P0976. LISZT CELEBRATION, incl. Vlado Perlemuter, Mischa Levitzki, Josef Pembauer & Marie-Aimée Warrot. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-068, recorded 1927-46. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Marie-Aimée Warrot (1915-1971) was born in Brunoy (near Paris), France. After receiving first prize from the Paris Conservatoire in 1930, she continued her studies with Robert Casadesus, Alfred Cortot, and later, with Emil von Sauer in Vienna. Her reputation established in Europe, she moved in 1955 to Canada, settling first in Vancouver and later in Halifax. At the time she became a naturalised Canadian in 1960, she also changed the spelling of her last name to Varro. She continued to perform in recital and with major orchestras in Canada, the United States, and Europe, specialising in the romantic repertoire. In her studies with Sauer, she learned authentic interpretation of Liszt's piano works, and it is not surprising that among her earliest recordings (made in 1946) is Liszt's Theme and Variations from ‘Grandes Études de Paganini’.”
“In 1915 Perlemuter began studying with Moritz Moszkowski, and in 1917 was accepted into Alfred Cortot's class at the Paris Conserva toire. From Moszkowski he learnt clarity and an imaginative choice of fingering, from Cortot a greater depth of tone and an artistic grasp of great music, much of it from listening to Cortot himself playing.
In 1919, after Perlemuter had won the most coveted prize at the Conservatoire, he went to Geneva to give his first public recital in La Salle des Abeilles. He returned to the city to give his last concert, in the Victoria Hall, shortly before his 90th birthday. In the two years following his début, he spent his holidays in Annecy, near Geneva, and there played Fauré's last Nocturnes and the piano solo version of his Ballade to the composer.
Apart from Cortot, the two pianists who made the greatest impact on Perlemuter in his early days were Busoni and Rachmaninov; he was impressed by their ‘orchestral’ style of playing, and no doubt by a quality of interpretation which came from the fact that they were composers of substantial importance. One remarkable thing about him is that he never grew stale, that after half-a-century he still engaged in slow and humble practice with the left hand of pieces that he had known all his life. His unceasing quest was rather to realise his poetic intentions, and they imposed a complete independence of the two hands, and a mastery of the greatest possible range of tone-colour.”
"Mischa Levitzki was a Russian-born American concert pianist. He was playing the violin at the age of three, but soon developed an interest in the piano, which he studied in Warsaw before making his début in Antwerp in 1906. In New York, his father brought him to the attention of Walter Damrosch, who obtained a scholarship for him at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Juilliard School) as a pupil of Zygmunt Stojowski, with whom he studied from 1907 to 1911. In 1913 Levitzki entered the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, where he became the youngest student of Dohnányi and was awarded the Mendelssohn Prize in 1915. By this time he had performed throughout Europe and Scandinavia. He made his American début in New York on 17 October, 1916, at Aeolian Hall, and soon made his permanent home in the United States, later becoming an American citizen. Levitzki concertized worldwide up until the time of his premature death in 1941. He toured in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, making a reputation with his performances of the Romantic repertory.”
- Victor & Marina Ledin
“If Vlado Perlemuter, the revered French pianist who studied with Ravel and Fauré and was an acclaimed interpreter of their works, never attained widespread public renown, it may have been because of a certain self-effacing quality in his pianism. But he was enormously respected by musicians and his many admirers, who found his playing a model of refinement and elegance.
In a 1993 review in THE NEW YORK TIMES of a two-disc recording of Ravel's complete works, Bernard Holland praised Mr. Perlemuter for his ’unadorned simplicity, his refusal to milk phrases for momentary effect, in short, his insistence on letting the Classical Ravel speak for himself’. Though a courtly figure on the concert stage, Mr. Perlemuter had commanding presence and played with an alluring palette of colorings.
Vlado Perlemuter studied privately with the Polish-German pianist Moritz Moszkowski. At 13, he entered the Paris Conservatory, where he worked with the legendary pianist Alfred Cortot and also studied with Fauré. In 1919, at 15, he won the conservatory's prestigious Premier Prix. During the 1920s, Mr. Perlemuter took lessons privately with Ravel and become one of the first pianists to perform Ravel's complete works. His personal copies of the Ravel scores were covered with instructions written in this master's hand.
Mr. Perlemuter's career thrived until World War II, when, as a Jew, he was forced to flee to Switzerland. In an interview with The Associated Press, Adrian Farmer, the music director of Nimbus Records, which produced a series of his recordings in the 1980s and early ‘90s, said that Mr. Perlemuter's having to leave his homeland during the war was ’the great embitterment of his life’. Mr. Perlemuter was especially distressed, Mr. Farmer added, that Cortot, with whom he was very close, remained in France.
Mr. Perlemuter resumed his career in 1950. His 1955 recording of the complete Ravel piano works became a landmark. Recording them in later years for Nimbus, Mr. Perlemuter played whole stretches of the repertory nonstop, Mr. Farmer said. The recordings were released with almost no touch-ups or editing.
Mr. Perlemuter's other albums from this period include distinguished accounts of works by Fauré, Bach, Debussy, Schumann, Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. His Chopin playing was particularly admired for its rhythmic subtlety, beautiful details and French-tinged colorings.
From 1951 to 1976, Mr. Perlemuter was a leading professor at the Paris Conservatory. He also gave noted master classes in Britain, Canada and Japan, and served frequently on competition juries.''
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 7 Sept., 2002
“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