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MARIA GRINBERG (1908-1978)
Russian-born Ukranian pianist



Maria Grinberg was another great woman pianist of the Russian school of the early part of the 20th century that produced the likes of Richter, and Gilels.  That she is not as well known is a crime. She studied with Felix Blumenfeld (teacher of Vladimir Horowitz) and with Konstantin Igumnov.  It was not until after the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953 that she was permitted to travel and give concerts outside Russia, but she was soon being compared to Vladimir Horowitz, Artur Rubinstein, and Clara Haskil  

Her range was miraculous, from Bach to the works of Prokofiev and Shostakovich as they came off the presses.  She could play everything she touched beautifully and idiomatically: the Russians, the French, the Viennese classics, the German romantics, and the Baroque.

Fortunately for is all, Maria Grinberg left a rich recorded legacy, and while we will inevitably wish for more Chopin and Liszt and Brahms, for more Schumann, and Prokofiev and Rachmaninof, it is the roads less travelled that grab our attention.  Maria Grinberg's rendering of the piano music of Nikolai Medtner has convinced me that he is indeed worthy of being included in the first rand of the great Russian composers.

It is a pity that there are no recordings at hand of Maria Grinberg playing the music of Scriabin and Samuil Feinberg, himself an awesome pianist of the Russian school, or of Bartok.

While I dearly love everything, I am particularly excited about her recording of the first Intermezzo from Brahms Op 117.  This is I adore and rarely find fully satisfying when played by even the finest of pianists.  Maria Grinberg nails it in this performance.

On this page she plays Chopin and Liszt as well as Russian composers from Glinka to Prokofiev and Shostakovich.  There are two additional pages of Maria Grinberg's performances:
Maria Grinberg plays Beethoven (Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms)
Maria Grinberg plays Debussy (Scarlatti, Soler, Carlos Seixas, Bach, Bizet and Grieg)



Glinka  Variations on a Theme of Alyabiev's "Nightingale"

recorded in 1964




Glinka  Various Piano Pieces
"Las Mollares" Andalusian dance in G major - 01:10 ➢ Tarantella in A minor (rec 1966) - 02:11 ➢ Children's Polka in B-flat major
05:46 ➢ Valse d'adieux in G major - 06:43 ➢ Valse mélodique in E major - 08:30 ➢ Mazurka in A-flat major - 09:44 ➢ Mazurka in C minor

recorded in 1959




Chopin  Variations Brillantes in B major, Op 12




Chopin  Ballades


1 in G minor, Op 23



3 in A major, Op 47

recorded in 1950



4 in F minor, Op 52

recorded in 1961




Chopin  Tarentella in A major, Op 43

recorded in 1949




Liszt  Sonata in B minor

recorded in 1952


Part I



Part II



Part III




Liszt  Rhapsodie Espagnole (Folie d'Espagne et Jota Aragonesa)

recorded in 1951




Liszt  Fantasia on Hungarian Folk melodies
Elic Class conducting the Moscow Symphony Orchestra




Arensky  Fantasy On a Theme by I. Ryabinin, Op 48
Sergei Gorchakov conducting the USSR State Radioinformation Symphony orchestra

recorded in 1947




Rachmaninoff  Moment musical in B minor, Op 16 ~3




Rachmaninoff  from Preludes, Op 23
Maestoso in B♭ major - 4 Andante cantabile in D major (03:28)
7 Allegro in C minor (06:57) - 9 Presto in E minor (09:32)

recorded in 1960




Kreisler-Rachmaninov  "Liebesleid"(Love's Sorrow)

recorded in 1952




Medtner  2 Fairy Tales, Op 20 (1909)

recorded in 1961




Medtner  Piano Sonata in G minor, Op 22

recorded in 1948


Part I



Part II




Medtner  Various "Forgotten Melodies"
Canzona Serenata, Op 38 ~6 - 04:00 ➢ Danza Silvestra, Op 38 ~7 - 07:45 ➢ Danza Fiorata, Op 40 ~3
10:41 ➢ Danza Festiva, Op 38 ~3 - 16:18 ➢ Primavera, Op 39 ~3 - 20:13 ➢ Alla Reminiscenza, Op 38 ~8

recorded in 1948-61




Prokofiev  Scherzo, Op 12 ~10

recorded in 1953




Prokofiev  Piano Sonata 2 in D minor, Op 14 (1912)

recorded in 1961


i Allegro ma non troppo - ii Scherzo: Allegro marcato



iii Andante - iv Vivace




Prokofiev  Piano Sonata 5 in C major, Op 38
(1923, revised as Op 135 in 1952-53)


i Allegro tranquillo - ii Andantino



iii Un poco allegretto




Prokofiev  Piano Sonata 6 in A major, Op 82 (1940)

recorded in 1973


i Allegro moderato - ii Allegretto



iii Tempo di valzer lentissimo - iv Vivace




Shostakovich  Piano Concerto 1 in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra, Op 35
i Allegro moderato - 05:47 ➢ ii Lento - 11:56 ➢ iii Moderato - 13:35 ➢ iv Allegro con brio
Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducting the USSR Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra

recorded in 1962 with Sergei Popov, Trumpet




Shostakovich  Preludes and Fugues, Op 87

recorded in 1951


7 in A major



8 in F♯ minor



15 in D major



17 in A major

recorded in 1952










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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