Violinist Michele Auclair - Memories
Violinists: Recordings and Performances: Anyone have stories? She was quite an ecstatic personality!
From Daniel Broniatowski
Posted May 9, 2006 at 04:05 AM
Has anyone on this site ever had a lesson or had personal contact with the great violinist Michele Auclair? She passed away last summer and I'd like to pay tribute to her on this site. She was my teacher throughout most of my college days.
Daniel: Unfortunately, I have no personal contact, stories, or knowledge of Ms. Auclair. When I was a kid, I had her recording of the Tchaikovsky (long since gone), and have not even heard any other recordings of hers since the 1960's. As I recall, it was a wonderful performance, and I always wondered who she was and what her life was like. I look forward to reading other responses.
Hello. Oddly enough, when I was a kid I also had her Tchikovsky, and still do. It was my first violin record,and it still holds a lot of sentimental value for me.
From K G
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 02:36 PM
If I recall correctly, she was in an auto accident or something similar in the 60's and it curtailed her career. I have to say I am vague about that. Perhaps someone else can set me straight.
That's what she told me, KG...She then devoted her life to teaching.
From K G
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 03:52 PM
The violinist Irena Muresanu, who is very active in Boston and elsewhere, lists herself as a former pupil. I think there is a picture of the two of them on Irena's web page.
I found an obit on the Internet (I don't know why all this space) - http://www.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2005/06/18/michele_auclair_80_violinist_who_became_renowned_teacher/
Yup - Last time I checked, there are plenty if you do a Google search. French bios and obits as well. Might I add that you can find some valuable recordings on e bay sometimes.
Hi..I just found out about Michelle Auclair's passing and feel terrible. I was her student for two years--it would've been for longer if it wasn't for the fact that she left New England Conservatory in 2002. She was a fiery and wonderful musician..and I have to say that I learned a lot from her--not just about music, but about life, too. I was lucky to receive a big part of her sheet music collection, which she gave me as a gift before she left the US..
From Sam Choi
Posted on December 26, 2008 at 10:24 AM
My first exposure to the art of Michele Auclair was less than a year ago with Tchaikovsky concerto, and within the first few notes I got hooked. I have ended up with several CDs of hers from Japan. Of them, the aforementioned Tchaikovsky is exceptional, her Bruch 1st is right up there, her Kreislers ooze charms, and her Brahms with Willem van Otterloo is, dare I say, the greatest and the most magical account I have ever heard. I mean, over all the legendary names like Oistrakh, Heifetz, Kogan, Perlman, Szeryng, Grumiaux, Martzy, de Vito, Menuhin, etc.. She is utterly original. --- Samuel
Yes Sam, Auclair deserves to be much, much better known! I agree with you, her recordings generally are up there with the best versions. Wonderfully played and so fresh of inspiration. As I recall her Schubert Fantasy (one of the most difficult pieces in the repertoire) is particularly special. At a time when women solo careers weren't encouraged the likes of Auclair, Morini, De Vito, Neveu, Martzy, Haendel, Wicks were the equals of their far better recognised male peers and there were many other wonderful women violinists who made too few recordings to survive the test of time. I think the Doremi label may be planning to bring out some of Auclair's recordings, which as it stands are nearly inexistant on CD.
From Sam Choi
Posted on January 1, 2009 at 08:27 AM
Follow the links below and you will find some of her CDs currently available. The first link lists more but the second one has Mozart.
A little over a month ago, on ebay her double LPs with Schubert you mentioned were sold at US $2,247, the highest bid price I have ever seen. A while ago even Georges Enescu's great Bach sonatas and partitas double LP set was sold at just over $1,000 which still was a lot. - Samuel
It's a magical name amongst lp collectors. Some of her LP's are sold for fabulous prices:
Yet I could not find any youtube video of her!
She was a fine and sensitive player.
From Sam Choi
Posted on January 9, 2009 at 06:34 PM
The best scenario would be those precious recordings get loaned to people like Ward Marston, Andrew Rose or even Naxos Historical Division and get issued publicly, so more people can have access to the art of Auclair or other worthy musicians.
Sam, thanks for the info. Happily I have the recordings but it seems complicated to get hold of CDs from Japan. I've collaborated with various labels to bring out Camilla Wicks's recordings (Ward Marston had a hand in that), and I did mention Auclair to Doremi, I hope something will come out of it too.
From Sam Choi
Posted on January 11, 2009 at 12:00 AM
Nathaniel, I had no problem getting CDs from those two Japanese sellers. Their websites are rather inconvenient, especially the HMV (It was a challenge to search some Japanese musicians, in my case the fabulous Takashi Asahina, because when you search them in English only a small portion of the available CDs pop up vs when using Japanese words they list much more. - But I found my way to Asahina.). You can always change the website to English language. Then go to the classical section and search. They will ask you to set up an account with them when you order from them first time, which almost all the online sellers require you to do. Another thing is that their shipping cost is very high. However, if you order more items in the single order the charge gets proportionately smaller. At the same time they deliver extremely fast and securely with a registered mail. I have been very happy with them. Hopefully that helps if you do any business wih them in the future. Good luck! And thank you for your kind words.
From Sam Choi
Posted on March 19, 2009 at 02:44 AM
Now there is her performance of the entire Tchaikovsky concerto on Youtube. It is audio only and the earlier one of the two she recorded commercially. I don't think it is the best representation of her art but there is still a glimpse of what would follow.
From alex Plav
Posted on September 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM
There are a few CDs at forgottenrecords site at reasonable price.
From Sam Choi
Posted on October 1, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Got excited when I learned this 'forgottenrecords' was transferring from LPs. Found Martzy's Dvorák, Varga's Bruch, Auclair's Brahms, and Novaes' Mozart and ordered them. Arrived in 8 days from France to California. That is a good news. But apparently, even though the website claims they used Cedar noise reduction discreetly, killed a little too much overtone and their CDs sound dingy. Auclair's Brahms is simply no match to the Japanese Philips I already have (sorry to say, it is out of print). And Martzy in MP3 is more enjoyable. I would say these guys are poor amateurs however dedicated they claim to be in the restoration of old, out-of-print recordings.
Hi, I think either Michèle Auclair or Danièle Arthur was the teacher of the person who had for years the official David Oistrakh website (oistrakh.com) Perhaps you could contact him to have more info? He is very nice, I talked to him once. I would have to see if I still have his email though...
Good luck! This violinist should be more knowned...