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  • Michele Altieri

"Rêve de France": Lotoro's call for reviving a lost symphony

Updated: Apr 20

The French composer Maurice Soret conducting orchestra during the recording of the symphony "Rêve de France"

by Francesco Lotoro (President of ICML Foundation)

Dear ILMC Foundation Friends, I'm writing to update you on the foundation's activities and, hopefully, to solicit your help and support.

In the coming weeks, the Foundation will face one of the most complex and difficult operations of recovery and rescue of music produced in civil and military captivity during WWII, one of many already completed and ongoing (works written in deportation by Dutch musicians, scoring of the 54 Songs written in Sachsenhausen by Aleksander Kulisiewicz, etc.).

It concerns the digital transfer and writing of the score of the Symphony 'Rêve de France' written by the conductor and composer Maurice Soret (image above) during his internment as a French prisoner of war at Stalag IIIA Luckenwalde. Conductor of the PTT-Nord Radio Orchestra before being interned, in 1941 Soret himself conducted the 'Rêve de France' Symphony in the Stalag; after the war, he became conductor of the Lille Radio Orchestra. He died in 1961, after which there was no trace of the 'Rêve de France' Symphony.

Searching for his relatives was a difficult task, but after years of searching, with the assistance of a French friend and collaborator Dominique Losay (also the son of a French composer prisoner of war, André Losay), we tracked down his only daughter, Frédérique Andrée Soret, in a town in the French Pyrenees.

The bad news was that the Symphony's manuscript score had been lost and Frédérique had no idea where even one copy could be found; I confirmed that there was no trace of it even at the SACEM in Paris. Frédérique on the other hand, kept two Pyral records, similar to the old 78s (photo); these are matrix discs, on the four sides there is a recording of the 'Rêve de France', which Maurice Soret recorded after the war at the Radiodiffusion Française studios.

The two Pyral records with the symphony "Rêve de France"

Although the original score has been lost, it will be possible to obtain the audio of 'Rêve de France' after a patient work of mastering, cleaning and sound engineering; subsequently, it will be my task to derive the score from it, a difficult but not impossible undertaking that has been successfully accomplished with regard to other phonographic sources (Westerbork Songs, Sinti and Roma Songs, etc.).

Operation Soret will not take long, but it will be costly, and the Foundation is already facing other expenses, making it impossible to bear additional costs. At the same time, Operation Soret cannot be postponed further because the two Pyral discs have already been removed twice and the high temperatures of last summer were only partially muffled by air conditioners kept constantly on in the Foundation Archives; the discs are very old and may deteriorate further. I kindly ask for your financial support so that I can carry out Operation Soret. As in other similar circumstances, I will be happy to mention your names in the Thesaurus Musicae Concentrationariae encyclopedia, which will be published in 2025, as well as in any other ways that the Foundation will make possible.

I rely heavily on your financial help, no matter how large or small; it will be my duty and honor to keep you updated on the progress of Operation Soret.

Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart! Francesco Lotoro The goal to be achieved is € 24,000,00 (twentyfourthousand/00).

To send us your support, please make a bank transfer to: Istituto di Letteratura Musicale Concentrazionaria BANK: INTESA SanPaolo BRANCH: 55000 - Fil Accentrata Terzo Settore IBAN: IT94 Y030 6909 6061 0000 0103 682 SWIFT CODE: BCITITMM REASON: Operation Soret

OR you can send a check payable to Istituto di Letteratura Musicale Concentrazionaria Please mail your check to: Istituto di Letteratura Musicale Concentrazionaria Via V. Marone 38/C - 76121 Barletta (BT) - Italy

OR you can use Paypal, please click on the following button:

REASON: Operation Soret

The ILMC Foundation will issue a regular tax receipt

IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS Please email to: you can also call the number or send a whatsapp message to: +39 347 7517282

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