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1922 __ « Radiola - The first French radiophonic creation : « Paris-Béthléem - Noël radieux pour Radiola »
Georges Angelloz (?-?), Victor Charpentier (1860-1956)
Comment : In fact, Maremoto [by Gabriel Germinet in 1924] was not the first play written specially for the radio in France. This honor would seem to go to Georges Angelloz, with “Paris-Bethléem, Noël radieux”, a pastoral broadcast by Radiola on 24 December 1922, [with a music by Victor Charpentier). (Todd, Christophe, “Gabriel Germinet and the ´Livre d´or du théatre radiophonique français 1923-1935”, In “Modern and Contemporary France”, Vol.10, No.2, Carfax Publishing, Leeds 2002, p.227 quoted in “Michel Butors “RESEAU AERIEN“ “Fl)A Voice from the Banks of the Seine - A Description of Station "Radiola" in Paris, One of the Largest of the Continental Broadcasting Stations.On the banks of the Seine River, in the suburbs of Levallois- Perret well outside the walls of Paris, is a modern plant, whose engineers work long and hard to develop better methods of radio communication, and whose nightly broadcasts bring pleasure to thousands in France, England, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and perhaps even desolate Russia. In 1922, when the radio craze was gathering momentum in the United States, and there were more than 400 broadcasting stations in operation, there was not a single broadcasting plant worthy of the name in France. It is true that as early as November 26, 1921, a popular radio concert was given on the occasion of the Ampere Centenary. A similar affair was staged in June 1921, at a meeting of the Society of Civil Engineers, and another one at the Theatre des Champs Elysees, in December of the same year. But, it wasn't until the 6th of November, 1922, that radio concerts were sent out on a regular schedule. The first attempt at radio broadcasting on a daily schedule was made by the Societe Francaise Radioelectrique, and came at a time when the big broadcasting stations throughout the United States were known by name and call letters to thousands of radio fans. From that time on, the "Radiola" concerts have been exceedingly popular with the newly initiated French radio enthusiasts. In France, you do not refer to broadcasting stations by their calls. They have names, such as "Radiola." Besides, there are only a handful of them, so there is not much trouble in telling them apart and not much interference! The first transmissions took place on a wavelength of 1850 meters, but owing to interference with the military authorities, this wavelength was later reduced to 1760 meters. It has an advantage over the broadcasting on the lower wavelengths which takes place in the United States, in that there is little or no interference from commercial or amateur sources. Whether this wavelength will be permanent or not is a matter of speculation, for broadcasting is not as yet established on a solid basis in France. [...] The studio director, M. Charpentier, himself, a well-known composer and musician, takes particular interest in devising novel and interesting programs for his invisible audience. He often gets prominent persons to deliver short lectures before his microphone, and shows his guests an autograph book which bears the signatures of Mile. Suzanne Lenglen, the tennis champion; General Garibaldi, the Italian; Cecile Sorel, the famous French actress who recently visited the United States; the Serbian Ambassador, and many others. The only trouble with the studio, according to Monsieur Charpentier, is that the ceiling is slightly low for the best sound effects. This, however, would be difficult to rectify in the present location as it is situated in the basement of an office building. Each of the two stations out in Levallois-Perret can be cut in on the concert from the city by means of a switch at one end of the room, whence the music goes to the broadcasting apparatus and leaps out from the antenna to the ears of all who care to adjust their sets and listen-in. (Frederic M. Delano Jr.)
French comment : En 1922, Radiola émet chaque soir en semaine de 20h45 à 22h et le dimanche, elle diffuse un concert à 14h. Le directeur artistique n'est pas encore embauché et c'est le speaker Marcel Laporte qui construit le programme encore très sommaire. Un orchestre est constitué spécialement pour la station, il est ainsi le premier orchestre radiophonique. Il est dirigé par Victor Charpentier et mis à contribution chaque soir pour le concert en direct. A la fin du concert, la station diffuse quelques informations tirées des journaux "Le Matin" et "Le Petit Parisien" et lues par Marcel Laporte. Le programme est parfois ponctué par la lecture de textes et de poésies, ainsi la comtesse Anna de Noailles y lit un de ses poèmes le 22 novembre 1922. Radiola est également la première station française à diffuser de la fiction radiophonique. Le 22 décembre, elle diffuse une pièce intitullée "Paris-Béthléem - Noël radieux pour Radiola" écrite par Georges ANGELLOZ, musique Victor CHARPENTIER. Cette pièce peut être considérée comme la première oeuvre de fiction radiophonique en France. (Compiled from various sources)La première pièce écrite spécifiquement pour les possibilités de la radio fut diffusée à Noël, en 1922 : “Paris Bethléem” de Georges Angelloz sur une musique de Victor Charpentier. Son succès retentissant appela aussitôt des rendez-vous réguliers avec cet auditoire fidèle au poste. Dès lors, les lourdes portes des studios s’ouvrirent à des auteurs vivants pour des pièces inédites. Dans les années 20 et 30, et afin d’éclairer l’espace sonore, les metteurs en ondes eurent recours à un guide récitant et à d’autres astuces acoustiques destinées à montrer l’invisible. Tâtonnements. Peur de ne pas être compris. C’était sans compter avec la formidable intuition de l’ouïe, capable d’appréhender tout l’espace dramatique. De ce fait, l’auteur, lui-même auditeur, devina que moins il y aurait d’éléments sonores entre son verbe et l’auditeur mieux ce serait. (Jean Larriaga, “Spectateur / Auditeur ? ou le théâtre à la radio”, In “Actes du Théâtre”, n° 19, juin 2004 - décembre 2004)
Urls : http://100ansderadio.free.fr/HistoiredelaRadio/Radiola/Radiola-1922.html (last visited ) http://entractes.sacd.fr/n_archives/a19/spectateur_auditeur.php?l=archiv (last visited ) http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/lettres/projekte/swr/JuleZulaButor.pdf (last visited ) http://www.archive.org/stream/radiobroadcast04gardrich/%23page/62/mode/2up (last visited ) http://www.archive.org/stream/radiobroadcast04gardrich/radiobroadcast04gardrich_djvu.txt (last visited )

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