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Arensky Waltz from Suite for Two Pianos Bauer Gabrilowitsch

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Published on Sep 19, 2008

Recorded 1929. Probably the most legendary of two piano recordings,it did not happen accidentally. Many takes were recorded with pianos and microphone placement moved from one position to another until both artists were satified with the results. Bauer and Gabrilowitsch often performed as a two piano team and were great friends.
Harold Bauer was born in London in 1873.Coming from a musical family,his aunt gave him his first piano lessons and his father became his first violin teacher. Thus it was that the violin became the instrument upon which Bauer concentrated his musical studies. His teachers were Adolf Politzer and later at Paderewski's suggestion, Gorski. He made his debut as a violinist at the age of ten amd by the age of twenty, his repertoire included the Mendelssohn,Beethoven and Mozart violin concertos. In his autobiography,"Harold Bauer:My Book," Bauer describes a program where he and his sister, who was the pianist of the family,presented a joint concert under the direction of the conductor August Manns at the Crystal Palace in London. She played the Saint Saens G minor concerto while her brother was asked to play the Vieuxtemps'Fantasia Appassionata which was considered to be an important composition for violin in those days. (Interestingly, the Saint Saens concerto became part of Bauer's repertoire after he switched instruments from violin to piano.He made a piano roll of the first movement in th 1920's,first recording the solo part and then recording the orchestral reduction on the ssme roll.) There is no doubt that Harold Bauer was a very fine violinist. But by the age of twenty, he realized that he would never be able to match the the playing of such violinists as Thibaud,Henri Marteau and the young Kreisler. He writes,"the truth,as far as my career was concerned,is that I could not hold a candle to to any of these great violinists,and I knew it--nevertheless. my ambitionn was by no means dampened ,although I was bitterly disappointed." It was about this time that Bauer was introduced to Paderewski. Bauer writes,"The great pianist expressed interest,inviting me to go and play for him the following day.I did so and also played something on the piano. He pulled my hair,saying 'You must become a pianist--you have such beautiful hair.'He ought to know,I thought,contemplating his yellow mane with respectful awe." But by this time,Bauer had already made up his mind that he would never have a great career as a violinist.While continuing to give violin recitals he began to concentrate more and more upon upon the piano as his chosen instrument. Paderewski would,when his busy schedule permitted.listen to Bauer as a pianist. And when Paderewski was preparing a concerto for performance, Bauer often played the orchestral reduction on a second piano.Paderewski gave Bauer advise and perhaps coached him,but he never gave Bauer lessons in the traditional sense of the word. It seems that Bauer was pretty much self taught as far as the piano was concerned. By 1900 ,Bauer had established as a pianist and as they say, the rest is history. Bauer retired from the concert stage in the mid 1940's.(He made his last recordings in 1942). Bauer writes in the Coda of his book,"Peace is over my soul. I have retired from public life. I am never going to practice the piano anymore. Gone is the searing ambition to succeed,gone the qualms of stage fright, gone the resentment against critics who failed to discover genius in everything I did and whose writings could not be used for propaganda;gone also the tedium of travel. the hideous fatique of submitting to journalistic interviews--and finally,God be praised,gone the feeling that I must pile up enough money to live in idle luxury whenever I chose to quit. The wars and taxes have taken care of the last item and I am still working,my interests being now entirely bound up by with matters of musical education." After retiring, Bauer taught at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and the Julius Hartt School of Music. He died on March 12,1951 at the age of 77 in Miami, Florida.
Harold Bauer-- a great pianist, a superb musician and a sincere human being.

  • Category

  • License

    • Standard YouTube License
  • Song

  • Artist

    • Harold Bauer
  • Album

    • GREATS of the GRAMOPHONE, Vol. 1
  • Licensed by

    • NaxosofAmerica, SME (on behalf of Naxo-ThNx-0000)

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