As a radio producer working with Pierre Schaeffer at the latter’s Club d’Essai from 1947, and then for GRM after 1958, electroacoustic composer André Almuró (1927-2009) created many radio plays based on French literature (see my Wikipedia article). This LP is one of them, a setting of Jean Genet’s Le Condamné à Mort (or The Man Sentenced to Death), recorded in 1952 and released on LP in 1968. The poem, first published in 1945, is a paean to prison inmates’ homoeroticism, with explicitly gay language and provocations typical from Genet. French singer and actor Marcel Mouloudji’s warm and passionate voice contrasts with the sombre, industrial sounds of Almuró’s music. Far from mere incidental accompaniement, the sounds deploy their terrible beauty around the reader. The latter doesn’t steal the show either, and the mix is well balanced between voice and musique concrète – surprisingly so, as the LP is produced by Mouloudji’s regular producer at Bourg Records, Z. Jovanovic. Anyway, Almuró’s impressively dark, electroacoustic vision contributes to this stunning rendition of Genet’s oeuvre.
Le Condamné à Mort
01 Part I (15:00)
02 Part II (10:35)
Total time 25:35
LP released by Bourg Records, France, 1968