EGON PETRI (1881-1962)
German-born Dutch pianist

Egon Petri was a titan among pianists.  He had a formidable and powerful technique which he combined with a depth of musical understanding resulting in performances of breathtaking beauty.  There was nothing he could not play brilliantly.  Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin Liszt, Brahms, and Busoni were all as mother's milk to him.  I can find fault with none of it.  But if I were to pick one composer over others, I would have to say that his playing of the music of Liszt is nothing short of miraculous.  At Egon Petri's hands, the true genius of the music of Liszt is revealed.  I can think of no other pianist so consistently capable of connecting with the divine in Liszt's music, all too often problematic at the hands of lesser men.

There is none of the over-stylized exaggeration of so many other pianists of Egon Petri's generation; no excessive self expression as if to say, "Listen to this, it is I playing."  The voice of the composer dominates, always, yet he always finds a path to making that voice his own as well.

As a student, Egon Petri received strong encouragement from Paderewski and Busoni.  He went on to stude with Busoni, eventually becoming the latter's disciple.  It was Busoni who encourage him to focus on the music of Bach and Liszt.

Egon Petri was also an excellent teacher.  The list of his students included Victor Borge, Stanley Gardner, Jan Hoffman, Gunnar Johansen, Vitya Vronsky, Eugene Istomin, Ozan Marsh, Grant Johannesen, John Ogden, Ruth Slenczynska and Earl Wild, a number of whom are still among the best known pianists of the 20th century.

These are links to Petri playing Bach, Busoni and Beethoven, and to his playing of concerted works by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and Busoni as well as a Brahms violin sonata with Joseph Szigeti.

Buxtehude  "Now We Thank Thee"

recorded in 1958

Gluck-Sgambati  Melodie from "Orfeo ed Euridice"

recorded in 1959

Haydn  Variations in F minor, Hob XVII:6

recorded in 1959

Beethoven-Liszt "Adelaide"

recorded in the mid-1950s

Paganini-Liszt  "La Chasse"
5 from Études d'execution transcendante d'aprés Paganini, S 140

recorded in 1929

Schubert-Liszt   "Auf dem Wasser zu singen"

recorded in 1929

Schubert-Liszt  "Gretchen Am Spinnrade"

recorded in 1938

Schubert-Liszt  "Erlkönig"

recorded in 1951

Schubert-Liszt  "Die Forelle"

recorded in 1929

Schubert-Liszt   "Liebesbotschaft"

recorded in 1930

Schubert-Liszt  "Der Lindenbaum" (1938)
Liszt  Concert Etude "Gnomenreigen" (1929)

Schubert-Liszt Soirée de Vienne 6

recorded in 1935

Schubert-Tausig  Andantino & Variations in B minor

recorded in 1936

Mendelssohn-Liszt  Wedding March and Dance of Faries" from A Midsummer Night's Dream

Chopin  Preludes, Op 28

recorded in 1942

Preludes 1-9

Preludes 10-16

Preludes 17-24

Chopin  Etude in A♭ major, Op 25 ~1

recorded live in 1951

Chopin  Waltz in A♭ major, Op 42

recorded in 1929

Liszt  Sonetto 47 del Petrarca
4 from
Années de pèlerinage "Deuxième année: Italie"

recorded live in 1957

Liszt  Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
5 from
Années de pèlerinage "Deuxième année: Italie"

recorded live in 1959

Liszt  Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
6 from
Années de pèlerinage "Deuxième année: Italie"

recorded live in 1957

Liszt  "Les jeux d'eau à la Villa d'Este"
from Années de pèlerinage "Troisième année"

recorded in the mid-1950s

Liszt  "Venezia e Napoli"
1 Gondoliera - 2 Canzona - 3 Tarantella
from Années de pèlerinage "Deuxième année: Italie"

recorded live in 1962

Liszt  Concert Study in D major "Un Sospiro"

recorded in 1940

Liszt  Fantasy on two motives from Mozart's "Le nozze di Figaro"
(completed by Busoni)

recorded in 1956

Liszt  Concert Paraphrase on Verdi's "Rigoletto"

recorded in 1937

Liszt  Paraphrase on a Waltz from Gounod's "Faust" S 407

recorded in 1936

Liszt  Transcendental Etude 4 "Mazeppa"

recorded in 1935

Liszt  Transcendental Etude 9 "Ricordanza"

recorded in the 1950s

Liszt  Hungarian Rhapsody 12 in C minor

recorded in the mid-1950s

Liszt (Busoni)  Mephisto Waltz 1

recorded in 1956

Alkan  Symphony for Solo piano, Op 39 ~4-7

recorded in 1952/52

i Allegro

ii Marche Funebre: Andantino

iii Menuet

iv Finale: Presto

Franck  Prélude, choral et fugue in B minor

recorded in 1942

Brahms   Opp 10, 24, 35, 79, 117, 119

The Ballades, Op 10 (1950's)
1 in D minor. Andante - (03:28) 2 in D major. Andante
(8:14) 3 in B minor. Intermezzo. Allegro - (12:07) 4 in B major. Andante con moto

(17:52) Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op 24 (1938)
(41:58) Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op 35  Book I (1938)
(51:20) Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35  Book II (1938)

The Rhapsodies, Op 79 (1940)
(1:00:22) 1 in B minor. Agitato - (1:07:41) 2 in G minor. Molto passionato, ma non troppo allegro

3 Intermezzi, Op 117
(1:13:12) 1 in E major. Andante moderato 
(1:17:09) 2 in B♭ minor. Andante non troppo e con molto espressione
(1:20:23) 3 in C♯ minor. Andante con moto

(1:25:54) Rhapsody in E major, Op 119 (1940)

Medtner  Two Fairy Tales, Op 20

recorded live in the late 1950s

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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