Liner Notes

Francis Planté

Francis Planté was born in Orthez, France, 2 March 1839. He demonstrated extraordinary piano abilities at the age of four. He became a student of Marmontel at the Paris Conservatoire by the age of ten and in less than a year he won First Prize at the Conservatoire. As a teenager he frequently played chamber music concerts with violinist Jean Delphin Alard and cellist August Joseph Franchomme who had performed with Chopin. In 1858 he returned to the Conservatoire to study harmony and received his second prize. Soon after, Planté “retired” from playing for ten years devoting himself to composition. He returned to the concert platform in 1872 and for nearly 30 years enjoyed a popular career. His playing revealed elegance, incredible dexterity and technical ability, confidence, charm, and a wonderfully big sound. He is also credited with popularizing Schumann’s piano works in France. Another hallmark of Planté was his eccentricities: his concerts lasted anywhere from three to six hours; he rarely provided a program for his audiences; and he often spoke to audiences while playing, explaining the meaning and difficulties of the music. In 1928 Planté made a series of electrical recordings for French Columbia at his home in Mont-de-Marsan, France. Planté and Vladimir de Pachmann are the only two pianists born during the lifetime of Chopin to make electrical recordings. Planté died 19 December 1934 at the age of 95. This release contains his complete issued recordings.


Producers: Scott Kessler & Ward Marston

Audio Conservation: Ward Marston

Photographs: Gregor Benko

Booklet Design: Takeshi Takahashi


Marston would like to thank Donald Manildi for his help in the production of this CD release.