GUIOMAR NOVAES (1895-1979)
Brazilian pianist

Throughout her long career, Guiomar Novaes was considered by her peers, her critics, and her public to have been one of the greatest pianists of the 20th Century. At the age of 14, her playing amazed Debussy who, along with the other judges, including Faure and Moskowski, awarded her first place out of almost 400 applicants to the Paris Conservatory in 1909.

Early in her career, the New York Times called her "a musician by the grace of God," and the Boston Globe declared her "the young genius of the piano."  At her prime, in the 1950s, Harold Schonberg compared her playing to that of Josef Hofmann.  And she was dubbed "the Paderewski of the Pampas."  Though she was from Brazil and not from the Argentine, this made for good copy.

Guiomar Novaes recorded quite extensively from the 1920s to the 1960s.  And yet recordings of this magnificent pianist are scarce today with only a handful currently in print.  Had she been a man, her name would be keeping company with the likes of Rubinstein and Horowitz.  But even the greatest of the women pianists seem to have a short shelf life once they have left the concert stage, and the world of the living.  This is a disgrace.

Novaes was most highly esteemed for her performances of Chopin and Schumann, and to a lesser degree Debussy.  As you will hear from the selection of music offered here, Guiomar Novaes was a consummate artist and her genius did not discriminate.  The Brahms, Liszt and Mozart examples, the concerti and the Siloti transcription of the Bach Organ Prelude will attest to that.  In the Bach, she achieves textures and changes in sonorities strongly reminiscent of the organ.  This is a stunningly beautiful rendition of this work.

And her Beethoven.  Oh. . . her Beethoven.

Novaes plays Chopin wonderfully and it is our good fortune that a Brazilian pianist who goes by the name of bernardocarmopiano on YouTube has made available numerous examples of Guiomar Novaes playing the works of Chopin. Thank you Bernardo! I would also like to thank several other YouTubers who go by the names of Beckmesser2, pianopera, classicvinylbiz, Gullivior, pianushko and Pabeet who have made a numerous Novaes recordings available to us.

On the Guiomar Novaes plays Encores page are delicious short pieces by Albéniz-Godowsky, Gluck-Sgambati, Pinto, Villa-Lobos, Mompou, Moszkowski, and others.  And on the Novaes plays Concerti page, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Grieg, and de Falla.

Bach-Siloti  Organ Prelude in G minor, BWV 535

recorded in 1952

Bach  Toccata and Fugue in D major, BWV 912

recorded in 1942

Mozart  Piano Sonata 11 in A major, K 331

i Andante grazioso
07:59ii Menuetto
13:10iii Alla Turca: Allegretto

recorded in 1955

Mozart  Piano Sonata 16 in C major, K 545

i Allegro
04:44ii Andante
10:18iii Rondo: Allegro

recorded in the early 1950s

Beethoven  Piano Sonata 14 in C minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op 27~2 "Moonlight"

i Adagio sostenuto
05:19 ➢ ii Allegretto
07:43iii Presto agitato

Beethoven  Piano Sonata 17 in D minor, Op 31~2 "The Tempest"

i Largo. Allegro

ii Adagio

iii Allegretto

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

Allegro con brio

iii Rondo: Allegretto moderato. Prestissimo

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

i Das Lebewohl: Adagio. Allegro
➢ ii Abwesenheit: Andante espressivo
10:36iii Das Wiedersehen: Vivacissimamente

recorded in 1966

Beethoven  Piano Sonata 32 in C minor, Op 111

i Maestoso. Allegro con brio e appassionato
9:13ii Arietta. Adagio molto semplice e cantabile

Schumann  Papillons, Op 2

recorded in the 1950s

Schumann  Carnaval, Op 9

1 Preambule - 2 Pierrot - 3 Arlequin - 4 Valse noble - 5 Eusebius
6 Florestan - 7 Coquette - 8 Replique - 9 Sphinxes - 10 Papillons
11 A.S.C.H.-S.C.H.A. (Lettres dansantes) - 12 Chiarina - 13 Chopin - 14 Estrella
15 Reconnaisance - 16 Patanlon e Colombine - 17 Valse Allemande (the Intermezzo Paganini is missing)
18 Aveu - 19 Promenade - 20 Pause - 21 Marche des "Davidsbündler" contre le Philistins

recorded live in 1969

Schumann  Fantasiestücke, Op 12

recorded in the 1950s

Schumann  Symphonic Etudes, Op 13

recorded in the 1950s

Liszt  Two Concert Etudes, S 145

recorded ca 1962

1 "Waldesrauschen"

2 "Gnomenreigen"

2 "Gnomenreigen"
recorded in 1923

Liszt  Liebesträume 3 in A major

recorded ca 1962

Liszt  Hungarian Rhapsody 10 in E major

recorded in the 1960s

Brahms  Capriccio in B minor, Op 76~2

recorded in the late 1950s

Brahms  Intermezzo in B Major, Op 117~2

Debussy  Préludes Livre I

1 Danseuses de Delphes : Lent et grave
2:582 Voiles : Modéré
6:27 3 Le vent dans la plaine : Animé
8:384 Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir : Modéré
12:43 ➢ 5 Les collines d'Anacapri : Très modéré
15:526 Des pas sur la neige : Triste et lent
20:04 ➢ 7 Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest : Animé et tumultueux
23:108 La fille aux cheveux de lin : Très calme et doucement expressif
25:359 La sérénade interrompue : Modérément animé
27:5710 La cathédrale engloutie : Profondément calme
35:51 ➢ 11 La danse de Puck : Capricieux et léger
38:2212 Minstrels : Modéré

recorded in 1956

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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