Roger Désormière (September 13, 1898 - October 25, 1963) was a French conductor. He is well known for having directed the earliest complete recording of Claude Debussy's opera "Pelléas et Mélisande". made in Paris during the Nazi occupation.
The recording of Debussy's opera was made in 1941, by which time he had become one of France's most celebrated artists of the podium, thanks largely to his work with the Ballets Suédois and Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He was conductor of the Ballets Suédois premiere of "Relâche" (1924), a film and music presentation by Francis Picabia and Eric Satie, with the film segment, "Entr'acte", directed by Rene Clair.
He also won considerable fame as a flautist; as an enthusiastic champion of twentieth-century repertoire Olivier Messiaen, Erik Satie, Pierre Boulez, Henri Dutilleux, and Maurice Duruflé all benefited from his advocacy of their pieces; and, at the other chronological extreme, for his editing and performance of early music reviving mostly-forgotten compositions by the likes of François Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Michel-Richard Delalande. He became director of the Paris Opéra in 1945, having previously filled an analogous position at the Paris Opéra-Comique.
While driving in Rome during 1950, he suffered a massive paralytic stroke that ended all his musical activities. Aphasic for the rest of his life, he remained a recluse.
Bizet: L'Arlésienne Suites No.1, 2; Carmen Suite No.1
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra