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MARIA BERGMANN
German pianist (1918 - 2002)



I have been able to find out very little about Maria Bergmann.  Certainly nothing regarding her professional training.  As to what she became, suffice it to say that she was a radio pianist for the Southwest German Radio.  That meant, for those of you who are not familiar with the concept, that she was required to perform anything and everything from solo pieces to concerti, often at the drop of a hat.  None of this touring with two or three set programs for her.  Just about anyone with chops can do that.  She had to play Mozart one night and Pousseur the next, and play them perfectly.

Her Haydn is indeed perfection. Sonata 34 begins where Scarlatti left off, as does much of early Haydn which was born of the Baroque. Maria Bergmann captures not only the stylistic essence of the origin of this music, but also gets whatever it was about Haydn that caused him to make the choices and follow the paths that ultimately led him to and through the horizons of what was to become classicism.  So many who perform Haydn approach him from the perspective of the end of his musical journey. But as Ferdinand Leitner, one of Germany's great post war conductors, said to me after conducting a group of early Haydn simphonies with the Baroque orchestra of the Cologne radio, "Isn't that young Haydn wonderful?" What I wouldn't give to have heard her play Scarlatti.

As was the case with many of the radio studio pianists, Maria Bergmann was often called on to perform concerti and accompany major artists.  Among those with whom she played were conductors Rafael Kubelik and hand Rosbaud, violinists Arthur Grumiaux, Henryk Szerynk, cellists Pierre Fournier and Janos Starker, and soprano Suzanne Danco. Examples of her art as a soloist and an accompanist are included.  The Mozart aria is like a mini piano concerto supporting a beautiful vocal display.

And if any further evidence of Maria Bergmann's technical mastery and phenomenal range is needed, there is the beautiful quintet by Henri Pousseur dedicated to the memory of Anton Webern.



Haydn  Piano Sonata in E minor, Hob XVI:34

i Presto
03:59ii Adagio
07:32iii Vivace molto




Haydn  Piano Sonata in A major, Hob XVI:46

i Allegro moderato
06:13ii Adagio
12:23iii Finale - Presto




Mozart  Concert Aria
Recitative and Rondo "Ch`io mi scordi di te..Non temer, amato bene" K 505

Suzanne Danco, soprano
Hans Rosbaud conducting the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra




Mozart  Piano Concerto 12 in A major, K 414
Ernest Bour conducting the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra

i Allegro
10:15ii Andante
17:44iii Rondeau - Allegretto

recorded in 1956




Tchaikovsky  Valse Scherzo for violin and piano, Op 34
with Carmencita Lozada, violin

recorded in 1972




Dvorak  Sonatina in G major, Op 100
with Vasa Prihoda, violin

i Allegro risoluto
05:45ii Larghetto
10:02iii Scherzo - Molto vivace
12:29iv Finale - Allegro

recorded in 1951




Sarasate  Romanza andaluza, Op 2~1
with Vasa Prihoda, violin

recorded in 1951




Stravinsky  Suite Italienne for violin and piano
with Carmencita Lozada, violin

recorded in 1972


i Introduzione - ii Sonata - iii Tarantella



iv Gavotta con due variazione - v Scherzino - vi Menuetto e finale




Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963)  Concerto for piano, winds, and percussion (1953)
Rafael Kubelik conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

i Andante e Rondeau varié
ii Mélodie
iii Rondeau varié




Henri Pousseur  Quintette à la mémoire d'Anton Webern (1955)
for clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, cello and piano
directed by Hans Rosbaud
[Sepp Fackler, clarinet - Hans Lemser, bass clarinte - Ludwig Bus, violin - Leo Koscielny, cello]










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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