice" boarders on the aggressive, and "La filie aux cheveux de lin" and "La cathedrale engloutie" are faster than has become customary. …

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