Film of the 1937 Ondes Exposition

Photo: Ginette Martenot-Lazard, Laurendeau, pl. 91

Photo: Ginette Martenot-Lazard, Laurendeau, pl. 91

A L'EXPO UNE AUDITION DES "ONDES MARTENOT" 1ère diffusion : 30/09/1937

An absolutely astonishing record from the golden age of the ondes Martenot: moving images and sound from the Paris 1937 Expo, featuring an ensemble of eight Mk 5 instruments. What a miracle that it exists at all.

The players and context, following the caption in Laurendeau's book on Maurice Martenot: "Exposition Internationale de 1937 : l’orchestre de huit ondistes, un pianiste et un percussionniste. De gauche à droite : Denise Beauchamps, Germaine Benz, Janine de Waleyne, Ginette Martenot (qui dirige), Geneviève Robert, Marguerite Breitner, Mme Lesur, Germaine Berthier et Kate Steytler. Il ne m’a pas été possible d’identifier le percussionniste et le pianiste. (Document Ginette Martenot-Lazard.) The boy at the piano is a young Serge Nigg, who studied with Ginette Martenot, became an established composer and later president of the Academie des Beaux-Arts. The piece played is an arrangement of BLUE MOON, originally composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934.

The film, which only recently came to light, is a low-quality preview of factual material from the Pathé/Gaumont archive; since it's inaccessible without archival registration, I've shared it as an *unlisted* video (i.e. visible only by direct link), to draw educational attention to this important historical record on the 90th anniversary of the instrument's invention in 1928.

Charlie Draper