EMI Classics is proud to release the complete EMI recordings of one of the most well-known pianists, Samson François. This exclusive 36-CD box set includes all his early recordings that were mainly devoted to Frédéric Chopin. The height of Samson's art is probably to be found in the ballades (recorded between 26 and 28 October 1954, and first issued as an immensely successful 10" LP) and the dazzling interpretation of the nocturnes (recorded in May and June 1966). In the ballades and the nocturnes Samson establishes an allembracing color with the aid of the loud pedal, although he modulates its power and creates a rainbow effect through the highly skilled, yet quite unpredictable use of the soft pedal.
Skip Sempé is a world-renowned virtuoso harpsichord player, ensemble conductor, and the founder of the early music group Capriccio Stravagante. He has won acclaim as a solo harpsichord player with a striking control over the often inflexible tone of the instrument and as an authoritative and stylish interpreter of Baroque-era continuo realizations from figured bass.
The harpist Lily Laskine (1893-1988) was a popular and influential figure whose name was particularly closely identified with the Erato label, although she also recorded for EMI. The first woman to play in the orchestra of the Paris Opéra, she made her first recording for Erato – Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with Jean-Pierre Rampal – in 1958, when she was already 65. She made her last Erato recording 23 years later. Her stereo remake of the Mozart concerto (again partnering with Rampal), recorded in 1963, remains an all-time classical bestseller in France.