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IREN MARIK (1905-1986)
Hungarian-born American pianist



Iren Marik is another of the great Hungarian woman pianists, a daughter of the culture that brought us Franz Liszt.  Sadly, I have few example of her playing to offer.  I have read that three CDs of her recordings have been released, some of which may be included in the small collection presented here.

Similarly, I know almost nothing about her. She was a student of Bartok, She escaped from Hungary after WWII and emigrated to the USA where, away from the limelight, she taught, made rare studio recordings, and occasionally gave private recitals at her home near Death Valley, California for friends and neighbors.

So, let us take a look at Iren Marik's playing.  The perfect clarity of the Lully Courante, the remarkable shaping of the voices and exquisite timing of delicate rubato, are enough to announce an exceptionally fine artist.  Her perfect depiction of the fountains of the Villa d'Este, one of Liszt's most beautiful pieces, in which the effects of the delicate tone painting and the marriage of technical brilliance with expressivity, makes one yearn to hear some of the composer's larger scale works like the Legends and the Harmonies du soir.

From a technical standpoint, the Ravel is an education in how to use the pedal.  Marik's ability to shift her approach to the piano to match the requirements of the composer and his music is uncanny.  And of course, her Bartok, the flexibility of rhythm, her never losing sight of the expressiveness of the music where so many others would be overwhelmed by thoughts of percussive barbarism.  And her Romanian Folk Dances do dance delightfully under her fingers.

Oh, to have been on the invitation list to one of those recitals.



Lully  Courante

recorded in 1974




Irén Marik plays Bach

filmed in 1983




Liszt  "Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este" ~4 from Années de Pèlerinage, Troisième Année

recorded in 1956




Ravel "La vallée des cloches"  ~5 from Miroirs

recorded in 1974




Bartók  Allegro Barbaro

recorded in 1963




Bartók  Romanian Folk Dances










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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