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Bashkirov, Dimitri

Picture: Bashkirov, Dimitri

Tiflis (Georgia), 1931. Dimitri Bashkirov was born in Tiflis, Georgia. He started his studies with his family in that city, continuing his education later with Anastasia Wirsaladze at the Tiflis Conservatory and with Alexander Goldenweiser at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. In 1955 he won the first prize at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Piano Competition, in Paris. Since then he has performed with numerous European and United States of America orchestras, among them the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Paris Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic. He has also appeared with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta and Wolfgang Sawallisch, among others. He has played chamber music with the violinist Igor Bezrodny and the cellist Mikhail Komnitzer. In 1957 he started his extensive teaching career at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and at the Encuentro de Música y Academia in Santander. He has published several studies in Sovetskaya Muzïka. Since the inauguration in 1991 of the Reina Sofía School of Music, Dimitri Bashkirov is Head Professor of the Piano Chair, sponsored by the Banco Santander Foundation.

Biography

ALBÉNIZ, Isaac

Picture: ALBÉNIZ, Isaac

Camprodón, 1860 - Cambo-les-Bains, 1909. Born in Camprodon, province of Girona, to Ángel Albéniz (a customs official) and his wife Dolors Pascual, Albéniz was a child prodigy who first performed at the age of four. At age seven, after apparently taking lessons from Antoine Marmontel, he passed the entrance examination for piano at the Paris Conservatoire, but he was refused admission because he was believed to be too young. His concert career began at the young age of nine when his father toured both Isaac and his sister, Clementina, throughout northern Spain. By the time he had reached 12, he had made many attempts to run away from home. At the age of 12 he stowed away in a ship bound for Buenos Aires. He then made his way via Cuba to the United States, giving concerts in New York and San Francisco and then travelled to Liverpool, London and Leipzig. By age 15, he had already given concerts worldwide. After a short stay at the Leipzig Conservatory, in 1876 he went to study in Brussels. In 1880, he went to Budapest to study with Franz Liszt, only to find out that Liszt was in Weimar, Germany. In 1883, he met the teacher and composer Felip Pedrell, who inspired him to write Spanish music such as the Chants d'Espagne. The first movement (Prelude) of that suite, later retitled after the composer's death as Asturias (Leyenda), is probably most famous today as part of the classical guitar repertoire, even though it was originally composed for piano and only later transcribed. (Many of Albéniz's other compositions were also transcribed for guitar, notably by Francisco Tárrega — Albéniz once declared that he preferred Tárrega's guitar transcriptions to his original piano works). At the 1888 Universal Exposition in Barcelona, the piano manufacturer Erard sponsored a series of 20 concerts featuring Albéniz's music. The apex of his concert career is considered to be 1889 to 1892 when he had concert tours throughout Europe. During the 1890s Albéniz lived in London and Paris. For London he wrote some musical comedies which brought him to the attention of the wealthy Francis Money-Coutts, 5th Baron Latymer. Money-Coutts commissioned and provided him with librettos for the opera Henry Clifford and for a projected trilogy of Arthurian operas. The first of these, Merlin (1898–1902) was thought to have been lost, but has recently been reconstructed and successfully performed; Albéniz never completed Lancelot (only the first act is finished, as a vocal and piano score), and he never began Guinevere, the final part. In 1900 he started to suffer from Bright's disease and returned to writing piano music. Between 1905 and 1908 he composed his final masterpiece, Iberia (1908), a suite of twelve piano "impressions". In 1883, the composer married his student Rosina Jordana. They had three children, Blanca (who died in 1886), Laura (a painter), and Alfonso (who played for Real Madrid in the early 1900s before embarking on a career as a diplomat). Two other children died in infancy. Albéniz died on 18 May 1909 at age 48 in Cambo-les-Bains of Bright's disease, and is buried in the Cementiri del Sudoest at Monjuïc, Barcelona.

Biography

  • ALBÉNIZ | Bashkirov < Piano

    Iberia for piano solo T 105

    El Albaicín

    CLASS 1395: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 2' 27''
    Part - 0' 55''
    Part - 9' 36''
    Part - 1' 06''

BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van

Picture: BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van

Bonn, 1770 - Vienna, 1827. He was born in the German town of Bonn on the 16th of December 1770. His grandfather Ludwig and his father Johann were both musicians. Johann was to act as little Ludwig's first music teacher, but Ludwig soon changed to the court organist C. G. Neefe. Passing eleven years of age, Ludwig deputized for Neefe, and at twelve had his first music published. He then stayed as Neefe's assistant until 1787, when at seventeen, he took off for Vienna. Even though Vienna was to be his home for the rest of his life, this first visit was short. On hearing that his mother was dying, he quickly returned to Bonn. Five years later he finally moved to Vienna to live and work. After arriving in 1792 he studied composition and counterpoint under Haydn, Schenk, Salieri and Albrechtsberger. At the same time, he tried to establish himself as pianist and composer. His good relations with the towns aristocracy soon led to a secured income. In 1809, with the sole condition that he stayed in Vienna, Prince Kinsky, Prince Lobkowitz and Archduke Rudolp even guaranteed Beethoven a yearly income. But going back to the years around 1800, which is traditionally called the early period, he was still trying to master the high classical style. This strive culminated in the second symphony from 1801-1802. This is also the time when the middle period starts. From now up until 1813, Beethoven develops and enhances the high classical style into a more dynamic and individualistic style. It is now that he writes symphonies Nr. 3 - 8, piano consert Nr. 5 and a lot of chamber music. But as he learns to control his craft and develop the music into new undiscovered grounds, he also suffers from reminders of the pains of real life. He has early in life discovered that his hearing wasn't what it should be, and the disorder gets worse as time goes by. It gets to the point where Beethoven is thinking of ending his life as he sees no way out of his despair. That fact is documented in the letter he wrote to his brothers in 1802, the so called "Heiligenstadt Testament". This hearing disorder seems to have affected his social life to a great extent. He became difficult to handle in social interactions and could suddenly burst into outbreaks of anger and show bad temper where he usually insulted someone. If that is the reason for his troubles with women, or if their is something traumatic hidden in his childhood, I don't know, but the fact is that he never got involved with a woman in a normal relation. Beethoven seems to have been attracted to women he couldn't get, or at least was hard to get. An example is Antoine Brentano, with whom he had a relationship, but who broke up with him to marry a friend. It is she who is known as the "immortal beloved" in letters addressed to her from Beethoven in 1812. Now came a couple of years without much creative work. Instead he was tormented by personal matters concerning his nephew of which he tried to gain custody when the brother died in 1815. But Beethoven didn't have the capacity of a domestic human being, and even though he did win the struggle for custody, Beethovens relation with the nephew was tense and burdensome and it reached the point where little Karl tried to take his own life in 1826. This is also the so called late period in Beethovens musical career. His music is described as less dramatic and more introvert, but also, I would like to add, more mature and secure. It has a flavour of the genius growing old and an obvi

Biography

  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Sonata for piano no. 31 in A flat major op 110

    III. Adagio, ma non troppo (Arioso dolente)

    CLASS 7166: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 16' 54''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Sonata for piano no. 31 in A flat major op 110

    IV. Fuga. Allegro, ma non troppo

    CLASS 7166: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 25' 17''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Sonata for piano no. 8 in C minor op 13 'Pathétique'

    II. Adagio cantabile

    CLASS 3772: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 37''
    Part - 6' 18''
    Part - 6' 18''
    Part - 6' 40''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Thema. Allegro

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 55''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation I

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 2' 56''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation II

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 1' 32''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation III

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 0' 37''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation IV

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 13''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation V

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 2' 31''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation VI

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 2' 08''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation VII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 1' 12''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation VIII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 0' 52''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation IX

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 2' 42''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation X

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 2' 53''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XI

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 12''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 6' 30''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XIII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 1' 44''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XIV

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 43''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XV

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 57''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XVII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 5' 02''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XVIII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 1' 24''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XIX

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 1' 06''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XXI

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 5' 32''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XXII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 07''
    Part - 1' 52''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XXIV

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 0' 59''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XXV

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 1' 40''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XXVII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 4' 55''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XXVI

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 1' 10''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    32 Variations on an Original Theme for piano in C minor WoO 80

    Variation XXVIII

    CLASS 7189: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 22''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Sonata for piano no. 16 in G major op 31 no. 1

    I. Allegro vivace

    CLASS 7174: [O.V.: English-German-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 3' 58''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Sonata for piano no. 16 in G major op 31 no. 1

    II. Adagio grazioso

    CLASS 7174: [O.V.: English-German-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 26' 22''
  • BEETHOVEN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Sonata for piano no. 16 in G major op 31 no. 1

    III. Rondo. Allegro

    CLASS 7174: [O.V.: English-German-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 6' 24''

BRAHMS, Johannes

Picture: BRAHMS, Johannes

Hamburg, 1833 - Vienna, 1897. Brahms was born in Hamburg. His father, who gave him his first music lessons, was a double bassist. Brahms showed early promise on the piano and helped to supplement the rather meager family income by playing the piano in restaurants and theaters, as well as by teaching. Although it is a widely-told tale that Brahms had to play the piano in bars and brothels, recent research, for example that by Kurt Hoffman, suggest that this is probably false. For a time, he also learned the violoncello, although his progress was cut short when his teacher absconded with Brahms's instrument. The young Brahms gave a few public concerts, but did not become well known as a pianist (although in later life he gave the premieres of both his Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1859 and his Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1881). He also began to compose, but his efforts did not receive much attention until he went on a concert tour with Eduard Reményi in 1853. On this tour he met Joseph Joachim, Franz Liszt, and later was introduced to the great German composer Robert Schumann. Reményi was, however, offended by Brahms' failure to praise Liszt's 'Sonata in B minor' wholeheartedly on a visit to the Court of Weimar where Liszt was the court musician. Many of Brahms' friends cited that Reményi, being the polished courtier, had expected the younger Brahms to conform to common practice of politely applauding a celebrity's piece which Brahms either failed to do or did not appear to do so with condescending compliment. He told Brahms that their friendship must end although it was not clear as to whether Liszt felt offended or otherwise. Joachim, however was to become one of his closest friends, and Schumann, through articles championing the young Brahms, played an important role in alerting the public to the young man's compositions. Brahms also became acquainted with Schumann's wife, the composer and pianist Clara, 14 years his senior, with whom he carried on a lifelong, emotionally passionate, but always platonic relationship. Brahms never married. In 1862 he settled permanently in Vienna and began to concentrate fully on composing. With work such as the German Requiem, Brahms eventually established a strong reputation and came to be regarded in his own lifetime as one of the great composers. This may have given him the confidence finally to complete his first symphony; this appeared in 1876, after about ten years of work. The other three symphonies then followed in fairly rapid succession (1877, 1883, 1885). Brahms frequently traveled, both for business (concert tours) and pleasure. He often visited Italy in the springtime, and usually sought out a pleasant rural location in which to compose during the summer. In 1890, the 57-year-old Brahms resolved to give up composing. However, as it turned out, he was unable to abide by his decision, and in the years before his death he produced a number of acknowledged masterpieces, including the two clarinet sonatas Op. 120 (1894) and the Four Serious Songs (Vier ernste Gesänge) Op. 121 (1896). While completing the Op. 121 songs Brahms fell ill of cancer (sources differ on whether this was of the liver or pancreas). His condition gradually worsened and he died on April 3, 1897. Brahms is buried in the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna.

Biography

CHOPIN, Fryderyck Franciszek

Picture: CHOPIN, Fryderyck Franciszek

Zelazowa Wola, 1810 - Paris, 1849. Frédéric Chopin, a Polish composer and pianist, was one of the creators of the typically romantic character piece. All of his works include the piano. He was born on February 22, 1810, near Warsaw, Poland. At an early age, Chopin displayed artistic talents&#151;he was an artist, wrote poetry, and played piano without any formal instruction. The gifted child also began composing his own music and had his first piece of music published when he was just seven years old. In 1826 Chopin became a full-time student at Elsner's conservatory, where he received an excellent foundation in theory, harmony, and melody. Elsner, after recognizing that Chopin's style was too original to force into traditional patterns, granted Chopin the freedom to develop along clear personal lines. After visiting Berlin, Germany, where Chopin was exposed to the music of George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) and Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Chopin returned to Warsaw and heard Nicolò Paganini (1782-1840). Chopin recognized that he must leave Warsaw for exposure to other musicians. He went to Vienna, Austria, to try to arrange the publication of several of his works. After a successful debut at the Kärntnerthor Theater on August 11, 1829, he returned home only to prepare for a concert tour, this time through Germany and Italy. In Vienna Chopin composed the B Minor Scherzo and the G Minor Ballade, as well as others that demonstrated Chopin's fully developed personal style. When the twenty-year-old Chopin arrived in Paris, poor physical health prevented him from giving public performances. Nevertheless, he became a significant figure in Parisian artistic circles, numbering among his friends musicians, writers, and painters, as well as many wealthy and talented women. Chopin recognized that he did not have the stamina (strength) to compete in public against such talents as Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and Sigismund Thalberg (1812-1871). So long as he was able to earn enough by teaching, Chopin preferred composition to playing concerts. His musical tastes were public knowledge. Friendly with Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) and Mendelssohn, he was not impressed with their music. Nor, for that matter, did he appreciate Robert Schumann's (1810-1856) work, despite Schumann's warm welcome written for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik when Chopin first arrived in Paris. Schumann introduced Clara Wieck to Chopin's work, and eventually her performances of Chopin's pieces made favorable impressions on many audiences. Several young ladies appear to have been the object of Chopin's affections over the years, but the most celebrated female with whom he had a relationship was Aurore Dudevant, known as George Sand, whom he met in 1836. For nine years, beginning in 1838, after he had composed the "Funeral March" (which later became part of the B-flat Minor Sonata), she was his closest associate. Despite failing health, the composer completed his twenty-four Preludes in Valldemosa, Majorca (one of the Balearic Islands in the western Mediterranean). In 1846 Sand's children became a problem. Chopin sided with Solange, Sand's daughter, in arguments against Sand and her son, Maurice. Separation became inevitable, and the beginning of the end for Chopin. His health failed, and he lost all interest in composition. Chopin then moved to England, where he gave several private performances in London and on May 15 played for Queen Victoria (1819-1901). After a rest in Scotland, he retu

Biography

  • CHOPIN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Polonaise-fantaisie for piano solo in A flat major op 61

    CLASS 7169: [O.V.: German]

    Content

    Part - 8' 48''
    Part - 16' 29''
    Part - 11' 18''

DEBUSSY, Claude

Picture: DEBUSSY, Claude

St Germain-en-Laye, 1862 - Paris, 1918. Born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, France, Claude Debussy studied with Guiraud and others at the Paris Conservatoire (1872-84) and as an 1884 Prix de Rome winner, went to Rome, Italy, though more important impressions came from his visits to Bayreuth (1888, 1889) and from hearing Javanese gamelan music in Paris (1889). Wagner's influence is evident in the cantata La damoiselle élue (1888) and the Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire (1889) but other songs of the period, notably the settings of Verlaine (Ariettes oubliées, Trois mélodies, Fêtes galantes) are in a more capricious style, as are parts of the still somewhat Franckian G minor String Quartet (1893); in that work he used not only the Phrygian mode but also less standard modes, notably the whole-tone mode, to create the floating harmony he discovered through the work of contemporary writers: Mallarmé in the orchestral Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1894 - in 1912 used as music for the L'Après-midi d'un Faune ballet production) and Maeterlinck in the opera Pelléas et Mélisande, dating in large part from 1893-5 but not completed until 1902. These works also brought forward a fluidity of rhythm and color quite new to Western music. Pelléas, with its rule of understatement and deceptively simple declamation, also brought an entirely new tone to opera &#151; but an unrepeatable one. Debussy worked on other opera projects and left substantial sketches for two pieces after tales by Edgar Allan Poe (Le diable dans le beffroi and La chute de la maison Usher), but neither was completed. Instead, the main works were orchestral pieces, piano sets, and songs. Among his major orchestral works are the three Nocturnes (1899), characteristic studies of veiled harmony and texture ('Nuages'), exuberant cross-cutting ('Fêtes') and seductive whole-tone drift ('Sirènes'). La mer (1905) essays a more symphonic form, with a finale that works themes from the first movement, though the centerpiece (Jeux de vagues) proceeds much less directly and with more variety of color. The three Images (1912) are more loosely linked, and the biggest, Ibéria is itself a triptych, a medley of Spanish allusions. Finally, the ballet Jeux (1913) contains some of Debussy's strangest harmony and texture in a form that moves freely over its own field of motivic connection. Other late stage works, including the ballets Khamma (1912) and La boîte à joujoux (1913) and the mystery play Le martyre de St. Sébastien (1911), were not completely orchestrated by Debussy, though St. Sébastien is remarkable in sustaining an antique modal atmosphere that otherwise was touched only in relatively short piano pieces (eg. La cathédrale engloutie). Debussy wrote much piano music although the most important of them to begin with are works which, Verlaine fashion, look back at rococo decorousness with a modern cynicism and puzzlement (Suite bergamasque, 1890; Pour le piano, 1901). His first volume of Images pour piano 1904 - 1905 evokes tonality that was rarely heard in works by his contemporaries such as phrases suggesting the rippling of water in the first piece Reflets dans l'eau as well as a homage to Jean-Philippe Rameau's influence in a slow and mysterious court dance in the second piece Hommage à Rameau. But then, as in the orchestral pieces, Debussy began to associate his music with visual impressions of the East, Spain, landscapes etc, in a sequence of sets of short pieces. This can be heard in the volume of pieces known as

Biography

LISZT, Franz

Picture: LISZT, Franz

Raiding (Doborján), 1811 - Bayreuth, 1886. Hungarian composer, pianist and teacher. He was one of the leaders of the Romantic movement in music. In his compositions he developed new methods, both imaginative and technical, which left their mark upon his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and procedures; he also evolved the method of 'transformation of themes' as part of his revolution in form, made radical experiments in harmony and invented the symphonic poem for orchestra. As the greatest piano virtuoso of his time, he used his sensational technique and captivating concert personality not only for personal effect but to spread, through his transcriptions, knowledge of other composers' music. As a conductor and teacher, especially at Weimar, he made himself the most influential figure of the New German School dedicated to progress in music. His unremitting championship of Wagner and Berlioz helped these composers achieve a wider European fame. Equally important was his unrivalled commitment to preserving and promoting the best of the past, including Bach, Handel, Schubert, Weber and above all Beethoven; his performances of such works as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Hammerklavier Sonata created new audiences for music hitherto regarded as incomprehensible. The seeming contradictions in his personal life a strong religious impulse mingled with a love of worldly sensation were resolved by him with difficulty. Yet the vast amount of new biographical information makes the unthinking view of him as 'half gypsy, half priest' impossible to sustain. He contained in his character more of the ideals and aspirations of the 19th century than any other major musician.

Biography

  • LISZT | Bashkirov < Piano

    Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année, Italie for piano solo S 161

    7. Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi sonata

    CLASS 3770: [O.V.: Russian]

    Content

    Part - 55' 31''
  • LISZT | Bashkirov < Piano

    Fantasie über Motive aus Figaro und Don Juan for piano S 697

    CLASS 7211: [O.V.: English-Russian]

    Content

    Part - 34' 50''
    Part - 5' 29''

MENDELSSOHN, Felix

Picture: MENDELSSOHN, Felix

Hamburg, 1809 - Leipzig, 1847. Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. The grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, he was born into a notable Jewish family, although he himself was brought up initially without religion, and later as a Lutheran Christian. He was recognized early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his abilities. Indeed his father was disinclined to allow Felix to follow a musical career until it became clear that he intended seriously to dedicate himself to it. Early success in Germany was followed by travel throughout Europe; Mendelssohn was particularly well received in Britain as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there (during which many of his major works were premiered) form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes however set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Liszt, Wagner and Berlioz. The Conservatory he founded at Leipzig became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook. Mendelssohn's work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano and chamber music. He also had an important role in the revival of interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality is now being recognized and re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.

Biography

  • MENDELSSOHN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 2 in D minor op 40 (orchestra part reduced for piano)

    II. Adagio - Molto sostenuto

    CLASS 1390: [O.V.: English-Russian-French]

    Content

    Part - 24' 29''
  • MENDELSSOHN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 2 in D minor op 40 (orchestra part reduced for piano)

    III. Finale. Presto scherzando

    CLASS 1390: [O.V.: English-Russian-French]

    Content

    Part - 29' 33''

PROKOFIEV, Sergey

Picture: PROKOFIEV, Sergey

Sontsovka, 1891 - Moscow, 1953. One of the most prolific and celebrated Russian composers of the 20th century, Sergei Prokofiev is perhaps most famous for music he composed for the children's story Peter and the Wolf. He proved his talent as a pianist and composer at a very early age, and in 1904 moved with his mother to St. Petersburg, where he studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. As a young man he traveled to England and Europe on tour, and in 1918 he left Russia for the United States. During the 1920s he toured New York, Chicago, London and Paris, gaining popularity with audiences, if not with critics. In 1927 he returned to perform in the Soviet Union and was greeted as a national hero. In the early 1930s he travelled between Paris and Moscow, finally settling in Moscow in 1936. A few years later, World War II marked the beginning of Prokofiev's rocky relationship with the Soviet government of Joseph Stalin. Although he continued to be a productive composer, in the late 1940s Prokofiev fell out of favor with government officials and spent his last years in failing health and financial insecurity. His works include the ballets Chout and The Love for Three Oranges, operas such as The Fiery Angel and War and Peace (based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy) and music for the Sergei Eisenstein films Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1942-46). Modern audiences know Prokofiev's work primarily through the many symphonic suites he composed based on his stage and film work. His birthdate is sometimes given as 11 April 1891, the date based on the Julian calendar prior to the Soviet Union adopting the Gregorian calendar. Prokofiev died on the same day as Stalin.

Biography

SCHUBERT, Franz

Picture: SCHUBERT, Franz

Vienna, 1797 - Vienna, 1828. Franz Peter Schubert was among the first of the Romantics, and the composer who, more than any other, brought the art song (lied) to artistic maturity. During his short but prolific career, he produced masterpieces in nearly every genre, all characterized by rich harmonies, an expansive treatment of classical forms, and a seemingly endless gift for melody. Schubert began his earliest musical training studying with his father and brothers. Having passed an audition, Schubert enrolled at the Convict school that trained young vocalists to eventually sing at the chapel of The Imperial Court. Schubert began to explore composition and wrote a song that came to the attention of the institution's director, Antonio Salieri, who along with the school's professor of harmony, hailed young Schubert as a genius. In 1813, after Schubert's voice broke, he returned to live with his father, who directed him to follow in his footsteps and become a schoolteacher. Schubert begrudgingly complied and worked miserably in that capacity by day, while composing prolifically by night. He had written more than 100 songs as well as numerous symphonic, operatic, and chamber music scores, before he reached the age of 20. Schubert finally left his teaching position to dedicate himself completely to musical pursuits. During the summer of 1818, the young composer worked as a private music teacher to the aristocratic Esterházy family. When he left that post in the fall, Schubert lived a somewhat bohemian lifestyle, composing and spending time with a group of friends that acted as his personal support system. In 1820, Schubert was commissioned by two opera houses, the Karthnerthor Theatre and Theatre-an-der-Wein, to compose a pair of operas. He wrote Zwillingsbruden, and Zauberharfe, both of which were unenthusiastically received. Schubert failed to secure a contract with a publisher, as none were willing to take a chance on a relatively unknown composer who wrote (harmonically) untraditional music. Schubert, along with the support of his artistic friends, published his own work for a collection of roughly 100 subscribers. These efforts, however, were financially unrewarding, and Schubert struggled to sustain himself. His work garnered little attention and contemporary composers dismissed his music as presumptuous and immature. In 1823, Schubert was elected to the Musikverein of Graz, as an honorary member. Though this brought no financial reward and was an inconsequential appointment, Schubert relished its slight recognition, and to show his gratitude, composed his famous Unfinished Symphony. Five years later, Schubert's music was featured at a concert at Vienna's Musikverein. His work was received quite enthusiastically, and to much critical acclaim. This marked the only time during the composer's life that he enjoyed such success. This seemed to provide Schubert with a renewed sense of optimism, and despite illness, the composer continued to produce at an incredible rate. He began to organize a scheme to increase his artistic popularity, by continuing to evaluate his work and progress as a musician, perhaps even planning to study harmony privately. Schubert's health did not improve, and he soon found himself at death's door. During the composer's last moments, he instructed his brother Ferdinand to ensure that he would be buried alongside Ludwig van Beethoven's grave. Schubert revered the legendary composer, and was grateful to him, as Beethoven had praised his wo

Biography

  • SCHUBERT | Bashkirov < Piano

    Sonata for piano in C minor D 958

    IV. Allegro

    CLASS 7209: [O.V.: English-Russian]

    Content

    Part - 8' 52''
    Part - 18' 43''
    Part - 20' 25''

SCHUMANN, Robert

Picture: SCHUMANN, Robert

Zwichau, 1810 - Endenich, 1856. Robert Schumann was born 8 June, 1810 in Zwickau, Germany. He was the son of a book publisher and writer. As a child, Robert Schumann showed early abilities in both music and literature, but was not considered a prodigy by any means. At sixteen, after the tragic deaths of his sister and father, he was sent to the University of Leipzig at his mother's insistence. He studied law there until he was able to convince his mother of his need to study music. In Leipzig, from 1830, he worked under the renowned piano teacher Friedrich Wieck, whose favourite daughter, Clara, was already a well-known piano prodigy. It is thought that Schumann and Clara were lovers by 1835. His own ambitions as a pianist were hampered by a weakness in the fingers of one hand (possibly caused by they syphilis that would later claim his sanity), but the 1830s nevertheless brought a number of marvellous compositions for the instrument. Robert Schumann's work is noted for its links to literature. Many of his compositions allude to characters or scenes from poems, novels, and plays; others are like musical crossword puzzles with key signatures or musical themes that refer to people or places important to him. This intimate relationship with the written word gives his music an extra dimension. At the same time, its sheer joyfulness ranks it among the best loved music of the age. Schumann was not only interested in literature, he was also a working journalist who edited his own influential musical magazine, the Neue Zeitsfchrift fur Musik. This put Schumann in a unique position: his music was often inspired by the world of words, while his work as writer and critic kept him in touch with the Romantic musical scene at large. Through his music journal he helped to bring the young Chopin and, later, the young Brahms to the attention of the German-speaking public. Schumann's courtship of and marriage to Clara Wieck is one of the most famous romances in music history. Clara's father was one of Schumann's piano teachers. He predicted a great future for his pupil, but he fiercely opposed the young man's request to marry his daughter. He not only disapproved of Schumann's drinking, he also wanted Clara to become a famous pianist in her own right. For years Friedrich did everything he could to keep Schumann and Clara apart. Schumann eventually took Wieck to court and obtained permission to marry her, but it had been a long and bitter struggle. Overall, Robert Schumann's early piano compositions, many of which were played by his wife Clara, are the most original and daring of his works. As a composer, he tended to concentrate on one type of music at a time. For instance, his songs qualify him as a worthy successor to Schubert. And while his great orchestral works remain closer to the traditional Classical forms of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, he is regarded as a talented, but not masterful. Nor was he successful as a composer of operas. It is in his piano music and his songs - Carnival ("Dainty Scenes on Four Notes") in particular - that he accomplished his greatest work. In 1850 Schumann was appointed Music Director to the city of Dusseldorf, where he enjoyed no great success. Suffering from hallucinations and rapidly declining mental facilities, he resigned in 1853. Mounting fears of insanity plunged Schumann into a serious mental break-down, and in 1854 he attempted suicide by throwing himself into the Rhine. He was then confined to an asylum at Endenich,

Biography

  • SCHUMANN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Thème sur le nom Abegg varié pour le pianoforte for piano solo op 1

    Variation 1

    CLASS 7168: [O.V.: Russian]

    Content

    Part - 6' 16''
  • SCHUMANN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Thème sur le nom Abegg varié pour le pianoforte for piano solo op 1

    Variation 2

    CLASS 7168: [O.V.: Russian]

    Content

    Part - 6' 42''
  • SCHUMANN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Thème sur le nom Abegg varié pour le pianoforte for piano solo op 1

    Variation 3

    CLASS 7168: [O.V.: Russian]

    Content

    Part - 13' 35''
  • SCHUMANN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Bunte Blätter for piano solo op 99

    1. Nicht schnell, mit Innigkeit (from Drei Stücklein)

    CLASS 7182: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 5' 37''
  • SCHUMANN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Bunte Blätter for piano solo op 99

    2. Sehr rasch (from Drei Stücklein)

    CLASS 7182: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 5' 49''
  • SCHUMANN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Bunte Blätter for piano solo op 99

    4. Ziemlich langsam (from Albumblätter)

    CLASS 7182: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 2' 32''
  • SCHUMANN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Bunte Blätter for piano solo op 99

    6. Ziemlich langsam, sehr gesangvoll (from Albumblätter)

    CLASS 7182: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 1' 31''
  • SCHUMANN | Bashkirov < Piano

    Bunte Blätter for piano solo op 99

    7. Sehr langsam (from Albumblätter)

    CLASS 7182: [O.V.: Russian-Spanish]

    Content

    Part - 4' 34''

TCHAIKOVSKY, Pyotr Il'yich

Picture: TCHAIKOVSKY, Pyotr Il'yich

Kamsko-Votkinsk, 1840 - St Petersburg, 1893. He was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. His wide ranging output includes symphonies, operas, ballets, instrumental and chamber music and songs. He wrote some of the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, the 1812 Overture, his First Piano Concerto, his last three numbered symphonies, and the opera Eugene Onegin. Born into a middle-class family, Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant, despite his obvious musical precocity. He pursued a musical career against the wishes of his family, entering the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1862 and graduating in 1865. This formal, Western-oriented training set him apart from the contemporary nationalistic movement embodied by the influential group of young Russian composers known as The Five, with whom Tchaikovsky's professional relationship was mixed. Although he enjoyed many popular successes, Tchaikovsky was never emotionally secure, and his life was punctuated by personal crises and periods of depression. Contributory factors were his suppressed homosexuality and fear of exposure, his disastrous marriage, and the sudden collapse of the one enduring relationship of his adult life, his 13-year association with the wealthy widow Nadezhda von Meck. Amid private turmoil Tchaikovsky's public reputation grew; he was honored by the Tsar, awarded a lifetime pension and lauded in the concert halls of the world. His sudden death at the age of 53 is generally ascribed to cholera, but some attribute it to suicide. Although perennially popular with concert audiences across the world, Tchaikovsky's music was often dismissed by critics in the early and mid-20th century as being vulgar and lacking in elevated thought. By the end of the 20th century, however, Tchaikovsky's status as a significant composer was generally regarded as secure.

Biography

  • TCHAIKOVSKY | Bashkirov < Piano

    Overture from Romeo and Juliet for orchestra in B minor (transcription for piano by F. Noak)

    CLASS 1383: [O.V.: Russian]

    Content

    Part - 26' 15''
    Part - 2' 58''
  • TCHAIKOVSKY | Bashkirov < Piano

    Overture from Romeo and Juliet for orchestra in B minor (transcription for piano by F. Noak)

    CLASS 1396: [O.V.: Russian]

    Content

    Part - 18' 01''
    Part - 11' 50''
    Part - 24' 44''

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