Pianists corner

Lamond’s complete BBC speech about his time as a pupil of Liszt, broadcast in 1945

click the thumbnails to go to the pianist page

Great video by David Pentecost

In this documentary you can hear Frederic Lamond playing Feux Follets by Liszt and Arthur Rubinstein the G sharp minor variation from Symphonic Etudes op.13 by Schumann

Compare Franz Liszt performances of Liszt Etudes d’exécution transcendante S 139 (1851) 5. Feux follets

Ruth Slenczynska talks and plays two Rachmaninoff Preludes (1963)

click the thumbnails to go to the pianist page

Outtakes from a 1963 television appearance in which the American pianist Ruth Slenczynska (born January 15, 1925) recalls her meetings with Sergei Rachmaninoff and plays two of his Preludes (Opus 23/9 in E flat minor and Opus 23/2 in B flat major).

Mark Ainley | An Introduction to Historical Piano Recordings | Piano Talk

POST BY The piano files & Ross McKee Foundation

“Musical performers and academics often focus on what editions of scores or which treatises can provide an understanding of a composer’s intentions, but historical recordings allow us to hear the actual playing of musicians of the past. Although greats like Mozart and Beethoven didn’t live to record (neither did Chopin or Liszt), we do have recordings by legendary composers like Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, as well as of students of Liszt and grand-students of Chopin (as well as at least one pianist who heard Chopin play).

What we hear in these recordings is very different from the playing on the concert stage or on recordings today.   Historical recordings provide an opportunity to travel back in time to hear some of the greatest performers of the past and witness playing that words can scarcely describe. Until today’s pianists have heard Josef Hofmann’s palette of tonal colors, Ignaz Friedman’s magical pedal effects, Marcelle Meyer’s sublimely fluid phrasing, and Dinu Lipatti’s stunningly transparent voicing, their interpretative choices are limited to present-day norms. 

In this insightful presentation, pianophile Mark Ainley will explore the tremendous importance of historical piano recordings and how they can enhance both pianists’ and listeners’ understanding of musical interpretation and the rich array of possibilities that the piano can provide its performers.”

Ross McKee Foundation

The resplendent Rosita Renard

POST BY The piano files

It is a tremendous blessing that recording technology has allowed the playing of great musicians of the past to be preserved for future generations. In some cases, we are able to hear performances that came perilously close to disappearing into thin air and which now form the foundation of a musician’s current reputation. One such case is the remarkable Chilean pianist Rosita Renard, whose only Carnegie Hall recital – in 1949 – is justly considered legendary and is a milestone of recorded pianism.

Go to the post