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LAZARE LEVY (1882-1964)
French pianist



Lazare Levy was a noted pianist, organist, composer and teacher.  He studied with Louis Diémer who supervised his studies at the Paris Conservatoire, where Levy received a Premier Prix in 1898.  He studied harmony with Lavignac and counterpoint with André Gedalge, whose well known Treatise on the Fugue tormented me as a student. Among his circle were to be found Alfredo Casella, Alfred Cortot, George Enescu, Pierre Monteux, Maurice Ravel, and Jacques Thibaud.

At age twenty, Lazare Levy gave his début at the Concerts Colonne playing the Schumann A minor Piano Concerto under the baton of the great Colonne himself.  He premiered works by important French composers of his time, including Paul Dukas and Darius Milhaud. And he was an early champion of the piano music of Isaac Albéniz, whose "Iberia" (Book I) he performed in 1911.  The great French composer and pianist, Camille Saint-Saëns, was often to be found in the front row of Lévy's early recitals and considered him to possess "that rare union of technical perfection and musicality."

Lazare Levy, at the age of 25, had co-authored a Méthode Supérieure for piano. He later advocated an innovative piano technique which involved greater emphasis on hand and arm technique than pure finger technique, anticipating, perhaps, the teachings of Dorothy Taubman, undoubtedly saving his students from many of the still all too common injuries suffered by pianists, and offering them a vastly enriched pallet of tone color and articulation.  He succeeded Cortot at the Paris Conservatoire in 1923 where where his students numbered, among countless others, Marcel Dupré, Clara Haskil, Monique Haas, Lukas Foss, John Cage, and the wonderful Solomon.

He can be heard playing one of his own compositions at the bottom of this page.



Couperin  Les lis naissans and Les Rozeaux

recorded in 1950




Mozart  Fantasy in c minor, K 475

recorded in 1931




Mozart  Piano Sonata 8 in A minor K 310
i Allegro maestoso - ii Andante cantabile con espressione - iii Presto

recorded in 1956




Mozart  Piano Sonata 11 in A major, K 331


i Andante grazioso (theme & variations) - ii Menuetto & Trio



iii Alla Turca: Allegretto




Chopin  Mazurkas


recorded live in 1951


in A minor, Op 17 n4



in A♭ major, Op 50 n2




Chabrier  10 Pièces pittoresques 

recorded in 1937


n°4 Sous-bois



n°6 Idylle




Chabrier  Scherzo - Valse

recorded in 1955




Debussy  Masques

recorded in 1929




Dukas  La plainte, au loin, du faune...
from Tombeau de Claude Debussy

recorded in 1931




Debussy  "La Soirée dans Grenade"

recorded in 1955




Roussel  Suite, Op 14
iii Sicilienne

recorded in 1931




Lazare-Lévy  Prelude in C Major

Recorded in 1929










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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