EUGEN dALBERT (1864-1932)
Scottish-born German pianist and composer

Eugen dAlbert was one of a golden crop of late students of Franz Liszt. He might have been the best, Liszt admired him greatly and called him "The young Tausig ," a formidable pianist, and perhaps Liszt's greatest pupil from a generation earlier.

Eugen dAlbert was born in Scotland but in his late teens won a Scholarship to study in Austria. He then went on to Germany to study with Liszt. He felt strongly drawn to German culture, turned his back on his British background and became a German citizen. He pursued a career as a concert pianist and as a composer, going on to write some 21 operas, and numerous other works including two piano concerti, a cello concerto, and a very impressive Sonata for piano.

I mention here, as a curiosity, that Eugen dAlbert was married 6 times. His first wife was the spectacular Venezuelan pianist, Teresa Carreño. The pair was the subject of a famous joke: "Come quick! Your children and my children are quarreling again with our children!".

The only works offered of dAlbert playing his own music are in this piano roll of an improvisation on airs from his opera Tiefland and a 1912 performance of his Scherzo from Op 16 which you will find below coupled with a performance by Earl Wild which was recorded in 1969. There are also several performances of dAlbert's transcriptions of the music of others.

d'Albert  Scherzo in F minor, Op 16~2

1912 piano roll

Bach-d'Albert  Passacaglia in C minor

1910 Hupfeld piano roll

Handel-d'Albert  Chaconne in G mjaor

ca1910 Trifonola piano roll

Beethoven  Rondo à capriccio "Rage over a Lost Penny", Op 129

recorded ca 1918-1922

Beethoven  Rondo in G major, Op 51~2 (incomplete)

recorded in 1913

Beethoven  Piano Sonata 18 in E major, Op 31~3
ii Scherzo - Allegro vivace

recorded ca 1910-1912

Beethoven  Piano Sonata 21 in C major, Op 53 "Waldstein"

1906 piano roll

iii Rondo - Vivace
recorded ca 1918-1922

Schubert  Impromptus, Op 142 

3 in B major
recorded in 1916

4 in F minor
ca1906 piano roll

Schubert/Tausig  "Marche Militaire"

recorded ca1910-1912

Chopin  Nocturne 3 in B major, Op 9~3

1905 piano roll

Chopin  Nocturne 5 in F♯ major, Op 15~2

recorded in 1916

Chopin  Études, Op 25~2 and Op 25~9 "Butterfly"

recorded in 1910

Chopin  Ballade 2 in F major, Op 38

recorded ca 1910-1912

Chopin  Waltz in A major, Op 42

recorded ca1910-1912

Chopin  Waltz in D major, Op 64~1

1907 Hupfeld Animatic piano roll

Chopin  Waltz in C minor, Op 64~2

Chopin  Polonaise 6 in A major, Op 53 "Heroique"

recorded ca1910-1912

Chopin  Berceuse in D major, Op 57

recorded ca1910-1912

Liszt  "Au Bord d'une Source"

recorded ca1910-1912

Liszt  Polonaise 2

ca1907 Hupfeld Animatic piano roll

Liszt-d'Albert  "Liebestraume"

1913 piano roll

The following are from 1905 (partial) and 1916 piano rolls of Eugen d'Albert performing the Liszt Piano Sonata in B minor. As a student of Liszt, it is very possible that Eugen dAlbert's performances, the earlier one in particular as he was still in fine form as a pianist, can provide some insights into how the master himself might have played it.

Liszt  Piano Sonata in B minor

1905 piano rolls (incomplete)



Liszt  Piano Sonata in B minor

1916 piano roll


Part II

Part III


Liszt-Schubert  "Soirees de Vienne 2"
ca1906 piano roll

Weber-Liszt  "Invitation to the Dance" (abr)

recorded in 1910-12

Brahms  Ballade in D minor, Op 10~1

1920 Hupfeld piano roll

Brahms  Capriccio in B minor, Op 76~2

recorded ca1910-1912

Saint-Saëns  "Danse Macabre"

Saint-Saëns  Étude en forme de valse

1913 piano roll
[followed by Alfred Cortot  in a 1920 piano roll]

Debussy  "Jardins sous la pluie"

recorded ca1910-1912

Goossens  "The Punch & Judy Show"

recorded ca1910-1912

Finally, a 1906 piano roll  by Eugen dAlbert of the complete Beethoven 4th concerto, and a 1930 radio broadcast of the First movement of the Beethoven "Emperor" Concerto. d60944 to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for posting most of the d'Albert performances on YouTube has this to say about it:

"Sadly many of his recordings are both badly recorded and indifferently played (by the time he recorded he had devoted more time to composition and his technique at the piano had slipped). The performance is fascinating, repulsive, compelling, frustrating, wonderful, characterful, powerful, sloppy, and is extremely important. Make of it what you will..."

Beethoven  Piano Concerto 4 in G major, Op 58

i Allegro moderato
ii Andante con moto
iii Rondo (Vivace)

ca1906 Hupfeld piano rolls

Beethoven  Piano Concerto 5 in E major, Op 73 "Emperor"
Bruno Seidler-Winkler conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra

1930 radio broadcast 

i Allegro (beginning)

i Allegro (conclusion)

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

Follow these links to our main subject categories

Or go to the dAlbert the Composer page

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