Magazine article Gramophone

Josef Hofmann

Magazine article Gramophone

Josef Hofmann

Article excerpt

Josef Hofmann (H)

'The Complete Josef Hofmann, Vol 9' Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5, 'Emperor', Op 73--Rondo (abridged)3. Piano Sonata No 14, 'Moonlight', Op 27 No 2 Chopin Nocturne No 5, Op 15 No 2. Waltzes--No 5, Op 42; No 6, 'Minute', Op 64 No 1 Mendelssohn Song Without Words, Op 38 No 5 Rachmaninov Prelude, Op 3 No 2 (two recordings) Rubinstein Contredanse, Op 14 No 3 (two recordings) D Scarlatti/Tausig Keyboard Sonatas--Kk9; Kk20 Schubert/Tausig Marche militaire Wagner/Brassin Die Walkure-Magic Fire Music (two recordings) Disc 2 contains interviews with contemporaries

Josef Hofmann pf

(a) Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra / Donald Vorhees

Marston mono (F) (2) 52058-2 (153' * ADD)

Recorded 1896-1945

'Josef Hofmann was the greatest pianist I ever heard. I thought that when I was six. I still think that now.' Charles Rosen, speaking in 1999 at the age of 72. You have to sit up and listen to a pianist and musician as distinguished and discriminating as he states: 'I was lucky. I did hear Hofmann play the music for which he was most famous and for which he was most admired. It's something I value in my experience of piano-playing more than anything else. He was amazing.'

Rosen is one of 13 interviewees included on this presumably final volume of all known recorded Hofmann performances; the producers live in hope that a live 1936 Buenos Aires concert broadcast on the radio is extant ... somewhere. The quotes from those who knew him and heard him at his best (and worst) are testaments of a unique and unanimously admired artist (Claudio Arrau was the only pianist Rosen recalls disliking Hofmann's playing). That said, there is little on these two discs that is new in terms of unpublished or recently discovered studio or live concert material. Two of the four legendary cylinder recordings made in Moscow in 1895 and 1896 are of pieces by Anton Rubinstein, Hofmann's teacher who had died only a year earlier. …

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