Josef Hofmann, piano - Volume 9 (finally!)

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Lance
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Josef Hofmann, piano - Volume 9 (finally!)

Post by Lance » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:03 pm

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0614/ ... 1503074195
52058, 2 CDS, 75:49; 77:02

Restoration engineers, especially the caliber of Ward Marston, are far and few between. An ongoing project with Marston Records is the release of any and all of the celebrated pianist, Josef Hofmann's, all-to-brief discography for such a giant in the name of pianists. Finally, after waiting patiently, it has happened.

In this volume we hear Hofmann's earliest recordings taken from cylinders dated 1895 and 1896, and another with an unidentified date. These include two Consolations by Anton Rubinstein (recorded in Russia); a Wagner-Brassin transcription of the Magic Fire Music from Die Walküre, and Mendelssohn's Song Without Words, Op. 38/3 (Passion). Then we have a group of American Columbia and Brunswick acoustic recordings: Schubert-Tausig March Militaire and Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# Minor Op. 3/2, both recorded by Columbia in 1911 followed by the two Brunswick issues: Scarlatti-Tausig Pastorale in D Minor and Capriccio in E Major and again, the Wagner-Brassin Magic Fire Music from Wagner's Die Walküre, both recorded in 1923. From the Cadillac Hour of March 15, 1936, we have Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27/2 (complete); Chopin's Nocturne Op 15/2; Waltz, Op. 42 and Waltz, Op.64/1 (Minute). From the Bell Telephone Hour of 1945 in New York, we have an introduction, Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 3/2; an abridged version of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto, Op. 73 (Rondo movement) with the Bell Orchestra led by Donald Voorhees.

The balance of the second CD is comprised of interviews with Charles Rosen, Constance Keene, Jorge Bolet, Glenn Gould, Witold Lutoslawski, Rudolf Ganz, Ruth Steinway, Tadeus Sadlowski, Gian Carlo Menotti, Aniela Rubinstein, Nadia Reisenberg, Dagmar Godowsky and Btty Hofmann, and finally by Josef Hofmann's son, Anton, all recorded at various dates.

As usual, Marston does an exemplary job with whatever he has to work with. Collectors of great pianists will be very pleased with this final volume honoring Josef Hofmann.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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John F
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Re: Josef Hofmann, piano - Volume 9 (finally!)

Post by John F » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:49 pm

Quite a mix of new material and older items that have appeared on LP and CD over the last 50 years. There's another Bell Telephone Hour item, the finale of Chopin's Concerto #1, that I'd have expected to find here - it was coupled with the Emperor finale on a Halo LP - but the Cadillac Hour material is new to me (and of course the cylinders). Thanks for the detailed information.
John Francis

barney
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Re: Josef Hofmann, piano - Volume 9 (finally!)

Post by barney » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:02 am

Hofmann gets a double CD in one of my greatest treasurfes, the 200-CD Philips Great Pianists of the 20th Century series.

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Re: Josef Hofmann, piano - Volume 9 (finally!)

Post by Lance » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:33 am

Indeed, one of the finest piano sets ever issued, despite some flaws, which would almost be apparent in a project of this size. I wonder if Decca will ever reissue the entire set. I have most all of it but never got the complete original edition because I had the original issues from the origin labels.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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barney
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Re: Josef Hofmann, piano - Volume 9 (finally!)

Post by barney » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:20 am

Lance wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:33 am
Indeed, one of the finest piano sets ever issued, despite some flaws, which would almost be apparent in a project of this size. I wonder if Decca will ever reissue the entire set. I have most all of it but never got the complete original edition because I had the original issues from the origin labels.
If there is a bushfire where I live - a possibility, as I am only a few hundred metres from a national park that went alight only a few years ago, and Australia has a lot of bushfires - the only CDs I will load into the car are those 200 in two handsome boxes.

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