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JAKOB GIMPEL
Polish pianist (1906 - 1989)



Jakob Gimpel studied piano with Eduard Steuermann and theory with none lesser than Alban Berg.  He made his debut in 1923 playing the Rachmaninoff second concerto under Pierre Monteux conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he toured with violinists Bronisław HubermanErika MoriniNathan Milstein, and his brother, Bronislav.  

Jakob Gimpel was one of the founders, along with Huberman, of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, the precursor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in 1937. In 1938, he came to New York and later moved to Los Angeles where he was often the featured pianist in film soundtracks.

Among my favorite of Jakob Gimpel's performances is that of Chopin's Andante Spianato.  This a work I have always loved. In this performance it sparkles, every note shines, every subtlety underscored. And the pianist's extraordinary technical ability is never more evident.  Another is his live recording of the Liszt Mephisto Waltz.

I find his Beethoven to be splendid and devoid of even an iota of stodginess. The same might be said for his Mendelssohn and his Schumann. And unlike some who make those two Germanic composers sound like an unsuccessful Chopin, Jakob Gimpel's approach is fresh and new to my ears while being entirely idiomatic.  I would love to hear his Bach which I am certain I would enjoy greatly.

Follow this link to hear Gimpel play concerti.



Beethoven  15 Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme in E major, Op 35 "Eroica Variations"

recorded live in the late 1950s


beginning



continuation



conclusion




Beethoven  15 Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme in E major, Op 35 "Eroica Variations"

recorded live in 1977 or 1979




Beethoven  Rondo in G major, Op 51~2

recorded in the late 1950s




Beethoven  Piano Sonata 26 in E major, Op 81a "Les Adieux"

recorded in the late 1950s


Das Lebewohl (Les Adieux) - Adagio. Allegro



ii Abwesenheit (L'Absence) - Andante espressivo



iii Das Wiedersehen (Le Retour) - Vivacissimamente




Mendelssohn  from Songs Without Words

recored in 1977 or 1979


in E major, Op 38~3



in C major, Op 67~4 :Spinning Song"




Mendelssohn  from Three Etudes, Op 104b

recored in 1977 or 1979




Chopin  Études, Op 10


3 in E major (filmed in 1947)



8 in F major




Chopin  Variations Brillantes in B major, Op 12
(
on "Je vends des scapulaires" from Hérold's Ludovic)

recorded live in 1978




Chopin  Scherzo 1 in B minor, Op 20

recorded in 1978




Chopin  Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op 22




Chopin  Étude in A major, Op 25~1

recorded live in 1978




Chopin  Préludes, Op 28



8 in F minor - Molto agitato
16 in 
B minor - Presto con fuoco


10 in C minor
24 in D minor



12 in G minor
(a comparison in which my faves, different as they are, are Moiseiwitsch and Gimpel)

Benno Moiseiwitsch
01:11 Vladimir Sofronitsky
02:27 Jakob Gimpel
03:41 Shura Cherkassky
04:59 Emil Gilels
06:06 Rudolf Kerer
07:17 Halina Czerny-Stefanska




Chopin  Waltzes

recorded live in 1970



2 in A major, Op 34~1 (live in 1976)



5 in A major, Op 42




Chopin  Piano Sonata 2 in B minor, Op 35

Grave. Doppio movimento
05:02 ii Scherzo

11:42 iii Lento - Marche funèbre
18:32 iv Presto

recorded live in 1978




Chopin  Fantasy in F minor, Op 49

recorded in 1972


part 1



part 2




Chopin  Nocturne 18 in E major, Op 62~2

recorded live




Chopin  Mazurkas, Op 63


2 in F minor (rec live late 1970s)



3 in C minor (1956 radio rec)




Schumann  Fantasy in C major, Op 17

recorded live in 1972



ia
 Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen



ib Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen



ii Massig



iiia Langsam getragen



iiib Langsam getragen




Schumann  Fantasy in C major, Op 17

recorded live in 1977 or 1979



i
 Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen



ii Massig



iii Langsam getragen




Liszt  Mephisto Waltz

recorded live in 1970




Liszt  Études

1 "Wldesrauschen" from two concert Études, S 145
04:15 3 "Un sospiro" from three concert Études, S 144

filmed ca1950




Brahms  Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Book I

live on film


part 1



part 2




Debussy  from Douze Études 


Pour les cinq doigts (live in 1976)



Pour les degrés chromatiques (rec ca1946)




Alban Berg  Piano Sonata, Op 1

recorded live in 1979










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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