The Erato label flourished from the early 1950s. It is defined both by its discerningly chosen repertoire and by the high quality of its artists — brilliant instrumentalists including Marie-Claire Alain (organ), Maurice André (trumpet), Lily Laskine (harp), Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Hélène Grimaud (piano) and outstanding and sympathetic conductors such as Jean-François Paillard, Claudio Scimone, Michel Corboz, John Eliot Gardiner, Marc Minkowski, Ton Koopman and William Christie. Together they recorded a rich catalogue of Baroque — particularly French Baroque — music.
Erato’s second priority was contemporary music, especially that by French composers. No label has better or so faithfully served this repertoire, and this 50-CD edition includes some of its greatest treasures — Maurice Duruflé conducting his Requiem; Pierre Boulez conducting Le Visage nuptial and Le Soleil des eaux, and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella; Yvonne Loriod, Boulez and Marius Constant performing Messiaen; Messiaen playing his own Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité; and Darius Milhaud conducting two of his symphonies.