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MICHAEL von ZADORA
American pianist (1882 - 1946)




Michael von Zadora (Michal Zadora) was born in New York City of Polish parents.  In 1899 he went to France where he studied at the Paris Conservatory. He subsequently went on to study with Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna, and finally to Berlin becoming, in the estimation of many, the most outstanding of Ferruccio Busoni's students.

There are lovely performances of a nocturne by John Field and the third Consolation by Liszt, and his Chopin is wonderful.  In fact, Michael von Zadora's acoustic recordings from the '20s and '30 are all excellent performances and much more pleasing to my ear than the early piano rolls.  Aside from the sometimes questionable accuracy of the piano roll, it seems that as time distanced him from an imitation of Busoni's style of playing he evolved into a more graceful and gracious pianist.

There is a comparison of 20 pianists performing the Chopin Op 25~1.  Michael von Zadora's is, in my opinion, one of the loveliest of these, but my favorite in this group of outstanding pianists if by Cor de Groot, one of the handful of supreme pianists so few in America have heard of.

And there are some pieces one almost never gets to hear including some of Michael von Zadora's own transcriptions of well known orchestral works.



Zadora  "La Passion"

recorded ca1929




Vivaldi-Zadora  Concerto for two violins, RV 565 from L'Estro armonico

ca1905 S&M, Leipzig piano roll




Bach  Sarabande con partite in C major, BWV 990 (abridged)

recorded ca1929




Field  Nocturne 5 in B major

recorded ca1922




Weber  Overture to the opera Der Freischütz
[transcribed for piano by von Zadora]

piano roll




Chopin  Étude in A♭ major, Op 25~1

[followed by 19 other performances:
Friedrich Wuhrer 02:04 - Nikita Magaloff 04:11 - Vlado Perlemuter 06:45 - Alexander Uninsky 09:12
Shura Cherkassky 11:33 - Cor de Groot 13:59 - Franco Mannino 16:06 - Earl Wild 18:31 - Abbey Simon 21:12
Milosz Magin 23:41 - Geza Anda 26:16 - Robert Goldsand 28:53 - Georges Cziffra 32:02 - Sergio Fiorentino 34:26
Samson Francois 36:46 - Friedrich Gulda 39:40 - John Browning 41:50 - Dino Ciani 44:20 - Paul Badura-Skoda 46:52]




Chopin  from Préludes, Op 28

6 Lento assai in B minor
01:28 7 Andantino in A major
02:1413 Lento in F major

recorded in the early 1920s




Chopin  Nocturne 9 in B major, Op 32~1

recorded ca1922




Chopin  Two Waltzes from Op 64

1 in D major
01:512 in C minor

recorded in 1929


 


Schumann-Liszt  Liebeslied (Widmung)

ca1909 Hupfeld piano roll




Liszt  4 Consolations, S 172

1 in E major
01:242 in E major
04:003 in D major
06:595 in E major

recorded ca1922




von Henselt-Zadora  Larghetto from Piano Concerto in F minor, Op 16

recorded ca1930




Offenbach-Zadora  Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffman

recorded in the early 1930s




Joachim Raff (1822-1882)  Barcarole, Op. 143

ca1910 piano roll




Raff  "La Fileuse"

recorded ca1932




Brahms  Intermezzo, Op 117~2

recorded ca1922




Delibes  "Pizzicato"from the ballet Sylvia

recorded in the early 1930s


 


Adolf Jensen (1837-1879)  Murmelndes Lüftchen, Op 21~4
(The whispering of a gentle breeze from 7 songs opus 21, arr. by von Zadora)

recorded ca1930




Sgambati  Prelude from Prelude and Fugue in E minor, Op 6~1




MacDowell  "Witches Dance"

welte piano roll




Debussy  from "Pour le piano"

1 Prelude
03:14 ➢ 2 Toccata

recorded in 1929




Busoni  Sonatinas


3 "Ad usum infantis" (rec 1938)



5 "In diem nativitatis Christi MCMXVII" (rec 1938)



6 "Chamber Fantasy on themes from Bizet's Carmen"




Busoni  Turandots Frauengemach, Intermezzo 4 from Elegien BV249

Welte piano roll










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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