Saturday, January 13, 2007

Alfred Cortot on film

I've always admired Cortot's Debussy playing. So what a surprise it was earlier today to come across this rare film from France of an enactment of Debussy's Children's Corner as played by Cortot. The film's credits list early film critic and Ravel student Emile Vuillermoz as well as avant-garde filmmaker Marcel L'Herbier as the creators. There is no date listed anywhere for this film, but it appears to have been made in the early days of talking pictures--early 30's perhaps? This also might qualify as one of the earliest "music videos" ever made. Enjoy.

Look inside this title
Claude Debussy: Children's Corner - sheet music at
Claude Debussy: Children's Corner Composed by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), edited by Maurice Hinson. Collection for solo piano. Series: Alfred Masterworks Editions. 32 pages. Published by Alfred Publishing. (AP.667)
See more info...


  1. Anonymous12:15 PM

    How absolutely wonderful to see Alfred Cortot playing the piano as well as listening to his style. Thank you so much for unearthing this historical piece and placing it on your blog.
    My discovery came about because I am cataloging old 78 speed records and found Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Opus 21 by Chopin on RCA Victor with an orchestra conducted by John Barbirolli in Europe. Just one of the many classical pianists in my collection.

  2. A question for anonymous commenter, Alfred Cortot fans, and cinema junkies: when was this film made? I've found three films in this series on YouTube posted by wmozart, but haven't been able to unearth anything on the making of these films in the earliest years of sound in cinema.