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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from APR5623
Recording details: November 1947
Carnegie Hall, USA
Release date: June 2001
Total duration: 3 minutes 50 seconds

Étude pour la main gauche seule, Op 36
composer
1905

Étude pour la main gauche seule Op 36  [3'50]  recorded 11 November 1947

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Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Simon Barere (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Remembered today as the teacher of Vladimir Horowitz and Simon Barere (also of Maria Grinberg, Dmitry Tiomkin and Heinrich Neuhaus), Blumenfeld was a more distinguished figure in Russian music than his (albeit influential) pedagogical activity would suggest. As a virtuoso pianist in the grand tradition, he premiered many works by Arensky, Glazunov and Liadov, and frequently appeared as accompanist to the great bass Fyodor Chaliapin. A composition pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov, he conducted the premieres of Rimsky’s Servilia and The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Scriabin’s Divine Poem and Poem of Ecstasy, as well as the first Russian performances of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.

Blumenfeld’s compositions include thirty-four songs, one symphony (‘À la mémoire des chers défunts’), an Allegro de Concert for piano and orchestra, several chamber works and many piano pieces, most of which show the influence of Chopin rather than Anton Rubinstein. Of his eighteen compositions designated ‘studies’, the first (Op 2) was composed in 1886, the last (Op 54) in 1927. The Study in A flat for the left hand alone is Blumenfeld’s best-known work, among the most ingenious and euphonious works of its kind. It is dedicated to Leopold Godowsky, whom Blumenfeld met and greatly admired when the Polish pianist first visited Russia in 1905, the year of the study’s composition.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001


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