P1155. ARTHUR DE GREEF: Chopin, Liszt, Grétry, Grieg, Albéniz, Moszkowski, Raff, Schubert, Schumann, Ronald, Rubinstein & Prokofiev; w.Landon Ronald Cond.: Variations symphoniques (Franck), Concerto in a (Grieg), Concerto #2 in f (Chopin), Piano Concerti Nos.1 & 2 (Liszt). (France) 4-Appian APR 7401, recorded 1917-31. Transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn. - 5024709174010
"Belgian pianist Arthur de Greef studied with Franz Liszt and also became a close friend of Grieg, who strongly admired his playing. He was a main-stay of the HMV catalogue in the 1920s and this set brings together for the first time his complete recordings, save for acoustic versions of concertante works he subsequently recorded electrically (the Liszt Hungarian Fantasia and abridged versions of the Saint-Saëns and Grieg concertos) and two electric chamber recordings with violinist Isolde Menges.
Given his associations, his recordings of the Liszt concerti and Hungarian Fantasy must be considered important stylistic documents, but perhaps most important of all is his recording of the Grieg concerto. He initially studied this with his teacher Brassin at the time when the latter gave the Belgian premiere of the work. He subsequently worked on it and gave performances with Grieg, who said of him ‘De Greef is the best interpreter of my music I have met with. It is surprising how he understands my meaning… He is a real Master’.
This is the first time that the bulk of de Greef’s recordings have been released together and they show that a serious reappraisal of a pianist from the earliest generation to record substantially, is overdue."
- Ned Ludd