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The Bach Concerts under the reign of Árpád Gérecz

    It turned out, that this choice was excellent. Árpád Gérecz, a brilliant violinist and a well-known chamber music player (one remembers yet the magnificent recording of Quintets of Mozart realised in Grumiaux, but also the Hungarian Trio ensemble founded with Szolsányi and Palotai), director of OCL, of the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussel and of the Paris Instrumental Ensemble, talented professor, an artisan of the Bach Concerts since  the beginning. He entirely shared Edgar Shann’s view, and the continuity of the Bach concerts could not have been assured by a better artist than himself. Árpád Gérecz was nominated at the beginning of the seventies to the Conservatoire of Geneva in order to assume the responsibility for orchestra direction as well as of the chamber music classes. With his friend Michel Corboz - who in the meantime was appointed to the Conservatoire of Geneva as well – they established a very fruitful  collaboration, of which the Bach Concerts also benefited from, because due to lack of money it would not have been possible during the times of Edgar Shann, to realise in almost each season in Lutry the arrival of the Orchestra and Chorus of the Conservatoire Geneva: the fulfilment of great works of Bach for chorus and orchestra, namely the Passion according to Saint John given many times in Lutry. As Edgar Shann, also Árpád Gérecz stroke up a friendship with leading artists, and used their services to the great joy of the audience in Lutry. We can cite among others the violinist Arthur Grumiaux and the cellist János Starker. The artists who created the reputation of Lutry have not been forgotten. Their signatures often appear in the Golden Book of our concerts: Christiane Jaccottet,  Hans-Heinz Schneeberger, Aurèle Nicolet. Step by step, the Bach Ensemble had been substituted by the “Solistes romandes”, a string ensemble founded and brought life by Gérecz himself, and in this orchestra he could meet again his faithful friends. In this time new names appear: François Guye, solo cellist  of OSR, giving numerous concerts, the organist Lionel Rogg, Guy Bovet, Pierre Segond and Georges Athanasiadès. We have to underline furthermore that Árpád Gerecz, as  Edgar Shann did before him, gave the opportunity  to young enthusiastic students to perform in the Temple of Lutry. So the Orchestre des Collèges de Lausanne and the Orchestre 5/7 directed by Jacques Pache, as well as the Chorus Ars Laeta under the direction of Robert Mermoud – which was (unless we are mistaken) his last and touching presence at the head of this ensemble created by himself – gave memorable concerts in the eighties.

    As it is possible to judge from the Golden Book of the concerts (because unfortunately a lot of programmes disappeared), under Árpád Gérecz the oeuvre of Bach and of his direct descendants formed always the hard core of our concerts, in the same alternative way as his predecessor initiated, namely chamber music and chorals. As Shanne did, also Gérecz reigned over the establishment of the programmes, facing the same financial difficulties.  He solved this problem in the same way: reduced fees when possible, or paid by the radio when the concerts were retransmitted.

    Unfortunately death put an untimely end to his activity in 1992. But by chance, in his administrative team - entirely renewed after the era of Edgar Shann, however working with the same devotion - a close collaborator of Árpád Gérecz, Bernadette Elöd was able to take over the baton.