Fernand Halphen

Melodies for piano and chamber music

From the collection MUSICAL HERITAGE OF THE JEWS FROM FRANCE, VOL 5

Orphée d’or 2007 from the Academy of lyrical disc


With two CD’s (130 min of music) and a bilingual French / English well documented booklet, this album presents as a world premiere various works for voice, piano, violin, cello, horn and flute by Fernand Halphen, Jewish composer and patron, who died for France in 1917.

Pupil of Gabriel Fauré and Jules Massenet, laureate of the Second Grand Prize of Rome in 1896, Fernand Halphen (1872 – 1917) is the author of a rich repertoire of 150 pieces, among them a symphony, an orchestral suite, a ballet: Le Réveil du Faune and many other melodies. He got also very interested in chamber music with particularly a Sonata for violin and piano, a string Trio and Quartet. He also composed a few scores for organ and religious music. Two from his psalms are still played in the synagogues repertoire nowadays. In 2005, the Foundation of French Judaism had the privilege to receive the archives from the descendants of Fernand Halphen, within the framework of the program Musical Heritage of French Jews. The inventory of this archive collection allowed us to bring to light many of Fernand Halphen’s compositions, among them, many unpublished manuscripts. Progressively came the idea of making a musical album dedicated to the work of this unfairly forgotten composer. This work of musical restitution was also doubled with the possibility to study the contribution of Judaism to French musical heritage during the Third Republic (1870 – 1940).

Played by talented executors, the work of Fernand Halphen,full of poetry, lives again today, for the pleasure of our ears...

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