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FELICJA BLUMENTAL (1908-1991)
Polish-Brazilian pianist



Felicja Blumental was born in Warsaw, Poland.  She began to study the piano at the age of five and made her debut at the age of ten.  She attended the National Conservatory in Warsaw studying piano with Zbigniew Drzewiecki (founder of the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition), and composition with Karol Szymanowski.  She later studied privately in Switzerland with Józef Turczyński.

In 1938, she emigrated to Brazil to escape the growing anti-semitism in Europe and became a Brazilian citizen.  For the rest of her life she championed the music and composers of her adopted country. Heitor Villa-Lobos wrote his fifth piano concerto for her which she premiered in London in 1956 with Jean Martinon conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. 

The great Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki,  dedicated his Partita for harpsichord and orchestra to her. Her recording of this work won a Grand Prix du Disque of the Charles Cros Academy of France in 1975.

But Felicja Blumental is best known to the world as an interpreter of the works of Chopin.  I grew up with her playing of Chopin's music.  The combined power and delicacy of her playing can be mistaken for none other.  Her rhythmic vitality never ceases to amaze me.  For the pure enjoyment of her scintillating technique, Listen to "The Spinning Girl" by Moniuszkor, arr. by Melcer.

Farther down on this page Felicja Blumental Plays Concerti by Clementi, Beethoven, Grieg, Rachmaninoff.  The Rachmaninoff 2nd is particularly beautiful.  And at the very end are wonderful examples of this marvelous pianist qua accompanist.

She died in Israel in 1991 while on a concert tour and is buried in the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery in Tel Aviv.



Spanish and Portuguese Keyboard Music

RAFAEL ANGLÉS (1730-1816)
Adagietto
01:59 ➢ Fugato in B major

04:02 ➢ ANTONIO SOLER (1729-1783)  Keyboard Sonata in G minor
08:03 ➢ MATEO FERRER (1788-1864)  Piano Sonata in D major
12:22 ➢ JOSEPH FREIXANET (ca 1730-1762)  Piano Sonata in A major
14:58 ➢ Anonymous  Toccata in C major

CARLOS de SEIXAS (1704-1742)
17:21 ➢ Fuga in A minor
20:23 ➢ Keyboard Sonata in C major
25:50 ➢ Minuet in A minor
28:36 ➢ Toccata in D minor
31:10 ➢ Minuet in F minor
32:14 ➢ Keyboard Sonata in C minor
40:18 ➢ Toccata in G minor

recorded in the early 1950s




Soler  Keyboard Sonata 21 in C♯ minor

recorded in 1952




Kuhlau  Sonatine in C major, Op 20~1




Chopin  Mazurkas


in F minor, Op 6~1



in F minor, Op 7~3



in C minor, Op 30~4




Chopin  Scherzi


1 in B minor, Op 20



2 in B minor, Op 31
[video is incorrectly labeled]




Chopin  Grande Valse Brillante in E major, Op 18




Moniuszko-Melcer  "The Spinning Girl"




Szymanowski  Etude in B minor, Op 4~3




Clementi - Piano Concerto in C major
Alberto Zedda conducting the Prague New Chamber Orchestra

i Allegro con spirito
09:44ii Adagio cantabile con grande espressione
16:28iii Presto

recorded in 1969




Beethoven  Piano Concerto 1 in C major, Op 15
Robert Wagner conducting the Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra


i Allegro con brio



ii Largo



iii Rondo: Allegro scherzando




Beethoven  Piano Concerto 2 in B major, Op 19
Robert Wagner conducting the Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra


i Allegro con brio



ii Adagio



iii Rondo: Molto Allegro




Beethoven  Rondo for Piano & Orchestra in B major, WoO 6
Jiří Waldhans conducting the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra

recorded in 1967




Grieg  Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 16
Hans Swarowsky conducting the Vienna Symphony Orchestra


i Allegro molto moderato



ii Adagio



iii Allegro moderato e marcato. Quasi Presto. Andante maestoso




Rachmaninoff  Piano Concerto 2 in C minor, Op 18
Jean Giardino conducting l'Orhcestre des Concerts Colonne

recorded in 1953


i Moderato



ii Adagio sostenuto



iii Allegro scherzando




Felicja Blumental accompanies soprano Annette Celine


Mendelssohn "Auf Flügeln des Gesanges"


R Strauss  "Ständchen" Op 17~2










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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