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ETELKA FREUND (1879-1977)
Hungarian pianist



Etelka Freund knew Brahms, apparently played for him often, and it is unlikely that he held his peace.  Although she is not the only pianist to appear on these pages who can make this claim, she left us a larger number of recordings of his music to contemplate.  And there are subtleties of phrasing that I am fully prepared to believe may have come from Brahms himself.

The pianist's initial studies were with her much older brother, the pianist Robert Freund (1852-1936) who had studied with Moscheles, Tausig and Liszt. She herself had been accepted as a student by the famous Leschetizky though it seems she may have chosen instead to work with Ignaz Brüll, eventually moving on in 1898 to study with Ferruccio Busoni, a favorite of whose she was to become.

She was also a good friend of fellow Hungarian Béla Bartók whose music she championed, and is reported to have introduced him to Busoni.

In 1910 she married and ceased to play in public until resuming her concert career in 1936.  She emigrated to the United States in 1946 where to our good fortune, many of her radio broadcasts were recorded.

Some of the recordings you will hear were made when Etelka Freund was in her late seventies.  While they are not as technically polished as her recordings of even five or six years earlier, they are nonetheless musically excellent.



Brahms Capriccio in F# minor, Op 76 n1

recorded in 1950




Brahms Intermezzo in B minor, Op 117 n2

recorded in 1953




Brahms Intermezzo in E minor, Op 118 n6

recorded in 1950




Brahms Handel Variations, Op 35

recorded in 1952


Aria + Variations 1-12



Variations 13-25



Fugue




Brahms Scherzo, Op 4


recorded in 1951



Brahms Piano Sonata 3, Op 5

recorded in 1953


i Allegro maestoso



ii Andante: Andante espressivo - Andante molto



iii Scherzo: Allegro energico avec trio



iv Intermezzo: Andante molto



v Finale: Allegro moderato ma rubato




Bartók "For Children, Part One"

XXVI. Andante rubato. "I never stole in my whole life" (1' 02")
XXXVII. Poco vivace. "When I go up to Buda's big mountain" (0' 22")
XXXVIII. "Ten litres are inside me" (0' 34")
XXXIII. Andante sostenuto. "Stars, stars, brightly shine" (1' 21")
XXXIV. Andante. "White lady's eardrop" (1' 07")
XIII. Andante. "A lad was killed" (1' 01")
XL. Molto vivace. "May the Lord give" (0' 51")
XVII. Adagio. "My little graceful girl" (0' 57")




Kodály Piano Pieces, Op 3
III Lenon. Andante - V Quos ego... Furioso (2' 58")

recorded in 1951




Liszt "Funerailles"

recorded in 1951




Liszt Legend 1 "St. Francis of Assisi's Sermon to the Birds"

recorded in 1957




Chopin Waltz 12 In F minor, Op 70 n2




Bach Prelude and Fugue 2 in C minor, BWV 847

recorded in 1957




Bach Prelude and Fugue 2, BWV 847
Prelude in E
minor and Fugue in D# minor

recorded in 1958




The life and art of pianist Etelka Freund
"For the Love of Music," hosted by David Dubal on WNCN-FM, New York. Guests were Allan Evans and Nicholas Milroy. Originally broadcast on January 7, 1983.










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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