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GUIOMAR NOVAES PLAYS ENCORES



Throughout her long career, Guiomar Novaes was considered by her peers, her critics, and her public to have been one of the greatest pianists of the 20th Century. At the age of 14, her playing amazed Debussy who, along with the other judges, including Faure and Moskowski, awarded her first place out of almost 400 applicants to the Paris Conservatory in 1909.

Early in her career, the New York Times called her "a musician by the grace of God," and the Boston Globe declared her "the young genius of the piano."  At her prime, in the 1950s, Harold Schonberg compared her playing to that of Josef Hofmann.  And she was dubbed "the Paderewski of the Pampas."  Though she was from Brazil and not from the Argentine, this made for good copy.

Guiomar Novaes recorded quite extensively from the 1920s to the 1960s.  And yet recordings of this magnificent pianist are scarce today with only a handful currently in print.  Had she been a man, her name would be keeping company with the likes of Rubinstein and Horowitz.  But even the greatest of the women pianists seem to have a short shelf life once they have left the concert stage, and the world of the living.  This is a disgrace.

Novaes was most highly esteemed for her performances of Chopin and Schumann, and to a lesser degree Debussy.  As you will hear from the selection of music offered here, Guiomar Novaes was a consummate artist and her genius did not discriminate.  The Brahms, Liszt and Mozart examples, the concerti and the Siloti transcription of the Bach Organ Prelude will attest to that.  In the Bach, she achieves textures and changes in sonorities strongly reminiscent of the organ.  This is a stunningly beautiful rendition of this work.

And her Beethoven.  Oh. . . her Beethoven.

Novaes plays Chopin wonderfully and it is our good fortune that a Brazilian pianist who goes by the name of bernardocarmopiano on YouTube has made available numerous examples of Guiomar Novaes playing the works of Chopin. Thank you Bernardo! I would also like to thank several other YouTubers who go by the names of Beckmesser2, pianopera, classicvinylbiz, Gullivior, pianushko and Pabeet who have made a numerous Novaes recordings available to us.

On this page, Guiomar Novaes plays encores.  Some of these are exquisitely beautiful.  My favorites are the Gluck-Sgambati Melody and the Albéniz-Godowsky Tango.  In addition, I would like to point out the pieces by Villa Lobos, Pinto, and Mompou as music worthy of being performed much more often.



Novaes  Valsa




Beethoven-Anton Rubinstein  "Turkish March" from Ruins of Athens

recorded in the late 1950s




Mendelssohn  Venetian Gondola Songs from Songs Without Words


Venetian Gondola Songs

Andante sostenuto in G minor, Op 19~6 (Venetian Boat Song 1)
Andante con moto in A minor, Op 62~5 (Venetian Boat Song 3)
Allegretto tranquillo in F-sharp minor, Op 30~6 (Venetian Boat Song 2)



"Spinning Song" Op 67~4
1:50"May Breezes" Op. 62~1



"Spring Song" Op 62~6
recorded in 1920




Gottschalk  Grande Fantasia Triunfal sobre o Hino Nacional Brasileiro, Op 69




Saint-Saëns  Caprice sur des airs de Ballet d'Alceste

recorded live in 1969




Gluck-Sgambati  "Melody"
Gluck-Friedman  "Dance of the Blessed Spirits"
from
Orfeo ed Euridice




Sgambati  Ländler (Tirolese)

piano roll




Moszkowski  "La jongleuse" Op 52~4

recorded in 1923




Moszkowski  "Guitarre" Op 45~2

recorded in 1920





Albeniz-Godowsky  Tango in D major, Op 165~2

recorded in 1927





Paderewski  Nocturne in B major, Op 16~4

recorded in 1920




Isidor Philipp   "Feux Follets" Op 24~3

Philipp taught Novaes at the Paris Conservatory


recorded in 1919



recorded in 1952




R Strauss-Godowsky  "Standchen", Op 17~2

recorded in 1927




Villa-Lobos   "O Polichinelo"




Octávio Pinto (1890-1950)  "Scenas Infantis"
(married to Guiomar Novaes)

1 Run, Run!
01:052 Ring Around the Rosy
01:493 March, Little Soldier
02:434 Sleeping Time
04:135 Hobby Horse

recorded in 1940




Mompou  "Jeunes filles au jardin"

recorded in 1946




Vuillemin   "Hornpipe"

recorded in 1952




Marlos Nobre  "Samba Matuto"
(1 from the First Ciclo Nordestino for piano)

recorded in 1974










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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Or return to the Guiomar Novaes page



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