( 10" 78 rpm ) PATHE PG 51 (France, 1934)
THE "CROIX SONORE"
( SONOROUS CROSS ),
AN EARLY ADAPTATION OF THE THEREMIN
1 - "LE TOUT PUISSANT BÉNIT LA PAIX"
2 - "POUR LE TABERNACLE, POUR LE MARIAGE"
Music by Nicolas Obouhow
on the radio-electric instrument
"La Croix Sonore"
by M.-A. AUSSENAC-de-BROGLIE
At the piano : the composer
(revised little mistakes + simplified the title, no incidence)
ULTRA-RARE RECORDING, ONE OF THE VERY FIRST OF AN ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENT
Nicolaï OBOUHOW/OBUKHOV/OBOUHOV (1892-1954),
EXCENTRIC, FUTURIST, MYSTIC AND EXPERIMENTAL RUSSIAN-BORN COMPOSER LIVING IN FRANCE,
was present in 1924 (as Maurice MARTENOT, later the inventor of the "Ondes Martenot") to the demonstration of the "Theremin" by another russian, Lev THERMEN (Léon THEREMIN). In 1926 he began to work on his first own instrument, of same technology, with the shape of a 1,75 m. high christian cross standing on a sphere. He will later build two other experimental instruments.
As with the Theremin the player doesn't touch the cross, but moves his arms and hands close to it. From 1929 to 1934 he will work to improve his machine, which is probably in its last version on this record. The only known "Croix Sonore" was at first to the Musée de l'Opéra, then a time believed lost, and is now exposed to the Cité de la Musique (Paris). It has been played live recently by the Theremin specialist Lydia KAVINA on the OBOUHOV's "Testament", with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra (Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, 2006, probably the concert available on YouTube).
The main interpreter on this record is the historical one, his student the female french pianist Marie-Antoinette AUSSENAC-de-BROGLIE. The composer is at the piano. Similar historical performances have been catched in "Gaumont Actualités", 05-23-1934 and 06-01-1934, and in a movie made at the Institut de Rome in Italy by Germaine DULAC. This record is perhaps the soundtrack of this last movie.
AN UNIQUE OCCASION TO GET A PIONEER RECORDING OF ELECTRONIC AVANT,
THIS ULTRA-RARE RECORD APPEARS NOWHERE IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN THE WORLD (OCLC), AND SHOWS ONLY 1 TIME AT AUCTION.
About the sound of the instrument : to our opinion the Croix Sonore is close to a cello thereas the Theremin could be said close to a violin, the electronic modulations giving in each case their proper possibilities.
About the music : excellent religious pieces, very deep and grave modern compositions, with simple but very expressive introspective melodic lines backed by dramatic bass piano notes. This is not only a technical demo but two true solemn works of great feeling, in which you have, also, the best demonstration of the Sonorous Cross.
EXCELLENT CONDITION WITHOUT BACKGROUND NOISE, PURE SOUND, GOOD FOR PROFESSIONAL COPY
: 120 Years of Electronic Music: The Sonorous Cross – "La croix sonore" (1929-1934)
/ Hugh Davies: "Croix sonore." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/53322 /
Jonathan Powell. "Obouhow, Nicolas." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/20236.
SLEEVE CONDITION : old sleeve, VG
RECORD CONDITION : EX+ despite the minimal following defects : 1 short accident at the very beginning of one side = 3 light-to-average clicks just before music, otherwise rare very soft tiny marks making rare very soft single noises (one side close to EX++) ; 1 little barely visible stain of unknown liquid, barely visible, on the dead wax at the beginning of a side, no incidence /// glossy silent wax, no sctratch, obviously barely played /// one label shows several scratches on paper : the exit groove of this side makes the needle run on it (from factory), it is better to lift the arm before.
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