Marcel Moyse: Television is the enemy of music

Marcel Moyse: Television is the enemy of music


norman lebrecht

September 22, 2017

Henrik Engelbrecht tells us:

In 1969 the French flute legend Marcel Moyse visited Copenhagen to give a master class at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, invited by my former professor, Poul Birkelund, who had some of the classes recorded on open reel video tapes.

Many years later I was a student with Birkelund, and he told me about the tapes, tucked away in the basement of the academy. I borrowed the tapes and had VHS copies made – and the result is, I believe, the only still existing video documentation of Moyse teaching.

The final 25 minutes of the material is Toke Lund Christiansen, for many years co-principal flute of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, playing the Taffanel candenza to the first movement of the Mozart G Major concerto for Moyse.



  • Jon H says:

    Nice. The lack of recording/documenting is a problem though – because there’s no proof of what a group sounded like (past tense). And people can say whatever they want, but without the proof of what it was really like (or something close to it) – then it can’t get past the opinions of some.

  • Trevor says:

    Hi Henrik,
    There are several DVDs published by the Moyse family in the USA.
    I have them all.
    Thanks for posting this. He is still the mater!
    Trevor Wye

  • Mark Holloway says:

    OMG his sound at 9:30!!

  • John says:

    I think that Mr. Takahashi in Matsumoto has some of this sort of thing as well, in addition to a large storehouse of Moyes ephemera and such.

  • Saul Davis says:

    Sadly, I see no video here. It is ironic, tv did perhaps ruin people’s concentration and desire to leave the house for entertainment, but as long as classical music was broadcast on it, into the 1980s, it served well to popularize the music. We have seen, in the decades since, the effect of its absence.