Composer of "F"

Pierre-Octave Ferroud (1900-1936)

A French composer and a critic. Born in Chasseley, a town near from Lyon on the 6th of January 1900. From his early childhood, he initially studied piano by his mother. Although he entered University of Lyon and majoring in natural science at first, he also studied harmony with Edouard Commette, an organist. In 1920, he moved to Strasbourg to study with Joseph Guy Ropartz. Later on in 1922, he moved back to Lyon and then studied with Florent Schmitt also. After the graduation, he became a well known concert promoter around Lyon first for his "Salon d'Automne Lyonnais". He also founded an association of chamber-music lovers named 'Le Triton' in 1932, the same year of his emigration to Paris. Moreover, he was active as a critic such that he was a full-time critic of the journals such as 'Paris-Soir', 'Musique et Théâtre' and 'Chantecler'. As a composer, he left a handful of elaborative compositions. His compositional diction can be described as full of brilliance. Being subject to Schmitt or Stravinsky, his rhythmic expression is mosso with boldly applied irregular meters, while the melodic and contrapuntal construction is highly realistic applying atonality, politonality, changing keys, diatonality. Which can be summarized as neo-classical idiom. On the 17th of September in 1936, he was tragetically killed by a car accident when he was walking on a road in Debrecen, Hangary. His death, without ever laying all his cards on the table, is truly regretable. In fact, F.Poulenc (his best friend and the best rival) sorrowed deeply over the news and that made him to wrote his later religious works as lament for Ferroud. (2003© K.S. )

Main Works

Stage Works A Pig Breader le porcher (1924) {ballet}
Surgery Room buffo chirurgie (1927) {opera}
March from 'Jeanne's Fan' march l'éventail de Jeanne (1927) {ballet}
Monte-Carlo monte Carlo (1928)
Youthfulness jeunesse (1929-1933) {ballet}
Warm Andante andante cordial (1919/1926) {orch}
Crowds foules (1922-1924) {orch}
Serenade for Orchestra sérénade pour orchestre (1927) {p /orch}
Symphony in A symphonie en la (1930) {orch}
Chirurgeon chirurgie (1930) {orch}
youthfulness, Suite jeunesse suite: en deux parties (1926/1931) {p/p, orch}
Fanfare from 'Cromwell' sonnerie pour le Hérault (1935) {orch}
Chamber Three Pieces for Solo Flute 3 pièces pour flûte seule (1920-1921) {fl}
Spiritual spiritual (1926) {g}
Violin Sonata sonate pour violon et piano (1929) {vln, p}
Cello Sonata sonate pour violoncelle et piano (1930?) {vc, p}
Wind Trio in E trio en mi (1933) {ob, cl, bssn}
String Quartet quatuor à cordes (1932-1936) {vln, vla, vc, b}
Piano Sarabande sarabande (1920/1926) {p/orch}
Three Studies 3 études (1920-1923) {p}
In 'Mountain Park' au parc monceau (1921/1925) {p/orch}
- cat plays with spadgers chant jouant avec les moineaux
at a bench sur le banc
feel leigurely nonchalante
childs bambins
Prelude and Forlane prélude et forlane (1922)
Types types (1926/1931) {p/p, orch}
Sonatine sonatine C# (1928)
Six Fables 6 fables (1931)
The Bacchant Lady the bacchante (-)
Songs Ambiguous heart contre-coeur (1923-1925) {vo, p}
Five Poems of P.J. Toulet cinq poèmes de P.J. Toulet (1927) {vo, p}
Three Poems of Paul Valery trois poèmes de Paul Valéry (1929) {vo, p}
Three Intimate Songs of Goethe trois poèmes intimes de Goethe (1932) {vo, p}
Three Songs of Jules Supervielle trois chansons de Jules Supervielle (1932) {vo, p}
Three Songs of the Fool trois chansons de fous (1935) {vo, p}

Ferroud Disc Review

"Symphonie en La / Types / Sérénade / Foules" (Valois: V 4810)
Emmanuel Krivine (conductor) Orchestre National de Lyon: Elisabeth Laroche (p)
Although it would be taken over Naïve later on, the 'Valois' was one of the enlightened label such that they had published the series of French modern composers' works named 'Musique Français'. This has been published as one of them. As far as I know, chances to listen his works are still extremely slim except his most frequently played 'Pieces for Solo Flute', such that the two CDs of orchestral works performed by Krivine w. Lyon and Patrick Davin w. Wuttenburg Orchestra (published from Marco Polo, while his complete piano works has once publsihed from 3D Classics: extremely difficult to purchase it though). Let's say Marco-Polo's Works is an extraordinary bummer, this Valois's works is truly an extraordinary masterpiece. The performance, by E. Krivine / Orch. Lyon, is impeccably and magically representing the composer's dense soundscape - as they has shown in their CD of Debussy's trilogy. It clearly indicates the fact that they are the world leading orchestra for performing French modern music after the decline of Dutoit / Montreal Orchestra. I am sure such an highly sophisticated and well performed recording is rarely-be-found. Definitely the masterwork.

"Jeunesse / Chirurgie / Au Parc Monceau / Sarabande" (Naïve : V 4850 AD 100)
Emmanuel Krivine (conductor) Orchestre National de Lyon
Because he became famous as a person of backseat rolesuch as a promoter or a critic, also he died young at 36, the amount of his compositions are limited. the misfortune could lead him into anonymity. In fact, in general, all that his fairly be known work is 'Flute Solo Pieces'. All the more reason, these two volume of his orchestral works are extraordinary valuable. This is the second volume of Krivine with Lyon Orchestra's Ferroud works. There is nothing should be complained. Performance is in full of sympathy. The content is more varied such that includes the orchestral arrangements from piano works or stage works. Yet his brilliance in dense orchestration commanding every possible compositional technique of the era - such as diatonic, atonal, or polytonal phrases and contrapuntal construction - is going strong. Incidentally, I am wondering the ulterior aim of the cover design of the CD. It seems like the front face of a classic car. Do you think the publishing staff considered the fact that Ferroud was killed by a car accident?

"Types / Au Parc Monceau / Fables / Trois Études / Prélude et Forlane / The Bacchante / Sonatine" (3D Classics : 3D 8019)
Marie-Catherine Girod (piano)
Hence this CD (originally published in 1996) had issued from a label which is hard to purchase in anywhere out of France, and became out of print immediately, the piano works has become one of the most rare discs for modern music lovers. This is precious because of the performance as well as the rareness that includes all of Ferroud's piano works. The very kind of CD should be purchased easily anytime. 'Fables' sounds like it can be compared with the position of 'Tombeau de Couperin' among Ravel's piano works, demonstrating that Ferroud is highly skilled contrapuntal constractionist. 'Etudes' strongly reminds us Debussy's 'Estampes', indicating his another roots stood for the direction from Debussy. By listening the present disc, one can ensure that this composer is not just a excentrist but a progressive composer with wealthy knowledge of classical tradition. Although we can listen some of the contents in orchestral settings thanks to Krivine discs, the feature of tunes becomes far solid, keen, and atonal in the piano settings. This tendency is the same as that can be found also on Caplet's 'Conte Fantastique'. Even though the aggressiveness became inferior to her legendary Dutilleux recording, the performance of Ms. Girod further raise the worth of the disc.

"Symphony in A / Chirurgie / Sarabande / March" (Marco Polo : 8.225029)
Patrick Davin (conductor) Württenberg Philharmonic Orchestra
Because of his tragic early mortality, number of his works are extremely limited and his fame is also limited. This disc covers large portion of his orchestral works and provides a precious alternate to us when we intend to obtain an overview of Ferroud's ability to compose. Like originator of the publishing company's name who edited "Record of Personal Experience in the East (Japan)", the publisher, Marco Polo's atitude to discover rare works from 'Zipangu' region of music should be highly admired. HOWEVER, we also have to quote the fact that there is rarely be found another company as insensitive as Marco Polo in terms of selecting the staff of his travels. You have to take the caution into your heart that the percentage to draw a rubbish from catalog is among the highest all over the world. Regretably, this disc provides an exceptional example. If you expect that might be the company's discretion to select an minor German orchestra to record Ferroud because his compotional diction is highly constructive, your faint hope will be disenchanted from the first tone of the beginning tune. Tuneless brass and wind sections, coarse strings, unideaed conducting with needlessly turgid syncopations all set up themselves totally be miscasted. There is incredible jump between Krivine and this Marco Polo. The jump is larger than that between heaven and earth. Mr. Marco Polo... please select the members of your caravan much more carefully!! No one can travel Zipangu as many times as you have done. It means we don't have any alternate everytime you publish Zipangu report.

(English Trans. 2003. 6. 27)