The Music of LUCIEN CAILLIET Volume Two (1935-52) - PASC532

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The Music of LUCIEN CAILLIET Volume Two (1935-52) - PASC532

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VIVALDI Concerto for Two Violins
RACHMANINOV Three Preludes
The Birthday Fantasy
Works by J. S. Bach, Buxtehude, Debussy and Tchaikovsky

Studio and live recordings, 1935-52
Total duration: 69:12

Werner Janssen ∙ Janssen Symphony of Los Angeles
Charles O’Connell ∙ Victor Symphony Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy ∙ Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy ∙ The Philadelphia Orchestra
Arthur Fiedler ∙ Boston “Pops” Orchestra

This set contains the following albums:

The present program is the second devoted to the transcriptions and compositions of Lucien Cailliet (1891 – 1985), clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra during the Stokowski era, and later teacher and film music orchestrator. For more on his biography, including the controversy surrounding the role he played in Stokowski’s transcriptions, the reader is referred to our first volume (PASC 444).

In Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Cailliet seems intent on distancing himself from the famous Stokowski version, at a couple points adding a brass counterpoint over the arpeggios of the lower strings. The recording dates from Cailliet’s Hollywood days, and comes from the soundtrack of a 1946 nature film short which presents a day in Bryce Canyon, Utah. Janssen’s orchestra plays with vigor, although with an occasionally scrappy ensemble that would never be confused with Stokowski’s Philadelphians.

The orchestra in the following track, however, might well be confused with the Philadelphia – appropriately so, as they were the same ensemble playing under a nom-de-disque. Charles O’Connell was a conductor, arranger and organist in addition to being Victor’s Classical A&R Director, and led the Philadelphia Orchestra on some of its 1936 cross-county tour dates. Cailliet here expands the strings-and-continuo of Bach’s original to include winds and brass.

Eugene Ormandy was a champion of Cailliet’s transcriptions even while he was still leading the Minneapolis Symphony. The third selection was Cailliet’s first credit in the recording logs as an orchestrator, even though the side remained unissued until the LP era. Ormandy continued his efforts on his behalf in Philadelphia, recording several of his arrangements and commissioning Cailliet’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The Prelude and Fugue in B minor was probably recorded to follow up Ormandy’s recording of Cailliet’s transcription of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in F minor (one Volume 1), but it, too, was unpublished on 78 rpm.

The next two transcriptions feature works by Bach’s contemporaries. Buxtehude’s Organ Passacaglia in D minor has often been cited as an inspiration for Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. Cailliet emphasizes the connection by adding a preface stating the unadorned bass line. And at a time when Vivaldi was known almost exclusively for his Concerto Grosso in D minor in various modern arrangements, Cailliet sought to widen the composer’s renown with a full-orchestra version of one of his violin double concertos.

Taking leave of the Baroque era, Cailliet’s Debussy transcription was recorded three times by Ormandy; this is his first. By contrast, Ormandy only recorded the three Rachmaninoff preludes once, on a 10-inch LP. When they were reissued as a filler on a later 12-inch disc, the Prelude in C sharp minor was omitted. (Could someone have felt it was too over-the-top?)

Cailliet’s efforts were appreciated not only in Philadelphia. Arthur Fiedler recorded several of his works with his Boston “Pops”, including the famous Tchaikovsky song heard here and his “Pop! Goes the Weasel” Variations (on Volume 1). Our program ends with Fiedler’s recording of another of Cailliet’s fantasies on a well-known tune, “Happy Birthday to You”, a work which also inspired Stravinsky to write his Greeting Prelude.

Mark Obert-Thorn

The Music of Lucien Cailliet
Arranger ∙ Composer

Volume Two

1. BACH-CAILLIET: Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (9:06)
Recorded in 1946 in Los Angeles
Matrix nos.: WJ-1001, WJ-1002-1-RE (Artist Records AR-1001/2)

2. BACH-CAILLIET: Air from Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 (3:47)
Recorded 5 May 1939 in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia
Matrix no.: CS 035849-1 (Victor 36233)

3. BACH-CAILLIET: Organ Prelude, “Herzlich tut mich verlangen”, BWV 727 (2:47)
Recorded 8 January 1935 in the Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis
Matrix no.: BVE 87510 (Unissued on 78 rpm)

4. BACH-CAILLIET: Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544 (8:46)
Recorded 9 May 1938 in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia
Matrix nos.: CS 022374/5 (Unissued on 78 rpm)

5. BUXTEHUDE-CAILLIET: Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV 161 (6:54)
From the NBC broadcast of 28 March 1937 from the Academy of Music, Philadelphia (Previously unissued)

VIVALDI-CAILLIET: Concerto for Two Violins in A minor, Op. 3, No. 8 (from L’estro armonico)
6. Allegro (4:28)
7. Larghetto e spiritoso (5:38)
8. Allegro (4:25)
Recorded 8 January 1939 in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia

Matrix nos.: CS 030905/8 (Unissued on 78 rpm)

9. DEBUSSY-CAILLIET: Clair de lune (from Suite bergamasque) (4:17)
Recorded 19 December 1954 in the Academy of Music (Columbia ML-4983)

10. Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 3, No. 2 (4:53)
11. Prelude in G major, Op. 32, No. 5 (3:25)
12. Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5 (3:43)
Recorded 2 April 1950 in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia (Columbia ML-2158)

13. TCHAIKOVSKY-CAILLIET: None but the lonely heart, Op. 6, No. 6 (3:33)
Recorded 18 June 1949 in Symphony Hall, Boston (RCA Victor LM-1790)

14. CAILLIET: The Birthday Fantasy (3:30)
Recorded 28 June 1952 in Symphony Hall, Boston (RCA Victor LM-1790)

Werner Janssen ∙ Janssen Symphony of Los Angeles (Track 1)
Charles O’Connell ∙
Victor Symphony Orchestra
(Track 2)
Eugene Ormandy ∙
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
(Track 3)
Eugene Ormandy ∙
The Philadelphia Orchestra (Tracks 4 – 12)
Arthur Fiedler ∙ Boston “Pops” Orchestra (Tracks 13 – 14)

Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn

Cover artwork based on photographs of Lucien Cailliet

Total duration:  69:12