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ADELINA de LARA (1872-1961)
British pianist



Adelina de Lara was British, though she took the name of her maternal grandfather, a Spanish count, because it was thought that her family name would make her sound too English.  She studied with Clara Schumann and Fannie Davies, herself Clara's pupil, and was a close friend of Brahms while a student in Germany.  In turn, she taught Eileen Joyce, a wondrous pianist and great favorite of mine who is featured in these pages.

Adelina de Lara was throughout her life a champion of of the music of Robert Schumann, no great surprise for a student of Clara's, and did so beautifully and faithfully as the recordings we have available to us here will demonstrate.

We are treated to complete recordings of Carnaval Op 9 and  Kinderszenen Op 15.  The style of her playing is exactly what I imagine to be way this music was performed by the faithful, a style quite different from the virtuosity we are used to from the towering pianists of the 20th century, almost conversational in nature as if in a salon rather than on a stage.  Those interested in the performances practices of the late 19th century would do well to pay close attention.

Alas, I have only one piece from the Fantasiestucke Op 12 ito share.  Next come two of the Novellettes.  The first of these is preceded by Adelina de Lara speaking about her studies with Clara Schumann.  These are followed by the first two Romances, the second of which is offers a window into an unexaggerated romanticism quite intimately suited to the introspective aspect of Schumann's nature.  Then two late works by Schumann, the latter of which is new to me.

Perhaps the most stunning thing about what you will hear is that the pianist was very nearly eighty years old when these recordings were made.  Listen to her speak about her lessons with Clara Schumann in the final video.  This is an historic document of the highest order.  And the examples with which she illustrates are a treasure.


Schumann Carnaval Op 9

recorded in 1951




Schumann Kinderszenen Op 15

recorded in 1951




Schumann "Ende vom Lied" from Fantasiestucke Op 12




Schumann Novellettes  Op 21

recorded in 1951


2 in D Major



8 in F sharp minor




Schumann Romances Op 28 n1 and 2

recorded in 1952




Schumann Drei Fantasiestucke Op 111

recorded in 1951




Schumann "The Elf" Op 124 n17

recorded in 1949




"Clara Schumann and her teaching" - Reminiscences and Examples










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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