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George Gershwin

As somebody who always sucked up  American culture from Erle Stanley Gardner’s vast ocean of  entertaining fiction to the delights of the Coen Brothers and Woody Allen,  George Gershwin  and his unique style  has never ceased to fascinate me. Most interesting are his live electric recordings from the 1920ies. Here is one example:  

Unknown musical delicacies Vol.2

Talking about musical perfection: there is Mozart of course. And then a not universally agreed upon fact: Jascha Heifetz was one of his most accomplished performers. But that happened in the 1930’ies, when Heifetz recorded a few difficult to obtain violin sonatas and the mighty Divertimento KV 563 with William primrose and Emanuel Feuermann.This recording ( […]

Bax: “In memoriam”

A splendid early orchestral work in memory of the Irish uprising in 1916. One of my personal favourites by this underrated English composer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zznTaL61lBo PS For German readers: you might need to use a proxy browser ( Chrome Zenmate is highly recommended ) to escape from the GEMA, who blocks 70% of all you tube […]

Unknown musical delicacies Vol.1

Johann Adolph Hasse ( 1689-1783) , from the opera “Didone Abbandonata” ( 1742-1743 ) : forwarding  to 2h 09′ 20″ reveals a truly sublime Aria sung by the  beautiful voice of Maria Celeng. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U40Q-9op7QI

Forgotten pianists Vol.6

The French pianist Blanche Selva ( 1884-1942 )  is now almost completely forgotten. Among her amazing achievements is the premiere of Albeniz’s Suite “Iberia” ( between 1906 and 1909 ) and the performance of the complete piano works by Bach in 1904 at the age of 20. Here is an example of her playing with […]

Forgotten pianists Vol.5

It is a great pity that Marian Friedman has never received the attention she undoubtedly deserved. Some of her recordings are without peer such as her recording of the Beethoven Variations by Robert Schumann, only available on a long deleted LP . http://www.ebay.ie/itm/MARIAN-FRIEDMAN-Romantische-Etuden-Klavier-NM-SWISS-IMPORT-LP-/371429246086?hash=item567ae88486 Here is an equally ultra rare Video from lessons with Peter Feuchtwanger ( […]

Forgotten pianists Vol. 4

It is no exaggeration to claim that David Saperton ( 1889-1970 ), who never had a major career, possessed a truly  phenomenal pianistic technique and a superb sense of sound. The virtually unplayable “Kuenstlerleben Paraphrase” by Leopold Godowsky , recorded in 1940, allows Saperton to display his limitless abilities.    

Forgotten pianists Vol.3

Swiss pianist Albert Ferber ( 1911-1987 ) left a small recorded legacy and it is above all bis Faure and Rachmaninov recordings that seem unsurpassed until today ( see blog entry about Faure ). His first sonata by Sergej Rachmaninov is what I would call a perfect version of this highly difficult and somewhat problematic […]