Women at the Piano, Vol.  I  (Naxos 8.111120)
Item# P0410
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Product Description

Women at the Piano, Vol.  I  (Naxos 8.111120)
P0410. Women at the Piano, An Anthology of Historic Performances, Vol. I, incl. Monique de la Bruchollerie, Jeanne Behrend, Guiomar Novaës, Iris Loveridge, Marie Novello, Gaby Casadesus, Sari Biro, Myra Hess, Reah Sadowsky, Emma Boynet, Maryla Jonas, Harriet Cohen, Eileen Joyce, Marguerite Long, Ray Lev, Ruth Slenczynska, Hilde Somer, Aline Isabelle van Barentzen, Jeanne-Marie Darre, Lucette Descaves, Una Mabel Bourne & Moura Lympany. (E.U.) Naxos 8.111120, recorded 1926-52. Transfers by Victor & Marina Ledin. - 747313312023



CRITIC REVIEW:

“Twenty-two pianists, united by their sex, jostle for disc space in this tightly packed volume from Naxos covering the years 1926-52. The second volume in this series is already lined up and promises us twenty more. Nationalities are widespread but there are some consonances between them, not least in respect of their teachers; Matthay in London but more especially Isidore Phillip in Paris; Monique de la Bruchollerie, Guiomar Novaes and Emma Boynet all studied with that most distinguished pedagogue. Certainly there is also the programmatic question to consider, as the majority of these twenty-two pieces are firefly morceaux, encore morsels or rhythmically enticing dance-dramas. But if one considers the recital as a glimpse at some under-sung performances – mixed in with the leavening of internationally accepted great players – then it makes for some diverting listening. I’d like to hear more of Monique de la Bruchollerie who was apparently the first French pianist to record concertos by Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov back in the 1950s. Her Saint-Saëns is in the best French style, clear and spirited. That Iris Loveridge became better known as a specialist in British music shouldn’t blind us to her real talents throughout the repertoire though her Palmgren can offer only the tiniest chink of light on that part of her career. Her compatriot Marie Novello has a niche place in specialists’ hearts. Notwithstanding the fact that she was a Leschetizky pupil her discs, the few she made before her wretchedly early death at thirty, show a finished artist. Naxos has gone for the best recorded, her 1927 HMV, though her earlier Winners and Edison Bells are just as impressive musically speaking. It seems as if she’d just contracted with HMV which would have raised her profile substantially; she died of cancer the following year. Occasionally the net widens in respect of source material and that’s the case with Sari Biro’s transcription disc. She was the first woman to recorded ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ the notes tell us, back in 1951. Reah Sadowsky glitters in the moto perpetuo heroics of the Vianna, with its saucy Mediterranean sway, and we can also enjoy the de Falla specialist Aline Isabelle van Barentzen as she performs music with which she was so intimately associated. Harriet Cohen is here, performing Bax’s ‘Paean’ as is Ruth Slenczynska, a pianist I greatly admire playing Rachmaninov; she takes time to get going but the disc comes from her own (semi-official?) label. Hilde Sommer is captured on an Austrian Remington. The big names pianists – Hess, Long, Novaes, Casadesus, Joyce (brilliant as ever), Darré – will someone please release her early 1950's LP collaboration with Maurice Maréchal – hardly require much comment. The biographical documentation is first class - to the point, not flowery but very relevant.”

- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International, Aug., 2006