Romantic Master Pianist
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Indiana University Press
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James Irsay’s 1972 broadcast of a Friedman disc shocked at least one listener. As well as triggering a reflex so long ago, Irsay symbolically closed the cycle by intervening during the book’s final stages to offer astute and crucial editorial suggestions. Dr. Kenneth Cooper read and annotated an earlier draft: ...
1 Musical Traditions That Hide in Shellac
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Serendipity. One day in 1972, a radio program on WBAI in New York, hosted by pianist James Irsay, offered obscure, old, noisy 78-rpm discs. After airing a recording featuring Rachmaninoff himself at the piano, Irsay readied Chopin’s Polonaise in A♭, op. 53 performed by Ignaz Friedman, whom he announced as one of the greatest pianists of all time. ...
2 From Poland
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As a pianist, Friedman came to represent the musical culture of Vienna, Berlin, and, to a lesser extent, Poland, the land of his origins, which had imposed upon him the dual status of Pole and Jew, a status well worth considering. He was cast as a resented outsider; ...
3 “Music begins where technique leaves off”
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One academic year in Leipzig was enough for Friedman: the piano could no longer occupy a secondary role in his life. Perhaps it was Eisenberger’s advice that led him to a villa encircled by trees at 42 Karl Ludwig Strasse in the eighteenth district of Vienna. Its occupant was in a far-off room when he arrived. ...
4 2,800 Concerts
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Friedman made his Vienna debut on a Tuesday, 22 November 1904. He and Leschetizky had chosen a night on which no other pianist was performing. D’Albert had given a solo recital at Bösendorfer Hall a day earlier, and on the 23rd the Viennese would hear Sauer and Landowska. ...
5 From Old Russia
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One day in the early 1880s the Romanov court announced an imperial ball in St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace. Overseeing a formidable expanse along the embankment by the Neva River, the palace could accommodate three thousand guests. Of the many celebrants who would attend that evening, ...
6 Encroaching Modernism
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In September 1916 Friedman moved to Copenhagen, leaving behind a waning marriage and a beloved daughter in Berlin. As food and goods were becoming scarce in Germany, he enlisted the cultural attach�s, ambassadors, and spies in his orbit to carry butter, eggs, and meat to his family in their diplomatic pouches. ...
7 From Beethoven to Hitler
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Friedman arrived in Helsinki for three solo recitals in early 1927, then departed immediately for the British Isles, stopping in Sheffield, Eastbourne, Belfort, Dublin, Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield again, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, London (where he performed twice), ...
8 In Safety, Down Under
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Friedman boarded the Strathmore for his journey to Australia. The vessel briefly docked in British Aden, where Friedman claimed funds that had been wired by Lydia. He visited the ship’s library each morning to read about Australia’s history. They reached port on the evening of 6 June 1940. ...
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On Sunday, the morning after his Chopin recital in Sydney, Friedman awoke to find his left palm and fingers numb. Six weekly half-hour Chopin programs were set for September, covering mazurkas, five preludes, three impromptus, six waltzes, two ballades, three polonaises, five nocturnes, three scherzi, ...
10 Chopin on the Nile
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Friedman’s life tragically ended shortly before his sixty-sixth birthday, yet his recordings defy the limits of time and age. On which artists did Friedman’s musical energy, teaching, ideas, and personal intervention leave their strongest influence? ...
11 The Piano According to Tiegerman
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When I was eight years old, my father took me to the Tiegerman Conservatory, in Cairo, Egypt, for piano lessons. The conservatory was run by its director, Mr. Ignace Tiegerman. Mr. Tiegerman was a small man, about 5'2'' [in fact, he was 4'10'']. His profile was a cross between Chopin and Horowitz. ...
12 The Piano According to Friedman
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The lessons essentially consisted of him playing portions from the given piece, sometimes five or six times. You could learn most when you listened to how he himself practiced. He always repeated, “There are no miracles in music, you need simply to work hard.” He worked hard; even during vacations he played (for four or five hours a day) ...
Appendix A: Friedman’s Repertoire
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Appendix B: Discography
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Appendix C: Friedman’s and Tiegerman’s Compositions
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Appendix D: Friedman’s Edition of Chopin’s Piano Works
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Page Count: 416
Illustrations: 21 b&w photos, 10 figures
Publication Year: 2009