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We were able to visit the largest private collection of vinyls in France.Follow us to La Fabrique, in the heart of Provence, one of the sites of the Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival.

Christophe Maé, for his part, has just spent three weeks there to produce his latest album.On his Facebook page, the star of the song shared with his fans the incredible atmosphere of the Fabrique: a long building with blue shutters, a garden with a beautifully designed lake, and recording studios like no other.

“The technical equipment meets the standards of major international studios,” says the master of the house, Hervé Le Guil, 60, sound engineer for Etienne Daho, Julien Clerc and Michel Petrucciani.

Vinyl as a good sound diffuser

And the place benefits from an unexpected asset, the incredible collection of albums it houses.The record shelves create very good acoustics,” reveals Hervé Le Guil.The vinyl, heavy and dense, acts as a sound diffuser.There must be some 70 tons of records here! ».But it is not for acoustic reasons that the sound engineer kept this collection.”I was looking to make this studio, my dream, come true.I’ve been told about a place for the project and there’s a publishing thing in it, but we’re going to get rid of it.They weren’t books, they were records…and I wanted to keep them! »

This extraordinary collection belonged to the music critic Armand Panigel.For lovers of cinema and classical music, a reference, he founded the programme “La Tribune des critiques de disques” in 1946.His principle? Music critics listen blindly to six discs: the same work played by six different performers.By showing how the same score can be either sublimated or spoiled, Panigel has awakened the taste of music lovers.

The concept of this “brilliant precursor”, as Le Guil says, is still a success: “La Tribune des Critiques de Disques” is still broadcast on France Musique on Sunday afternoons and can boast of being the oldest programme on the French audiovisual landscape!

The major labels are all there

From 1985 until his death, ten years later, Armand Panigel lived at the Fabrique, immersed in his collection, from the great symphonic pages directed by Herbert von Karajan, to more original nuggets from the history of jazz and classical music, such as this operetta “Mam’Zelle Nitouche”, with Fernandel and Éliane Thibault.The major labels are all there, and a whole section of shelves is devoted to Maria Callas’ complete recordings.”A much better sound than the recently restored modern version,” according to Le Guil.The collection has been built over forty years, decades of recording considered to be “the golden age of classical recording.”The only rival to this private collection is the Radio France discotheque – 450,000 “galettes” – which compiles all the releases, from the origin of the LP to the present day.

The Roque d’Anthéron International Piano Festival, which runs until 18 August, is a famous rendezvous for lovers of classical music and jazz.It not only offers concerts in the village of the same name, some shows are being relocated, and two of them will take place under the lanterns of the Cour de la Fabrique, in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

This Sunday at 9 pm, “Billie Holiday passionately”, proposed by the pianist Paul Lay and the video artist Olivier Garouste.And Monday at 7 pm, a jazz show with pianist Thomas Enhco.Admission: 13 and 16 euros.

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