Laskine and Michel Debost
I am grateful for my instrument's inadequacy ! "
Lily fairly quickly realised the limits
of the harp. She wanted to "hear music, do music, at any
price, but otherwise". This is why she refused to limit
herself merely to a solo career which would have forced her
to play the concert repertoire a thousand or two thousand times.
She took the harp at the Paris Opera during the First World
War. It was a revolution: it was the first time a woman had
ever played in the orchestra, and she was only 16 years old.
She then became solo harpist in many orchestras: Lamoureux,
Koussevitzky and above all the Walter Straram orchestra. She
was a fervent admirer of his, and at this time she experienced
one of the richest and most beautiful perts of her musical career.
When the Orchestre National was created in 1943, she became
its solo harpist.
My instinct drove me to mix with others. I have always needed
others, needed to live in contact with others. "
In parallel with her solo career, her
teaching and her work as solo harpists in orchestras, Lily Laskine
recorded with variety singers such as Chevalier, Piaf, Sardou,
Tino Rossi and Trenet among others. A great cinema-goer, she
worked on film music with Delerue, Lai, Legrand etc. She was
also the harpist at the Comdie Franaise for over
thirty years. She accompanied many famous actors who sang, such
as Jeanne Moreau and Pierre Bertin. She was a woman who avidly
sought encounters and myriad experiences, who loved and wanted
to discover the world's riches.
Lily with jean-Pierre Rampal
" I admire the great classics, but to get that shiver
down your spine, it has to be Debussy, Ravel or the Russians...
Lily Laskine played everything, and
the greatest composers of her time wrote for her. She interpreted
magnificent duets with flautists Moyse and Rampal, who greatly
admired her. Her records are world famous and her unique, wonderful
playing was thus conveyed to every corner of the world which
she travelled so little. She has exceptional sonority, and incredibly
flexible phrasing, as well as inspired interpretations which
welled up from her heart. When she played she "saw"
distinct scenes that the music conjured up. She never forgot
the musical emotion, the revelation she experienced at twelve
when she discovered Debussy's Pelleas. She said "Music
is a language of the heart... "