The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande is a familiar name to record collectors. Its founding conductor Ernest Ansermet made over 100 recordings with the orchestra for Decca, mostly of French and Russian repertoire. Ansermet died in 1969, and since then the orchestra has recorded less consistently. They now have a contract with Pentatone, who is releasing a five-disc set celebrating the orchestra’s 2018 centenary, made up of live radio broadcast concerts featuring the chief conductors.

The earliest, from 1943, features Ansermet conducting the “dramatic legend” Les Armaillisby Gustave Doret (1866-1943). Doret was a Swiss composer, mainly of light operas, and also the conductor of the first performance of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune. This concert, with soloists including Fernando Corena and the Swiss tenor Hugues Cuénod, preceded the composer’s death by three months (but hopefully did not contribute to it).

Other broadcasts are all post-1960 and sound quality is uniformly fine. Wolfgang Sawallisch conducts Ansermet’s orchestration of Debussy’s Six épigraphes antiques, and Ligeti’s Melodien; Armin Jordan conducts Ravel’s Suite No 2 from Daphnis et Chloé; Marek Janowski leads a cheeky performance of Boris Blacher’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini (yes, the same theme!), and the current chief conductor...

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