Cor de Groot was a pianist of remarkable ability. He came to the attention of musical Europe in 1943 when he substituted for an ailing Wilhelm Backhaus at the last minute and played the Beethoven third piano concerto at a concert in Germany, clearly very successfully.
A much admired pianist, he performed world wide until 1959 when he suffered from what ws diagnosed as a nervous disorder that affected the use of his right hand. In spite of this, he continued to play music written for the left hand, making many of his own arrangements of two hand piano music for the left hand alone. When the news of his disability reached the musical community in Holland, every Dutch composer of note set to work on piano pieces for the left hand for de Groot to play. The literature tripled overnight.
It is quite likely that what de Groot suffered from was an injury sustained in playing. Much more is known about this today and I shall cover this extensively in a planned but not yet executed section on piano technique, and piano injuries - one of the best kept secrets of the world of pianism.
He also was a composer of some note, though I regret to say I am as yet unfamiliar with his own music and only have two short works for cello and piano that do not give any indication of what he is noted for.
I came across several recordings by Cor de Groot in Paris in 1968 and fell in love with his playing and the sounds he is able to bring forth from the piano. He has a wonderful singing tone, a great sense of structure, and a sensitivity that often belies his technical supremacy.
De Groot's perfomance of the Rachmaninov Melodie is stunning. It is, to my taste, perfectly interpreted, and the piano sings beautifully in every register. And pay close attention to the Mozart sonata. This is piano playing of the very highest order. I find it impossible to listen to this performance without a lump in my throat.
Beethoven Piano Sonata 23 in F minor Op 57 Recorded in 1937
i Allegro assai
ii Andante con moto iii Allegro ma non troppo
Schubert Impromptu in E flat Major Op 90 n2 recorded in 1942
Mendelssohn Andante and Rondo Capriccioso Op 14
Mendelssohn Songs Without Words Op 19 n1 and Op 19 n2
Mendelssohn Spinnerlied Op 67 n4 & Capriccio Op 16 n2
Mendelssohn Variations Op 54
Schumann Papillons Op 2 Recorded in 1942
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 8 in F sharp Major
Liszt Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses n7 "Funerailles"
Liszt Sonata in b minor recorded in 1942
Part 1 of 3
Part 2 of 3
Part 3 of 3
Ravel Gaspard de la nuit Recorded in 1951
II Le Gibet
Ravel Miroirs Recorded in 1951
2 "Oiseaux tristes"
3 "Une barque sur l'océan"
And finally two examples of Cor de Groot playing chamber music. Here, with the great violinist Gerhard Taschner, he plays a movement from a Handel sonata, followed by the promised short chamber works by de Groot himself.
Handel Violin Sonata No. 13 in D Major HWV 371 iii Allegro
Music by Cor de Groot
En Ut for cello and piano performed by Duo "INTERMEDIA" (Serban Nichifor, cello and Liana Alexandra, piano
"Zonder Strijkstok" a pizzicato Waltz
Here is my new book, a murder mystery with a musical polemic