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Am 08.03.2008 veröffentlicht
It is to Philips' everlasting shame that Egon Petri(along with Moriz Rosenthal and others)were omitted from their "Great Pianists of the 20th Century"series. I understand that Leopold Godowski was nearly excluded!
A desciple of Busoni,Petri had a colossal technique and a huge repertoire.The Busoni circle called him a "musical cataloque." Egon's father was a prominent violinist and it was with that instrument that he began his musical studies at the age of five. Two years later, he began piano studies with Buchmayer and Teresa Carreno.However,his primary instrument remained the violin.Egon played second violin in a quartet that his father had organized and was a member of the Dresden Royal Opera Orchestra. It was only after the young Petri came under the influence of Busoni that he,with the encouragement of Busoni,decided to concentrate on the piano rather than the violin. Petri is often associated with the music of Liszt(and of course Busoni) but he was also a splendid Beethoven player who knew and could play all of that composer's 32 sonatas from memory.One of his last recordings was that of Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" Sonata. After a heart attack in 1946,Petri decided to take a position at Mills College in Oakland California where he held the post of "Pianist in Residence." His many students included Eugene Istomin,Grant Johannesen,John Ogden,Ruth Slenczynska and Earl Wild. He died in Berkeley,California on the 27th of May 1962 at the age of 81. The Schubert-Liszt was recorded in 1938 and the Liszt Concert Etude in 1929