P0366. ROSA TAMARKINA, w.Anosov Cond. USSR State S.O.: Concerto #2 in c (Rachmaninoff), recorded 1946; w.Bolshoi Theatre Quartet: Piano Quintet in g (Taneyev), Live Performance, 26 May, 1948, Moscow. (Russia) Vista Vera 00092. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 4603141000920
“A pupil of the great Alexander Goldenweiser who would later work with Konstantin Igumnov, Tamarkina was already played publicly in her early teens. In 1937 she participated in the 3rd International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where at the age of 16 she was awarded second prize (her compatriot Yakov Zak came in first). Neuhaus wrote about that occasion that ‘Rosa Tamarkina made a real sensation on the competition – not merely because of her age. Despite her young age, she is beyond doubt a perfectly matured, perfectly conscious pianist. Backhaus shouted to me: ‘This is marvelous!' ‘
Tamarkina had a performing career that was very successful but later limited by both her teaching at the Moscow Conservatory and illness. She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 26 and with treatment was able to survive a few more years, the period from which the bulk of her recordings (both commercial and concert) derive. Her playing was notable for its combination of power and sensitivity, with grandly-shaped phrasing that was never angular, strength that never crossed the edge into aggression, her tone deep and powerful yet never harsh or aggressive.
Had Tamarkina not died so tragically young, she surely would have enjoyed an international career that would have seen her recognized as one of the supreme pianists hailing from her country. She and Emil Gilels had been married from 1940 to 44, and when one considers the reach of Gilels’ decades-long career, it is almost painful to imagine how rapturously she might have been received by international audiences in concerts and recordings for major labels – alas, it was not to be. But what timeless and inspired music-making we can appreciate of what remains – and the gratitude we should feel that we have what we do.”
- Mark Ainley, 5 Aug., 2020
“The Russian pianist Rosa Tamarkina (1920-50) created a sensation at the age of 17 by winning second prize as the 1937 Third International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Her early death from cancer was a grievous loss to the piano world. Surely this exciting anthology will belatedly restore the name of Rosa Tamarkina as one of the giants in the annals of twentieth-century music-making. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
- Harris Goldsmith, CLASSIC RECORD COLLECTOR, Autumn, 2008