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French chef dies

Jean-François Paillard has died, aged 85.

A rare entrepreneur among French musicians, he formed his own chamber orchestra, l’Orchestre de chambre Jean-François Paillard, and recorded copiously – some 300 releases – on the Erato label.

Paillard was the French equivalent to Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Unlike the English prototype, Paillard never toured much and was little acknowledged outside French-speaking Europe – and Japan.


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  1. RIP!

  2. David Boxwell says:

    I had a lot of his output on black disc back in the day. He was pretty much the only game in town for French Baroque music before 1980.

  3. I used to hear his recordings on KING FM in Seattle all the time when I was a kid. Hadn’t heard about him in many years, though.

  4. Isn’t his recording of the Pachelbel Canon regarded as the one that got that craze started?

    • Yes, that was the one.

      If memory serves, somebody made a video visualization of the piece – mostly a bunch of blooming flowers, I think. It got shown on PBS in the States right after Masterpiece Theatre (probably to fill out the hour) sometime in the original Upstairs, Downstairs era.

  5. CounterT says:

    Good comparison with Marriner. I do recall a BBC reviewer (many years back, when they had a sense of humour), saying of one of his recordings that “Paillard is a touch square by comparison”.

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