Thursday, February 23, 2012

Moritz Moszkowski

Artist: Moritz Moszkowski
LP: 15 Virtuoso Études, Op. 72
Pianist: Ilana Vered
Song: "Étude - Op. 72, No. 15 in B"
[ listen ]

I've started taking piano lessons again, and you know what that means! (It means I'm learning how to play the piano.) After attending a piano class about Robert Schumann last Saturday where a number of his pieces were performed, I realized how much I've missed listening to classical piano music. I headed down to Silver Platters to pick some up, since they've got one of the best selections in town. After finding a nice collection of Schumann pieces recorded on CD by Murray Perahia and a CD featuring piano pieces by Brahms, I nearly hollered out loud when I suddenly came across this used copy of Moszkowski's piano Etudes from Opus 72 that I've been trying to find for nearly a decade. Born in what's now the Polish city of Wroclaw in 1854, Moszkowski's Romantic-era compositions enjoyed immense popularity toward the end of the 19th century, but that quickly dissipated in the early 1900s as the fickle public began embracing the works of more modern composers like Scriabin, Debussy, and Satie. Moszkowski's 15 Virtuoso Études, Opus 72 were written in 1903, but the entire set had never been recorded until Israeli pianist Ilana Vered sat down to work on them for this 1970 LP release. (I can actually play Moszkowski's Étude No. 15 in B, but whereas Ilana's fluid version runs a mere 2:04, my rendition is more pensive, melancholy even, and clocks in at around 13:47.) You can read about Ilana Vered here, read about the life and career of Moritz Moszkowski here and in the liner notes below, and click here to find a list of Moszkoski's compositions.

[ Moritz Moszkowski: August 23, 1854 — March 4, 1925 ]

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