P0221. NIKITA MAGALOFF: Waldscenen (Schumann), 10 Jan., 1956. Frankfurt; Sonata in b (Liszt), 27 Feb., 1953;
Sonata in f (Brahms), 19 Dec., 1958, Paris. [Glorious playing here!] (Italy) Arkadia 906. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 8011571906013
“As a virtuoso pianist in the Russian romantic tradition, Nikita Magaloff travelled the world well into his sixties, keeping a technique and a sense of expressive character that was widely admired. In latter years his playing acquired a mature sense of proportion to control the warmth of heart that had long been a virtue of his performances, sometimes leading him into occasional extravagances of interpretation but more often than not with a breathtaking poetry that sprang from his feeling for rhythm. Magaloff always sought to communicate what the music he played meant to him in both style and emotion.
He was born at St Petersburg, where the composer Sergey Prokofiev was a family friend from whom the young Nikita derived his first interest in music. The boy was six years old when his parents left Russian for Finland in the wake of the 1917 revolution, and he began formal piano studies with Alexander Siloti, a pupil of Liszt and a cousin and teacher of Rachmaninov. Four years later the Magaloff family moved on to settle in Paris, where Nikita entered the Conservatoire to study with Isidor Philipp as well as having some independent lessons from Ravel, who gave him much encouragement.
When Magaloff graduated with a premier prix at the age of 17 in 1929, Ravel declared: 'A truly extraordinary musician is born'. The pianist ascribed to Ravel's teaching the qualities of scintillating tone and touch that brought him early success as a concert soloist, after first establishing an international reputation in recitals with the violinist Joseph Szigeti, whose daughter Irene became Magaloff's wife. While in Paris the pianist renewed his friendship with Prokofiev, and helped to champion his music, including the concertos, also giving the first Western performances of the Sonata #7 (1942).
Magaloff was among the first musicians to resume public performance in Paris after the war ended in 1945, and in 1947 he made his first tour of the US. From 1949, on the recommendation of Dinu Lipatti, he took over Lipatti's post at the Geneva Conservatory, where he taught the virtuoso master-classes for 10 years and in due course made his home in Switzerland. He gave up teaching when the pressure of concert demands became too much for both, but sat on a number of international juries at competitions, including the Leeds International Piano Competition in Britain.
Throughout his career Magaloff was renowned for his playing of Chopin, whose major works he would sometimes perform as a cycle of six programmes.”
- Noel Goodwin, THE INDEPENDENT, 18 Sept., 2011
“During his long performing career, Nikita Magaloff, one of the last representatives of the Romantic school of pianism, was best known for his interpretation of Chopin, whose complete works he recently finished recording. He also had an affinity for the music of Prokofiev, an early mentor, and performed the premiere of Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata.
Mr. Magaloff was born in St. Petersburg, but his family fled Russia in 1919, first moving to Finland and then to France. He studied with Isidor Philipp at the Paris Conservatory and at 17 graduated with the school's first prize. He first gained international recognition as the accompanist for the Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti, whose daughter, Irene, he later married. The couple moved to Switzerland in 1939 to escape World War II.
Mr. Magaloff made his American debut in 1947 as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, but was better known throughout Europe, where he appeared with most of the major orchestras under such conductors as Otto Klemperer, Ernest Ansermet and Karl Böhm. His last performances in the United States were in 1987, when he made a recital tour of the major American cities.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 7 Jan., 1993