François Ruhlmann

The Belgian conductor François Ruhlmann (1868-1948) spent much of his career at the Paris Opéra. He made impressive early visits to the recording studios, conducting some of the Pathé series of complete operas (which are being reissued by Marston). The recording presented below is a rare example of his orchestral conducting, and an electrical recording, but still for Pathé.
Bizet – Carmen – excerpts from complete Pathé recording
Sides 5 and 6 – Choeur des gamins (Suite); Choeur des cigarieres: La cloche a sonné
Sides 15 and 16 – Ou me conduisez-vous… [Seguidille]; Oui mais toute seule
Sides 19 and 20 – Les tringles des sistres; Tra la la la
Sides 31 and 32 – Tu m’entendras [Air de la fleur]; Non tu ne m’aime pas

Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra Comique de Paris, François Ruhlmann
Marguerite Mérentié,
soprano – Carmen
Agustarello Affre, tenor – Don José
Marie Gantéri, soprano – Frasquita
Jeanne Billa-Azéma, soprano – Mercédès
M. Dulac, baritone – Moralès
Pierre Ernest Dupré, baritone – Zuniga

Not heard on these sides:
Aline Vallandri, soprano – Micaëla
Henri Albers, baritone – Escamillo
Hippolyte Belhomme, bass – Le Dancaïre
Paul Dumontier, baritone – Le Remendado

Bizet – Carmen – Pathé sides 5-6 – Ruhlmann
Bizet – Carmen – Pathé sides 15-16 – Ruhlmann
Bizet – Carmen – Pathé sides 19-20 – Ruhlmann
Bizet – Carmen – Pathé sides 31-32 – Ruhlmann

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Pathé catalogue number No.1652 – Carmen 5/6
Pathé catalogue number No.1657 – Carmen 15/16
Pathé catalogue number No.1659 – Carmen 19/20
(80rpm, 11½”, edge start, paper label)
Recorded 1911. Early 1920s pressings
Play at 76.6rpm, 78.1rpm, 76.4rpm

Pathé Carmen 31/32
(90rpm 11½” centre start etched label)
Recorded 1911. Early pressing.
Matrices 96460 RA, 96554 RA
Play at 87.9rpm

Rossini – Guillaume Tell – Ouverture
Orchestre Symphonique, François Ruhlmann
Pathé X.5430-1, Serial 60-61
Matrices N 8427/8430
Recorded c1930

I do not have an exact date for this recording. However, the use of bass reinforcement in some passages suggests this is an early electrical recording.

Chabrier – España – Rapsodie pour orchestre
Orchestre Symphonique, François Ruhlmann

Download – Chabrier – Espana – François Ruhlmann

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Pathé X.5446
Matrices N 8689-1, N 8690-1 (M5-50495, –)
Recorded 1931

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