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JOHANNE AMALIE STOCKMARR (1869-1944)
Danish pianist



Johanne Amalie Stockmarr was a Danish pianist, one of several Danish women pianists from the earlier part of the 20th century who are garnering some well deserved attention these days.  (The others are France Ellegaard and Galina Werschanska.)  She learned to play while Liszt, Brahms and Grieg were still alive, studied with one of Denmarks foremost composers, Niels Gade, and performed the Grieg concerto under the Grieg's direction.

Though her available recordings are very few, they span almost the entire history of the piano at the time from Mozart to Dohnanyi.  One of the first aspects of her playing to jump out at me was the fact that her approach to each composer is so very different.

In the Mozart sonata recording below, the delicacy of her touch is beyond comparison, and this combined with interpretive nuances from a bygone era are eye-opening.  These nuances could well be evidence of what was considered tasteful in Mozart's time, a style of playing which required that a piece should never be played in the same manner twice.  I have always wondered how this might be accomplished while remaining faithful to the music and its stylistic requirements.  Now I know.

The Beethoven sonata is a revelation. Her playing is reminiscent of Furtwangler, the great German conductor, whose elasticity of tempi, often within a single short phrase, imbued his performances with a sense of forward motion and vibrant drama that distinguished his music making from that of all others.

Johanne Amalie Stockmarr's performance of Chopin's Berceuse has become my all time favorite interpretation of one of my most adored works for solo piano.  And here my words fail me.  I am awed and inspired by this playing.


Mozart Piano Sonata in E flat Major K 282

i Adagio - ii Menuetto I-II (4:54) - iii Allegro (7:23)

recorded in 1942




Beethoven Piano Sonata 26 in E flat Major, Op 81a "Les Adieux"

i The Farewell: Adagio - Allegro - ii The Absence : Andante espressivo (06:49)   iii The Return: Vivacissimamente (11:31)

recorded in 1942




Chopin Berceuse in D flat Major, Op 57

recorded in 1930




The following waltz by Chopin is performed by the three Danish pianists referred to above, first by Galina Werschanska (recorded in 1950), then by Johanne Amalie Stockmarr, and finally by France Ellegaard (recorded in 1947).  The differences are extraordinary.  My favorite is the Stockmarr interpretation.  See what you think.


Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Major, Op 64 n2

recorded in 1942




Grieg "Bridal Procession", Op 19 n2

recorded in 1926 (followed by a c1912 recording by Wilhelm Backhaus)




Dohnanyi n3 Vivace in C major from 4 Rhapsodies Op 11

recorded in 1942










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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