Thursday, May 04, 2006

My Father was Simon Barere

This is the name of a CD on VAI Audio (VAIA 1244 to be exact) that has concert performances of the pianist Simon Barere (1896-1951) interspersed with an interviews with his son, Boris Barere. The person talking with Barere is Jacques Leiser.

For those who do not know him, Simon Barere was a Russian pianist who studied with Felix Blumenfeld. He was famous for playing extremely difficult music at extraordinarily fast tempi, but from the interview on this CD I learned that he did so with very little practice. His playing is thrilling to hear, not just for the speed, and not even for the ease of his playing, but for what he is able to do with the music simply because he can. His recording of the Schumann Toccata, Opus 7, had to be fast in order to have the piece fit onto one side of a 78 r.p.m. recording, but he still takes time to let the music breathe, and sing, and fly. It is extremely inspiring.

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1 comment:

Jean A. said...

The toccata Op.7 is really very very difficult