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EDITH FARNADI
Hungarian pianist (1921 - 1973)



As a child, Edith Farnadi studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music under Arnold Székely and Bela Bartók.  Louis Kentner had been one of his pupils.  By the age of twelve, she performed the 1st piano concerto of Beethoven, conducting from the piano.  Twice, she was awarded the Franz Liszt Prize.

She was also an avid chamber musician often playing with the great Hungarian violinist Jenö Hubay as well as the renowned Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, and with Gerhard Taschner and André Gertler with whom she made several recordings.  She also recorded with the Barylli Quartet.

During her illustrious career, Farnadi performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw, Vienna State Opera and London Philharmonic Orchestras, with such conductors as Karl Böhm, Ernest Ansermet, Adrian Boult and Hermann Scherchen.

Edith Farnadi was a superb interpreter of the piano works of Liszt, perhaps the finest in the last 100 years.  I dare you to listen to the opening measure of the B minor sonata and find the will to stop before the end. The drama, the lyricism, the pacing, and her tone are as good as it gets.  In her playing of the many works by Liszt on this page it is apparent that she makes beautiful music of passages that are so often accused of being little more that filler at the hands of lesser pianists.  Her approach to even the most electrifying of passages is never without charm and subtlety.  The question is again begged, what must have it sounded like with Liszt himself playing?

In the early 1950s, she made a definitive recording of all 19 of the Hungarian Rhapsodies.  Nowhere are to be heard the almost clownish antics of pianists from Paderewski to Bugs Bunny to Lang Lang.  She takes a serious approach to the music to great effect.

In addition to solo works by Liszt, we hear her play chamber music by Beethoven, Grieg, Dvořák, Ravel and Bartok, and concerti by Liszt and Tchaikovsky.  How wonderful her Beethoven must have been.

Edith Farnadi's records played a prominent role in my teenage years of discovery.  I am ashamed to admit that I had no idea what a great pianist she was until so many years later.



Schubert-Liszt  Valse Caprice 1 "Soirée de Vienne"

recorded in 1956




Liszt  Piano Sonata in B minor

recorded in 1954




Liszt   "Au bord d'une source"
from Années de pèlerinage Première Année: Suisse

recorded in 1950




Liszt  "Venezia e Napoli"
from Années de pèlerinage Deuxième Année: Italie - Supplément, S 162

1 Gondoliera
04:502 Canzona
07:343 Tarantella




Liszt  3 Un Sospiro
from Three Concert Etudes, S 144




Liszt  Consolations, S 172

recorded in 1955


1 in E major



2 in E major



3 Lento placido in D major



4 in D major



5 Andantino in E major



6 Allegretto sempre cantabile in E major




Liszt  Hungarian Rhapsodies

recorded in 1953


i in C minor



4 in E major



8 in F minor



9 in E major "Carneval de Pesth"



11 in A minor



19 in D minor




Liszt  Ballade 1 in D major, S 170 "Le chant du croisé"

recorded in 1954




Liszt  Valse Impromptu




Liszt  Spanish Rhapsody

recorded in 1953




Liszt  Valse de l'opéra Faust de Gounod

recorded in 1955




Liszt   Concert Paraphrase on themes from Rigoletto

recorded in 1955




Liszt  Piano Concerto 2 in A major
Sir Adrian Boult conducting the Vienna State Opera Orchestra

recorded ca1961




Tchaikovsky  Piano Concerto 1 in B minor, Op 23
Hermann Scherchen conducting the Vienna State Opera Orchestra

i Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso. Allegro con spirito
19:44ii Andantino semplice
25:59iii Allegro con fuoco

recorded in 1953




Beethoven  Violin Sonata 3 in E major, Op 12~3
iii Rondo - Allegro molto
with Gerhard Taschner, violin

recorded in 1955




Beethoven  Violin Sonata 5 in F major, Op 24 "Spring"
ii Adagio molto espressivo
with Gerhard Taschner, violin

recorded in 1955




Dvořák  Piano Quintet in A major, Op 81
with the Barylli Quartet
[Walter Barylli, violin 1 - Otto Strasser, violin 2 - Rudolf Streng, viola - Richard Krotschak, cello]

i Allegro, ma non tanto
10:17ii Dumka - Andante con moto
21:39iii Scherzo (Furiant) - Molto vivace
26:25iv Finale - Allegro

recorded in 1954




Dvořák  Sonatina in G major, Op 100
iv Finale - Allegro
with Gerhard Taschner, violin

recorded in 1955




Grieg  Violin Sonata 2 in G major, Op 13
ii Allegretto tranquillo
with Gerhard Taschner, violin

recorded in 1960




Grieg  Violin Sonata 3 in C minor, Op 45
ii Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza
with Gerhard Taschner, violin

recorded in 1956




Ravel  Violin Sonata
iii Perpetuum mobile - Allegro
with Gerhard Taschner, violin

recorded in 1956




Bartok  Sonata 2 in C major for violin and piano, Sz 76
ii Allegretto
with André Gertler, violon

recorded ca1961










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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Or return to the Great Women Pianists Play page



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