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Sony Classical Releases Jean-Pierre Rampal - The Complete CBS Masterworks Recordings - on 56-CD Set

Jean-Pierre Rampal The Complete CBS Masterworks Recordings in a Special 56 CD Edition “The Man with the Golden Flute”

In celebration of flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal’s 100th anniversary Released December 3, 2021 on Sony Classical – Pre-Order Now

Before Jean-Pierre Rampal appeared on the music scene in the 1950s, wind players were rarely hired as soloists with an orchestra. This legendary French flute virtuoso broke through that barrier with his astonishing talent, flair, and commanding stage presence, attaining the kind of visibility previously enjoyed only by pianists and violinists. He regularly filled the world’s largest concert halls for his recitals and chamber performances. Rampal was the father figure of the flute renaissance in the 20th century which restored the instrument to the exalted position it held during the 18th. He also became one the world’s most recorded artists, commanding all the essential repertoire of his instrument but equally embracing previously unknown works, his own discoveries, jazz, pop, folk and contemporary works. Virtually anything written for the flute or plausibly adapted for it was grist for his mill. In his autobiography Rampal referred to the discography that brought him numerous prizes and awards as being so enormous that not even he could keep track of it. In 1969, he began recording for CBS, and in 1979 he signed an exclusive contract with the label. Sony Classical will release in a 56-CD box set the first complete edition of Jean-Pierre Rampal’s recordings for CBS, RCA and Sony Classical on December 3, 2021.

Rampal was born in 1922 in Marseille, where his father Joseph was a professor at the conservatoire and principal flute in the orchestra. When he was twelve, Jean-Pierre was given his own flute and went to the conservatory to study with his father. “He was my teacher and my hero,” he later wrote. “I wanted to do what he did.” Playing the flute was the supreme passion of Rampal’s life, as important to him as food or water. In 1945, after the liberation of Paris where he had been studying at the conservatoire, Rampal was invited to play the Ibert Concerto – written in 1934 for another of his idols, the great French flautist Marcel Moyse – on live radio with the Orchestre National de France. That performance launched a career that would span over 50 years. But the music that was already making his heart beat the fastest was Baroque, then enjoying a new wave of popularity in France. Rampal recalled: “Bach, Handel, Vivaldi & Co., with their precise, measured music, gave the public the security and sense of order that the war had taken away. You knew where this music was going and what it would do.”

Immediately after the war, Rampal began turning out 78-rpm discs. In time, he would become perhaps the most recorded classical instrumentalist in history. During the LP era, he worked with more than 20 different labels before signing with CBS as an exclusive artist. Having inaugurated his CBS discography with Mozart – joined by Isaac Stern, Alexander Schneider and Leonard Rose in the Flute Quartets – he capped it in 1996 with Boccherini Quintets, partnered by four distinguished French string players. In between came a vast trove of memorable releases, including much more Mozart as well as music by Bach and his sons, Vivaldi, Handel, Telemann, Rameau, Sammartini, Quantz, Benda, Frederick the Great, Kuhlau, Carulli, Cimarosa, Haydn, Gluck, Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, Paganini, Giuliani, Spohr, Rossini, Donizetti, Chopin, Dvořák, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Ravel, Ibert, Gershwin, Kreisler, Martinů and Penderecki, with partners including Mstislav Rostropovich, Kathleen Battle, Plácido Domingo, Pinchas and Eugenia Zukerman, Salvatore Accardo and Trevor Pinnock.

And those are just the classical releases. Rampal also became famous for exploring non-traditional flute repertoire as well as for being a proud trailblazer in crossover. His CBS recording of the French jazz pianist Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano, released in 1975, made the Billboard chart of top-selling albums for ten consecutive years, only the second time that milestone had been reached (the first was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon). This unprecedented sensation (“Sprightly and consistently romantic … the performances of the two principals are impeccable” – Gramophone) led to two highly successful sequels, Bolling’s Picnic Suite and his Suite No. 2 for Flute and Jazz Piano.

Those recordings alone would have sufficed to make Rampal’s name a household word for music lovers of every stripe (a TV appearance with Miss Piggy and the Muppets extended his celebrity to children). But there is also his album of Gershwin songs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Rampal playing European folksongs with trumpeter Maurice André; and a Rampal Christmas album, Pastorales de Noël, with guitarist Alexandre Lagoya – a regular Rampal collaborator, arranged by Michel Legrand who conducts the London Symphony Orchestra; and a haunting album of traditional Japanese melodies with three koto players (Rampal enjoyed an especially devoted following in that country); and an album of Scott Joplin rags accompanied by Tommy Johnson on tuba, Shelly Manne on drums and John Steele Ritter, his long-time musical partner, on piano.

Rampal played for many years on what is probably the most famous flute in the world, the first gold instrument by the legendary Parisian flute maker Louis Lot. Built in 1869 for a French player who moved to Shanghai, this unique 18-carat gold somehow found its way back to Europe, and one day in 1948 the young Jean-Pierre Rampal fortuitously acquired it from a Paris antiques dealer. Soon he was dubbed “L’Homme à la flûte d’or” – “The Man with the Golden Flute”. (Later in his career he would play a 14-carat copy of his golden Lot and consign the priceless original to the safety of a vault.) Jean-Pierre Rampal became permanently associated with gold: not only for the flute he held in his hands, but also for the sound with which he captivated his listeners and, not least, for the sales figures his countless recordings chalked up all over the planet.

Set Contents

DISC 1: Mozart Flute Quartets

DISC 2: Bach Family

DISC 3: Bolling: Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano

DISC 4/5: Rampal and Lagoya in Concert

DISC 6: Vivaldi/Telemann

DISC 7: Bolling: "Picnic Suite"

DISC 8: Mozart: Flute Quartets K. 285 & K. 298/Divertimento K. 334

DISC 9: Carnaval de Rampal (Showpieces)

DISC 10: Schubert: Sonata In A Minor/Moscheles: Sonata concertante

DISC 11: Pastorales De Noel

DISC 12: From Prague With Love (Dvorak, Feld, Martinu)

DISC 13: Japanese Melodies, Vol. III

DISC 14: Haydn

DISC 15: Sonatas of J.S. Bach And Sons

DISC 16: Jean-Pierre Rampal Plays Scott Joplin

DISC 17: Weber: Sonatas for Violin and Piano

DISC 18: Bach: Concerto for Flute, Strings and Basso Continuo

DISC 19: Vivaldi: Six Concertos for Flute

DISC 20: Fascinatin' Rampal: Jean-Pierre Rampal Plays Gershwin

DISC 21/22: Bach: Sonatas and Partita for Flute

DISC 23/24: Haydn: Concertos

DISC 25: The Flute at The Court of Frederick The Great

DISC 26: Night at The Opera: The Magic Flute

DISC 27: Chants de Noel / Children’s Songs

DISC 28: Mozart: Sonatas

DISC 29: Bolling: Suite No. 2 For Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

DISC 30: Mozart: The Flute Quartets

DISC 31: Telemann: Overture/Concertos

DISC 32: Telemann Kuhlau Bach Mozart Doppler

DISC 33: Kuhlau: Flute Quintets

DISC 34: Mozart: Concerto for Flute and Harp/Sinfonia concertante

DISC 35: Carulli: Flute Concerto and more

DISC 36: Concertos for Two Flutes

DISC 37/38: C.P.E. Bach: The Complete Flute Concertos

DISC 39: Mozart: Flute Concertos

DISC 40: Music for Flute and Harp

DISC 41: Mozart-Telemann-J.C. Bach-Reicha

DISC 42: Vivaldi: 6 Double Concertos

DISC 43: Rameau: Pièces de clavecin en Concerts

DISC 44: Italian Flute Concertos

DISC 45: Mozart: Divertimento, K.334/Adagio And Rondo, K.617/Andante, K.616/Quintet, K.557

DISC 46: Haydn: London Trios

DISC 47: Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

DISC 48: Kathleen Battle and Jean-Pierre Rampal in Concert

DISC 49: Pla: Catalan Flute Music of the 18th Century

DISC 50: Boccherini: Flute Quintets

DISC 51: Collaborations

DISC 52: Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 36 & 38 – Jean Pierre Rampal, conductor

DISC 53: Carulli/Haydn: Guitar Concertos – Jean Pierre Rampal, conductor

DISC 54: Bolling: Suite for Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Piano Trio – Jean Pierre Rampal, conductor

DISC 55: Romantic Harp Concertos – Jean Pierre Rampal, conductor

DISC 56: Mozart: March/Serenade K. 250 “Haffner” – Jean Pierre Rampal, conductor


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