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French music


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ahinton
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« on: August 15, 2012, 12:24:11 pm »

Florent Schmitt (1870 to 1958) - String Quartet. in G opus 112 (1947):

From a wireless broadcast of a public concert; duration forty minutes. The energetic style of this long work recalls that of his (perhaps) best-known composition, the Psalm 47.
And a splendid work it is, too - but what about his Piano Quintet (1901-08), surely one of the finest works ever written for that medium?...
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 12:46:27 pm by the Administration » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 01:18:36 pm »


   Hi Sydney,

   Thanks for upload of music by Florent Schmitt .  He is one of my favorite composer. I love some brilliant orchestra music by him. (Of course I like Psalm 47.)

  I will upload something recording from my collection soon Smiley    Atsushi
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 05:23:09 pm »

Thanks very much for the Schmitt quartet.

It's interesting that, like his teacher Gabriel Fauré, Schmitt waited until considerably late in his career to compose an only string quartet. Looking over his works list, I'm very interested in checking out his earlier quartets for flutes, low brass, and saxophones.
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 01:45:47 am »

Allow me to make my first posting to this site as this really wonderful work, the first of many I hope to be posting here from the collection of Karl Miller.


Tableaux Hindous by Jean Hubeau


ORTF,  Conductor Eugene Bigot
Radio Broadcast, Date Unknown

From the collection of Karl Miller

WOW!!

I really, really, really love this work!  Of all of the esoteric ORTF broadcasts I've been posting over the last couple of weeks, this one is the winner!
It sounds to me like a very organic blend of late 19th century orientalism, early 20th Century impressionism, and a couple inspirational passages that Vaughan Williams or Bax would have approved of.  Wonderful orchestration, some haunting melodies.. I've been unable to listen to anything else for the last couple of days.


Wikipedia Bio:

Jean Hubeau (22 July 1917 – 19 August 1992) was a French pianist, composer and pedagogue.

Admitted at the age of 9 years to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, he studied composition with Paul Dukas, piano with Lazare Lévy, harmony with Jean Gallon, and counterpoint with Noël Gallon. He received a first prize in piano in 1930 at 13 years.

In 1934, he received the second Prix de Rome with his cantata The legend of Roukmani (first prize was awarded to Eugène Bozza). The following year, he was honored by Louis Diémer.

In 1941, when Claude Delvincourt was appointed director of the Conservatoire, Hubeau was appointed to the vacancy left by Delvincourt at the head of the Music Academy in Versailles. In addition, he took the post of professor of chamber music of the Paris Conservatory from 1957 to 1982 where he trained many students such as Jacques Rouvier, Géry Moutier, Olivier Charlier and Sonia Wieder-Atherton.

He was also a pianist known especially for his recordings of Gabriel Fauré, Robert Schumann and Dukas, which are recognized as benchmark versions.


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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 02:19:20 am »

4 Chansons de Ronsard by Darius Milhaud

J Micheau (sop)
ORTF, Conducted by C.M. Guilini
1959
Radio Broadcast

From the collection of Karl Miller

Milhaud may not be as 'unsung' as others, but certainly is worth a listen.  

Highlights from the Wiki Bio:

Darius Milhaud (French pronunciation: [daʁjys mijo]; 4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality. Darius Milhaud is to be counted among the modernist composers.[1]

Life and career
Born in Marseilles to a Jewish family from Aix-en-Provence, Milhaud studied in Paris at the Paris Conservatory where he met his fellow group members Arthur Honegger and Germaine Tailleferre. He studied composition under Charles Widor and harmony and counterpoint with André Gedalge. He also studied privately with Vincent d'Indy. As a young man he worked for a while in the diplomatic entourage of Paul Claudel, the eminent poet and dramatist, who was serving as French ambassador to Brazil.

On a trip to the United States in 1922, Darius Milhaud heard "authentic" jazz for the first time, on the streets of Harlem, [2] which left a great impact on his musical outlook. The following year, he completed his composition "La création du monde" ("The Creation of the World"), using ideas and idioms from jazz, cast as a ballet in six continuous dance scenes.[2]

In 1925, Milhaud married his cousin, Madeleine (1902–2008), an actress and reciter. In 1930 she bore him a son, the painter and sculptor Daniel Milhaud, to be the couple's only child.[3]

The rise of Nazism forced the Milhauds to leave France in 1939,[1][not in citation given] and then emigrate to America in 1940 (his Jewish background made it impossible for Milhaud to return to his native country until after its Liberation). He secured a teaching post at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he collaborated with Henri Temianka and the Paganini Quartet. In an extraordinary concert there in 1949, the Budapest Quartet performed the composer's 14th String Quartet, followed by the Paganini's performance of his 15th; and then both ensembles played the two pieces together as an octet.[4] The following year, these same pieces were performed at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, by the Paganini and Juilliard Quartet.[5]

The jazz pianist Dave Brubeck became one of Milhaud's most famous students when Brubeck furthered his music studies at Mills College in the late 1940s (he named his eldest son Darius). In a February 2010 interview with Jazzwax, Brubeck said he attended Mills, a women's college (men were allowed in graduate programs), specifically to study with Milhaud, saying "Milhaud was an enormously gifted classical composer and teacher who loved jazz and incorporated it into his work. My older brother Howard was his assistant and had taken all of his classes."[this quote needs a citation]

Milhaud's former students also include popular songwriter Burt Bacharach.[6] Milhaud told Bacharach, "Don't be afraid of writing something people can remember and whistle. Don't ever feel discomfited by a melody".[7]

Milhaud (like his contemporaries Paul Hindemith, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Alan Hovhaness, Bohuslav Martinů and Heitor Villa-Lobos) was an extremely rapid creator, for whom the art of writing music seemed almost as natural as breathing. His most popular works include Le bœuf sur le toit (a ballet which lent its name to the legendary cabaret frequented by Milhaud and other members of Les Six), La création du monde (a ballet for small orchestra with solo saxophone, influenced by jazz), Scaramouche (for saxophone and piano, also for two pianos), and Saudades do Brasil (dance suite). His autobiography is titled Notes sans musique (Notes Without Music), later revised as Ma vie heureuse (My Happy Life).

From 1947 to 1971 he taught alternate years at Mills and the Paris Conservatoire, until poor health, which caused him to use a wheelchair during his later years (beginning sometime before 1947), compelled him to retire. He died in Geneva, aged 81.

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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 04:12:12 pm »

Cello Concerto by Claude Pascal

Andre Navarra (soloist)
Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF), Conducted by  R. Boutry
Radio Broadcast, May 5, 1967

From the collection of Karl Miller


Brief Bio from "Last-FM"
Claude Pascal: French composer, singer, and a critic. His formal name is Claude René Georges Pascal. He was born in Paris on 19th of Feb. 1921. In 1931 (then he was only 10 years old), he entered the Paris Conservatory of Music where he won the first prize for four times in 1937, 1940, 1942, and 1944. As a composer, he won the first prize of Prix de Rome in 1945 by his cantata ‘jokes of bootstrapping marchant’.

He was very active as a performer such that he was selected as a cast of Yniold in Debussy’s opera Pelleas and Melisande and appeared on the stage of the Champs d’Elysees opera house when he was only 12 years old, as well as he was appointed as a chorus master of the opera comic theatre of Paris in 1944-1945. In addition, he obtained a success as a educator such as becoming a professor in reed instruments at Paris conservatory in 1952, where he also became the head in 1966. He wielded his pen as a critic on a journal Le Figgaro from 1970.
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 04:41:51 pm »

Roger Calmel, Concerto pour Orgue(incomplete)

P. Cochereau (Orgue)
ORtF, Conducted by G. Tzipine
Feb, 18, 1970

From the collection of Karl Miller


I would characterize this as a fairly "rugged" work- reminding me in some ways of Copeland's Symphony for Organ. Unfortunately, the recording is incomplete, but is sounds like nearly all of it is here.


Wikipedia  Bio for Calmel

Roger Calmel (13 May 1920 - 4 July 1998) was a French composer. His nearly 400 works span every genre, from chamber music to opera.

Originally from the Languedoc, he undertook his first musical studies in Béziers, in particular with Paul Fouquet.

In 1944, he moved to Paris to study composition at the César Franck school, before entering the Paris conservatory and winning first prize in several classes as of Counterpoint and Fugue (Plé-Claussade Class), Aesthetic class (Oliveir Messiaen class) and Composition class (Darius Milhaud class). His training benefited also from Pierre Shaeffer's influence.
The next few years witness the birth of his first major works. His personal musicality stood up through an atonal essence language that renounces neither polytonality nor tonal pivot usage.

He won the Musical Grand Prize of Paris (1958), the First Prize of the Concerts-Réferendum-Pasdeloup, the First Prize of the French musical confederation (1959), the Grand Prize of the Divonne Composition International Competition (1960), and the Grand Prize of the French Institute of chamber music (1976).

For many years Roger Calmel taught at French Radio and Television children's choir school, before becoming the head of the Darius Milhaud music conservatory in the XIVth arrondissement in Paris.

From 1991 to 1998, he worked as an inspector in Ateliers Musicaux for the Paris council. Those pedagogic activities had, without any doubts, an influence on the musician's career. Since then, and following the requests made by the "A Coeur joie" movement, Pueri Cantores and many other festivals and choirs, he spent a large part of his time writing several works based on vocal music.

Over many years, he also acted as artistic director of the Côte Languedocienne festival, a festival that he set up in Sérignan.



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... an opening of those magic casements ...


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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 12:18:34 am »

So many new pieces and new composers! Really too interesting, too convincing, too much (for me)!  Wink I'll download them all and do my best.
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… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.  RVW, 1948
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 03:33:05 am »

So many new pieces and new composers! Really too interesting, too convincing, too much (for me)!  Wink I'll download them all and do my best.

Fasten your seatbelt.  We're still in low gear....
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 03:38:06 am »

If this means there are going to be lots of unsung downloads on the way, my seatbelt's fastened Grin Grin!
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 09:08:03 am »

Thanks to the intro for the Schmitt quartet I've been able to find out some details about the
performances of this neglected work and for the d'Indy - they originate from broadcasts of
a series of fascinating concerts at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris from 2008:


Quatuor Renoir
Vincent d'Indy
Quatuor n° 3 op. 96
Henri Dutilleux
Quatuor "Ainsi la nuit"
 
sam. 29 mars 2008 - 11h00
Musée d'Orsay
Auditorium niveau -2


Quatuor Debussy
Florent Schmitt
Quatuor en sol dièse mineur op. 112
 
sam. 12 avril 2008 - 14h00
Musée d'Orsay
Auditorium niveau -2



see http://www.musee-orsay.fr/fr/evenements/musique/presentation-generale/article/radio-france-9537.html?cHash=c992108e0b
for the full programme.

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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 01:40:13 pm »

Music of Maurice Thiriet


1-4: Oedipe Roi (1940-41)
Orchestre National de l'ORTF
Choeurs de l'ORTF (Jean Paul Kreder)
Conducted by Manuel Rosenthal
Christiane Eda Pierre, soprano
Franz Pietri, baryton
André Falcon, récitant
Radio Broadcast, January 31, 1972


5. Poem for Orchestra (1936)
ORTF, Conducted by Andre Girard
Radio broadcast, March 12, 1971


From the collection of Karl Miller


Wikipedia Bio
Born in Meulan, Yvelines, he entered the Paris conservatory in 1925 to study counterpoint and fugue with Charles Koechlin and orchestration and arrangement under Alexis Roland-Manuel. He graduated in 1931. During the forties Thiriet carved his career within film music, inspired by fellow composer Maurice Jaubert (who died in World War II), and wrote something like twenty scores from 1942 to 1960. Apart from his film work, Thiriet also composed several concert works, including a Flute concerto, ten ballets and two operas. His style, which was influenced by Jaubert and Roland-Manuel, is characterized by taught construction and modest, nearly impressionistic harmonization and often bears a classical grace not unlike that of Francis Poulenc and Jean Françaix.


Bio blurb from: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fclaude.torres1.perso.sfr.fr%2FGhettosCamps%2FStalags%2FThiriet%2FThirietMaurice.html&ei=MzsuUJqBI-f5ygG0zYBo&usg=AFQjCNEAbqkTxl2_b16jd7PFcCJmRNd2mQ&sig2=xOnDLIvp1xVQvJjFrr6SaA

A French composer (especially in music for films). He was born in Meulan (Île-de-France, Yvelinnes) on 2 of May 1906. He entered Paris Conservatory in 1925 to study counterpoint and fugue under Charles Koechlin, orchestration, arrengement and aesthetics under Alexis Roland-Manuel whereas studying solfege under Schwartz, harmony under Silver. He graduated there in 1931. He admired Maurice Jaubert (frontier of movie music) highly, and devoted himself to the genre with influence of Jaubert. In the years 1941-42, he was prisonnier in Stalag IX A. His first success in the genre started from 1942. He composed the film music of 'Les Visiteurs du Soir' which was directed by Marcel Carné in 1942, with the collaboration of Joseph Kosma (composer of a famous jazz standard 'autumn leaves') . That obtained a great success. He and the director's next collaborattion 'Les Enfants du Paradis' in 1945 also achieved a successful outcome. Although he was largely recognized as one of the most distinguished composers of movie music in the era, he left many composition in regular classical music format. His compositional diction can be characterized as firm and tight construction in form with modest, colorful and somewhat impressionistic harmonization. He died in Puys at 66 years old on 28th of September, 1972.
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 06:07:58 pm »

Vincent d'Indy
Quatuor n° 3 op. 96

More than 30 years separate d'Indy's Second String Quartet (1897) from his Third, composed over 1928-1929 as he passed his 78th birthday. Between the Violin Sonata (1903-1904) and the Piano Quintet (1924), apart from a few small pieces and arrangements, d'Indy composed no chamber music, being preoccupied with administrative duties at his music school, the Schola Cantorum -- funded with his fortune and for which he wrote the course -- and composition of his musical testament, La Légende de Saint Christophe (1908-1915), into which he crammed his medievalism, his Catholicism, his enormous erudition, his bigotry and anti-Semitism, and his loathing for the rising tide of Modernism. The preceding quartets, challenged by the prestige the form commanded owing to Beethoven's spate of masterpieces, evinced a preoccupation with form, compensating for a habitual absence of melodic afflatus, constricting the unusual lyricism of the First and generating a curious aridity in the monothematic Second. With the death of his wife in 1905, d'Indy's already highly organized approach to composition took on a systematic rigidity and chef d'école self-consciousness as his general outlook soured. The attendant heaviness began to dissipate only toward the end of the Great War when a chance encounter with a sympathetic young woman, Caroline Janson, took a romantic turn leading to marriage in 1920 and that amazing series of late masterpieces attesting a puissant rejuvenation -- the scintillant Poème des ravages, its companion Diptyque méditerranéen for orchestra, and a half-dozen chamber works rife with joy, the Third Quartet among them. It is not that d'Indy has become a fetching melodist in his old age -- his themes are serviceable rather than memorable -- but supreme technique is animated by potent feeling, the return of his considerable charm, and a generally relaxed geniality. It was no longer necessary for every new work to be an audacious coup de maître, though the Third Quartet qualifies. From the opening bars there is lift, cordiality -- ecstasy, even -- managed by a master hand. The welcoming mien is confirmed by a two-page notice explicative prefacing the score in which the work's formal design is spelled out -- after a brief introduction a compact sonata first movement, passionate yet smiling; a candid Intermède set off by a trio of ravishing tendresse; a slender theme becoming ever more persuasive through seven brief but elaborate variations; and a rondo finale with five refrains leading through nostalgia-laced joy to a triumphant peroration. The Quatuor Calvet gave the premiere at a Société Nationale concert on April 12, 1930.  ~ Adrian Corleonis, allmusic.com

Florent Schmitt
Quatuor en sol dièse mineur op. 112

I could not find any dialogue on this work, outside of a brief (but nondescript) mention in a letter from Jean Roger-Ducasse to Nadia Boulanger that coincided with the work's premiere at the Strasbourg Festival on June 10, 1948. Elsewhere, Schmitt's quartet is mentioned in the same breath as Roger-Ducasse's second quartet, which was completed at around the same time as Schmitt's.

I don't speak French, otherwise I'd attempt translation of the radio introduction.

Like Roger-Ducasse's work, the Schmitt quartet is simply massive to behold. It's a shame that this work is so unknown. Based on the biographical information I've found, it would seem that, by the 1940s, Schmitt had managed to piss off almost everybody with thorny critical writings and bad behavior at performances. As none of that stuff matters anymore, I'm certainly going to spend some time examining this work, as its appeal to me is both immediate and delightfully mysterious (very much akin to the way I react to Faure's music). The 130-odd page score is unfortunately still under copyright restrictions at IMSLP.org, but it's probably not a very hard one to find.
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 11:14:33 am »

Divertimento by Henri Barraud


ORTF, Cond. B Haitink
Radio Broadcast, Sept 13, 1964

From the collection of Karl Miller


Wikipedia Bio


Wikipedia
Henry Barraud (sometimes Henri) (23 April 1900 – 28 December 1997) was a French composer.

He was born in Bordeaux. He was a student of Louis Aubert at the Conservatoire de Paris, but in 1927 failed to graduate, apparently because of his refusal to follow orthodox methods. Along with Pierre-Octave Ferroud and Jean Rivier, he helped to form the society Triton for the wider distribution of contemporary music.

After the Liberation of Paris in 1944, he was named the Director of Paris Radio, and later, in 1948, of what later became ORTF, a position he held until his retirement in 1965.

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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2012, 11:42:35 am »

12 Inventions for 12 Players by Andre Jolivet


Ars Nova, conducted by Composer
Radio Broadcast, date unknown.

From the collection of Karl Miller

DISSONANCE ALERT


Note-- this work is one that I'd consider more dissonant/atonal then some of the others I've posted, and more than some of Jolivet's other works.  I'm planning to mark this separately on this forum so those of you who don't care for more dissonant works can avoid it.



Wikipedia Bio

André Jolivet (pronounced: [andʁe ʒɔlivɛ], 8 August 1905 – 20 December 1974) was a French composer. Known for his devotion to French culture and musical thought, Jolivet's music draws on his interest in acoustics and atonality as well as both ancient and modern influences in music, particularly on instruments used in ancient times. He composed in a wide variety of forms for many different types of ensembles.


Life and career
Born in Paris to artistic parents (one a painter, one a pianist), Jolivet was encouraged by them to become a teacher, going to teachers' college and teaching primary school in Paris (taking three years in between to serve in the military). However, he eventually chose to instead follow his own artistic ambitions and take up first cello and then composition. He first studied with Paul Le Flem, who gave him a firm grounding in classical forms of harmony and counterpoint. After hearing his first concert of Arnold Schoenberg he became interested in atonal music, and then on Le Flem's recommendation became the only European student of Edgard Varèse, who passed on his knowledge of musical acoustics, atonal music, sound masses, and orchestration. In 1936 Jolivet founded the group La jeune France along with composers Olivier Messiaen, Daniel-Lesur and Yves Baudrier, who were attempting to re-establish a more human and less abstract form of composition. La jeune France developed from the avant-garde chamber music society La spirale, formed by Jolivet, Messiaen, and Lesur the previous year.

Jolivet's aesthetic ideals underwent many changes throughout his career. His initial desire as an adolescent was to write music for the theatre, which inspired his first compositions, including music for a ballet. Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas and Maurice Ravel were to be his next influences after hearing a concert of their work in 1919; he composed several piano pieces while training to become a teacher before going to study with Le Flem. Schoenberg and Varèse were strongly evident in his first period of maturity as a composer, during which his style drew heavily upon atonality and modernistic ideas. Mana (1933), the beginning of his "magic period", was a work in six parts for piano, with each part named after one of the six objects Varèse left with him before moving to the United States. Jolivet's intent as a composer throughout his career was to "give back to music its original, ancient meaning, when it was the magical, incantatory expression of the religious beliefs of human groups." Mana, even as one of his first mature works, is a reflection of this; Jolivet considered the sculptures as fetish objects. His further writing continues to seek the original meanings of music and its capacity for emotional, ritual, and celebratory expression.

In 1945 he published a paper declaring that "true French music owes nothing to Stravinsky", though both composers drew heavily upon themes of ancient music in their work; Jolivet and La jeune France rejected neoclassicism in favour of a less academic and more spiritual style of composition. Later, during World War II, Jolivet shifted away from atonality and toward a more tonal and lyrical style of composition. After a few years of working in this more simplistic style, during which time he wrote the comic opera Dolorès, ou Le miracle de la femme laide (1942) and the ballet Guignol et Pandore (1943), he arrived at a compromise between this and his earlier more experimental work. The First Piano Sonata, written in 1945, shows elements of both these styles.

Finally realizing his youthful ambition to write for the theatre, Jolivet became the musical director of the Comédie Française in 1945, a post he held until 1959. While there he composed for plays by Molière, Racine, Sophocles, Shakespeare and Claudel, scoring 14 works in total. He also continued to compose for the concert hall, often inspired by his frequent travels around the world, adapting texts and music from Egypt, the Middle East, Africa and Asia into his distinctly French style.
 
During the 1950s and 1960s, Jolivet wrote several concertos for a variety of instruments including trumpet, piano, flute, harp, bassoon, percussion, cello, and violin. These works, while highly regarded, all demand virtuosic technical skill from the performers. Jolivet is also one of the few composers to write for the Ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument, completing a concerto for it in 1947, 19 years after the instrument's invention. Jolivet founded the Centre Français d'Humanisme Musical at Aix-en-Provence in 1959, and in 1961 went to teach composition at the Paris Conservatoire. He died in Paris in 1974 aged 69, leaving unfinished his opera Le soldat inconnu.

Private life
Jolivet married twice, firstly violinist Martine Barbillion [1] in 1929. She bore him a daughter, Francoise-Martine (1930 - 2004). He remarried in 1933 Hilda Ghuighui (also spelt Guigue) (1906 - 1996) [2], who bore him three children, Pierre-Alain (1935 - 2005), Christine (b. 1940), and Merri (b. 1943). [3]











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