Ilona Eibenschutz is reported to have played a duet with Franz Liszt in a concert at the age of five or six. She studied with Clara Schumann from the age of 13 until she was about 18. She was introduced to Brahms and remained a close friend until his death. Many years later Eibenschutz said of him that he "played as if he were improvising, with heart and soul, sometimes humming to himself, forgetting everything around him. His playing was altogether grand and noble, like his compositions."
Since Brahms played the Piano Pieces Opus 118 and 119 for her in private before anyone had heard them, it is a special treat to hear her play some of these pieces. One must assume the influence of the manner in which Brahms himself played them is strong. I find them quite perfect and exciting. SO many pianists today seem quite afraid of the great cigar smoking master. They simply take all the fun out of his music. Ilona Eibenschutz' playing reminds us that Brahms was once a young romantic, and that he remembered it too.
It should be remembered that she honed her art for ten formative years under the tutelage of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms.
Brahms Ballade in G minor Op 118~3 recorded in 1903
Brahms Intermezzo Opus 76~4 recorded in the 1950s
Brahms from 16 Waltzes, Op 39 2 in E major 15 in A♭ major recorded in 1903
Ilona Eibenschütz talks and plays: Reminiscences of Brahms recorded in 1952
Here is my new book, a murder mystery with a musical polemic