P1386. SAMUIL FEINBERG: Das wohltemperierte Klavier (The Well-Tempered Clavier), Book II (Bach). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL 33-1115, recorded 1958 & 1961, Melodiya. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Samuil Feinberg achieved fame as an interpreter at an early age; in 1914 he became the first pianist in Russia to perform Bach's complete WELL-TEMPERED CLAVIER in concert (in 1958 & 1961 he made the second recording of the piece, after that by Edwin Fischer), and he later presented various cycles of Beethoven's sonatas and championed the music of Scriabin, Prokofiev and Debussy; his interpretation of Scriabin's Fourth Sonata was much admired by the composer.
Starting in the 1930s Feinberg was no longer permitted to leave the USSR except for two appearances as a competition jury member, in Vienna in 1936 and in Brussels in 1938….After the war, however, Feinberg remained one of Russia's most eminent artists and, towards the end of his life (especially after he gave up performing in public in 1956 for health reasons), he managed to commit a number of recordings to disc. In addition, from 1922 until his death on 22 October 1962, Feinberg was one of the most outstanding professors at the Moscow Conservatory: he was deeply admired by his pupils.
He was a very cultured man, spiritual, modest, and with a profound dislike of self-promotion; he was also a deeply visionary artist who was fully aware of the abysses and ambiguities of modern life….During his lifetime, Feinberg the composer achieved public success and enjoyed the praise of musicians who admired him…. he left an inestimable legacy as an interpreter, saved for posterity on his recordings.”
- Christophe Sirodeau, 2003
"We have here one of the finest cycles of Bach's forty-eight ever recorded, surpassing Fischer, Richter, Gould, and most others."
- FANFARE, 1994
“During his lifetime, Russian composer Samuil Feinberg (1890-1962) was first and foremost highly respected as a concert pianist. For his final Conservatory exam he impressed the panel of examiners by learning the complete WELL-TEMPERED CLAVIER by heart, and I believe he was the first pianist to perform that work in concert. Following his graduation in 1911, Feinberg earned his living as a pianist while writing music on the side. He had the honor of meeting Alexander Scriabin who highly praised his technique and musicianship.”
- Jean-Yves Duperron, CLASSIC MUSIC SENTINAL, Feb., 2020