Haydn: Piano Sonata No. 59; Piano Sonata No. 33; Brahms: Four Piano Pieves, Op. 119; Schubert: Piano Sonata, D. 960

Haydn: Piano Sonata No. 59; Piano Sonata No. 33; Brahms: Four Piano Pieves, Op. 119; Schubert: Piano Sonata, D. 960

by Rudolf Firkusny
     
 

This disc contains a live recital, given at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on January 4, 1969. It was a fine concert, perhaps a "legend" as the packaging proclaims, but there may have been another motivation for issuing it: a note in the booklet reads, "In Memoriam, Tatiana Firkusný, 8 January 1945-11 January 2005." Fans of this Czech pianist will find works he never… See more details below

Overview

This disc contains a live recital, given at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on January 4, 1969. It was a fine concert, perhaps a "legend" as the packaging proclaims, but there may have been another motivation for issuing it: a note in the booklet reads, "In Memoriam, Tatiana Firkusný, 8 January 1945-11 January 2005." Fans of this Czech pianist will find works he never recorded in the studio, but it also makes a good introduction to his style for the general listener -- all the music is mainstream Central European repertory that was straight up Firkusný's alley even if he never recorded it on LP. Firkusný's style was influenced by that of the great Polish-Jewish Beethoven specialist Artur Schnabel, and one might even say that he captured the best aspects of Schnabel's art while avoiding the technical defects. Even the famed remark of Schnabel's teacher -- that he would never be a pianist but rather was a musician -- found an echo in Firkusný's description of himself as a music-maker rather than a pianist. One hears Schnabel's influence in Firkusný's carefully considered passagework, which always is made subservient to the overall musical impact. All the music on this disc is compelling, and the coughing, sniffling London audience was instantly galvanized to enthusiastic applause at the end of each piece. Perhaps it is Firkusný's Haydn, however, that is most unusual, especially the opening "Piano Sonata in E flat major, Hob. 16/49." Firkusný had a very Eastern European perspective on this work, and it was all to the good -- his reading brings out a vigorous, impish quality that no other performer has divined quite so well. The smooth grace of the Minuet finale is marvelous. Firkusný's Brahms "Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119," are murky and moody. The big Schubert "Piano Sonata in B flat major, D. 960," which closes the program, is very warmly played but has a tendency to atomize into what seem like a group of individual impromptus, especially since Firkusný takes some of the music at a fast clip and plays it without repeats -- subtle relationships don't have a chance to sink in. The fast-moving finale contradicts Schubert's ma non troppo tempo marking but is extremely infectious. The program as a whole is satisfying and surpassingly musical from start to finish, and it will leave some listeners wondering why one doesn't hear concerts like this much anymore.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/2006
Label:
Bbc Legends
UPC:
0684911417326
catalogNumber:
4173
Rank:
184908

Tracks

  1. Keyboard Sonata in E flat major, H. 16/49  - Franz Joseph Haydn  - Rudolf Firkusny  - John Patrick
  2. Keyboard Sonata in C minor, H. 16/20  - Franz Joseph Haydn  - Rudolf Firkusny  - John Patrick
  3. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119  - Johannes Brahms  - Rudolf Firkusny  - John Patrick
  4. Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960  - Franz Schubert  - Rudolf Firkusny  - John Patrick

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >