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José Vianna da Motta (1868-1948): Liszt - Totentanz (2 of 2)

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Published on Jun 4, 2008

Vianna da Motta was one of Liszt's last pupils, and at the time of his death in 1948 was the last remaining Liszt pupil. He was a Portuguese pianist who, after Liszt died, and after a period associated with von Bulow, joined the circle of pianists centred around Ferrucio Busoni in Berlin.

He was a renowned pianist and teacher in his native Portugal, as well as teaching in Geneva after the first world war, but was essentially little-known outside Portugal due to a lack of an international concerting career and very few recordings being made by him.

His style is noticeably more "modern" than that of the other Liszt pupils. All of his studio recordings come from 1928. However, this recording is from a live radio broadcast made in 1945. The Orchestra is the National Symphony Orchestra of Portugal, conducted by Pedros de Freitas Branco. The interpretation is vivid and extremely wild, and utterly unlike performances today. The introduction is made to sound like we are watching the opening credits for a Hammer Horror movie of ten years after this!

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