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ISAAC MIKHNOVSKY (1914-1978)
Russian pianist



Isaac Mikhnovsky was a pupil of Lev Oborin and Konstantin Igumnov.  He gave the first performance of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini in the Soviet Union.  He was the winner at the First All-Union Piano Competition in 1938 with Serge Prokofiev casting the deciding vote.  Among his friends were Emil Gilels, Yakov Flier, Pavel Serebryakov, and his performance at the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium in 1939 was highly acclaimed by Artur Rubinstein.

He was an enthusiastic supporter of the music of contemporary composers as was attested to by his performances of the works of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Poulenc, Bartók, Hindemith, Szymanowski and Schnittke.

So why don't we know of this pianist?  Maybe because he applied himself to teaching at the Moscow Conservatory.  Maybe for internal political reasons of the inscrutable, Soviet kind.  Who can say?

Judging from the meagre handful of recordings that I have been able to locate, Isaac Mikhnovsky was a superlative pianist.  Of the three examples given here, the Barcarolle is my own favorite.



Chopin  Mazurka in F minor, Op 6~1

recorded in 1966




Chopin  Piano Sonata 3 in B minor, Op 58
i Allegro maestoso
14:07 ii Molto vivace
17:00 iii Largo
25:42 iv Presto ma non tanto

recorded in 1968




Chopin  Barcarolle in F major, Op 6~1

recorded in 1938










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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