The French Recording Company Marcelle Meyer Plays Debussy is certainly not a typical release. This rare recording represents something very unique; an unpublished original recording that was never yet published in analog medium. This original release is the first-ever LP issue, which is fully analog mastering and cut directly from original tapes to lacquers. It’s limited to strictly 200 copies.

What makes this edition exquisite is that it is not a reissue! This album should have been published by the French LES DISCOPHILES FRANÇAIS in 1958-59 with catalog ref. n° DF 211 – 212, but somehow it never saw the light of the day! This intriguing affair makes the French Recording Company edition a world premiere release!

Album sleeve is made from a luxurious canvas with gold embossed letterings. It’s all 100% french hand made by an artisan traditional French craftsman workshop. The same paper was recreated, same canvas album, same labels, even same letterings – font and same special paper text following the other old rare and highly sought after records from Discophiles Français edited in the 1950s.

This release is authorized by the pianist’s daughter and she was highly excited and touched by this project: “I was dazzled by the luxury, the elegance of the album….then, due to the fantastic quality of the sound, I had the unique feeling to “revive” my mother’s playing in front of me, I felt her presence… I’m so grateful for this revival…You see how much I know I owe you…”

The French Recording Company is run and by Jean-Marc Harari, a passionate aficionado, conductor himself, and musicologist.


The French Recording Company wants to bring back to life the “golden era” of classical LP’s release from the 1950-60s, but with original issues made from previously unpublished master-tapes and using iconic mastering gear like the 670 Fairchild compressor from 1957 and Pultec EMH7. Both of course tube based.

While this one of the kind vinyl records is not exactly cheap it does resonate with some of the collector prices on the market. For example; Marcelle Meyer’s 2-LP albums of Les Discophiles Français Ravel or Rameau can fetch around 700/800 and up to 1200/1500 $, depending on the condition.

French Recording Company strive to reintroduce the analog art in form of pure musical of analog LP’s from the world of “sound and technic”, back to the world of music.

Harari writes: “For us, a good record is not just good sound..: one has to feel the performer is in the room; one has to feel the performer’s energy, his presence.”

Marcelle Meyer Plays Debussy was never planned to be a pure audiophile record. Still, it’s quite an experience to discover such rare and almost lost analog gem for the first time. The French Recording Company is offering a unique opportunity to own an unreleased piece of music history, sort of a time capsule being rediscovered.


There are many interesting traits connected with Marcelle Meyer Plays Debussy. The publisher is sure that on the original tapes André Charlin (the recording engineer) has obviously changed/moved the location of the microphones between day one and day two.

This is easily audible how one side one (rec. 1 DF 211 ) being slightly confused and noisy, while side two is clearly better and improved. The same goes for side 3 (DF 212 side 1) which again provides a better sounding presentation.

Charlin used to place the microphone very close to the piano and sometimes microphone under the piano, must have felt there was something wrong while recording the very beginning of the session.


During cutting work the publisher had a very clear goal… To reproduce Meyer’s playing faithfully, with its inherited characteristics: color, timbre, and fluidity of playing.

A more forgiving and “comfortable sound” could have been achieved, but they wouldn’t want to destroy the original spirit of authenticity. The first and foremost goal was to provide a natural, right sounding piano with as sound most faithful to Meyer’s legacy.


It should be noted that this record requires a mono cartridge to fully immerse into the time travel. A stereo cartridge may introduce light surface/background noise of the recording, that might be unpleasant to some of the collectors and audiophile purse.

As the lacquer has been cut in real mono the publisher strongly recommends a mono cartridge, with a tracking force of approx. 2 – 2,5 g.

The French Recording Company wanted to stay true to the original recording and didn’t want to compromise an alternate stereo release with any introduction of additional compressor or limiter during the cutting “. A pure approach is well worth for staying true to the original concept. 


Meyer LP’s side by side with The French Recording Company Meyer compared with the other red DF 209-210 and the legendary and ultra rare Bach sonatas for violin and organ played by Michèle Auclair.
Close up of the luxurious paper. You can spot minor natural marks of that specific paper.


In part two I’ll write up about the music, sound and an emotional impact so do stay tuned.


– 600,00€