Rene Croesi, the former director of the Monegasque orchestra, donated his discotheque to this Institute.

The Audiovisual Institute of Monaco has just made a beautiful acquisition in its new premises of the Exotic Garden Boulevard: 150 rare or untraceable records made over 80 years by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.

These precious microsillon recordings on vinyl record were donated by Rene Croesi, former director of the Monegasque orchestra. They were part of his personal disco.

They were entrusted to Vincent Vatrican, director of the Audiovisual Institute, in the presence of Jean-Charles Curau, Director of Cultural Affairs of the Principality.

The first recordings of the orchestra were made for Radio Monte-Carlo at the beginning of the 40s, at a time when the band was called Orchester du Casino de Monte-Carlo and where, each autumn and each spring, its concerts were broadcasted on the radio.

References that cannot be found

The recordings were made in the studios of Radio Monte Carlo, which were at the current location of the Novotel. They then went to the hall of the Alcazar, this large ballroom which was destroyed in 1958, replaced by a real estate complex bearing the same name.

There are rarities among these discs:

  • The last recording of Mario del Monaco and Magda Olivero
  • The recording of “Wally” with Renata Tebaldi
  • The Chopin concertos by Samson Francois
  • The great piano concertos by Sviatoslav Richter and Lovro von Matacic
  • Composers of the Ballets Russes recorded by Igor Markevitch
  • All the recordings of French symphonic music by Paul Paray which remain references
  • The record box of the opera “Penelope” of Faure with Jessye Norman or Barber’s “Adagio”, which was played during the funeral of Princess Grace.
5 hours of scanning per disk

The Audiovisual Institute will archive these records, keep them in an air-conditioned room, will produce a catalogue that will be available to music lovers or researchers, clean them (by introducing a thread in each groove), and finally scan them. The working time per disc can be estimated at five hours. For a hundred and fifty records, seven hundred and fifty hours!

Once this work is done, music lovers or researchers will be able to consult or listen on site. Listening at a distance is not yet planned – no more here than in other large libraries or discotheques like the BNF in Paris – and this for questions of law and duplication.

In 150 records, all the prestigious past of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic is now within reach of ears and hands.