P1167. JAKOB GIMPEL, Vol. II, incl. Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Szymanowski & Gimpel. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-255, recorded 1940-46, Co-Art, Columbia & Vox. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Culled from Armed Forces Radio Service on Vox shellacs, 1940-1946, the legacy of pianist Jakob Gimpel (1906-1989) finds restoration through the Yves St-Laurent Studio label, performances rife with grand excitement in spite of their original 78 rpm surface swish and crackle. Gimpel emigrated to America in 1938, but spare recognition sent him to Hollywood in 1943, where his playing received more note in the movie ABOVE SUSPICION as the unseen performer of the Liszt E-flat Concerto. His participation in the New York segment of the 1949 Chopin centennial gleaned him international recognition, as well concert appearances with major orchestras. A pupil of Cornelia Tarnowska, Edward Steuermann, and Alban Berg, Gimpel possessed a refined sound and an exquisite sense of musical architecture, and these surviving archives testify to a fluent command of his repertory.
The St.-Laurent Studio offers a ‘music treasury’ of historic performances, and I encourage serious collectors of legendary concert artists to explore their catalogue with due diligence.”
—Gary Lemco, AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, 15 Feb., 2015
“Jakob Gimpel, a concert pianist known for his interpretations of Chopin, was born in 1906 in Lvov, Poland, which is now part of the Soviet Union. He received his earliest musical training from his father, Adolph, and later studied in Vienna with Alban Berg and Eduard Steuermann. He made his début in Vienna in 1923.
In 1935, Mr. Gimpel met the violinist Bronislaw Huberman, with whom he toured the world and with whom he helped, in 1937, to found the Palestine Symphony, now the Israel Philharmonic.
Mr. Gimpel immigrated to the United States in 1938, settling first in New York and, a year later, in Los Angeles. There he had a long teaching and performing career that included numerous solo and orchestral engagements. He also appeared in several motion pictures, including GASLIGHT, and recorded the soundtrack for MEPHISTO WALTZ and other films. In 1971 he became Distinguished Professor in Residence at California State University at Northridge.
Mr. Gimpel was one of the first American artists to return to Europe after World War II; in 1954 he played hundreds of concerts in West Germany, and he later was awarded the West German Order of Merit, First Class. He also received the Ben-Gurion Award from Israel, for his fund-raising efforts.”
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent's natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011