Brazilian-French pianist (1893 - 1986)

Magda Tagliaferro studied at the Paris Conservatory with Antonin Marmontel and subsequently with Alfred Cortot. Fauré invited her to tour with him and Albéniz was impressed by her playing. She was a soloist with the greatest conductors of her time, Weingartner, Dobrowen, Monteux, Furtwängler, Knappertsbusch, Paul Paray, Vincent d'Indy, Inghelbrecht, Ionescu-Galati and Georgescu, and performed chamber music with the likes of Cortot, Jacques Thibaud, Georges Enescu, Jules Boucherit and Pablo Casals.  She was sought after by composers to premier their works, Hahn, Rivier, Pierné, and Villa-Lobos included.

Follow the link to the Tagliaferro plays Concerti page to hear her in performances of concerted works by Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Hahn, Villa Lobos and Prokofiev.

She also taught extensively in Paris and later in Brazil.  Pnina Salzman, Cristina Ortiz, Jorge Luis Prats and James Tocco were among her students.

Magda Tagliaferro's playing is big and bold.  Her Chopin, while devoid of the often delightful mannerisms that make his music distinctly Polish, is nonetheless exciting.  The Largo movement from the Chopin b minor sonata is splendid, as is her playing of the 4th Ballade and the Op 26 Polonaise.

While her recordings of the third of the Liszt Liebesträume and "La Leggierezza" are lovely, I can't help feeling that her Schumann often misses the mark.  Where is the requsitie Teutonis moroseness?  Where are Florestan and Eusebius?  She plays with too much élan for my taste.  But the 1934 recording of the Op 28 Romance is quite beautiful.

There are beautiful performances of the Spanish composers Granados Albéniz and de Falla.  My only slight disappointment is that I sometimes find myself missing that essence of the Spanish rhythm that pervades their music.  It is a bit like playing a mazurka without that hop on the third beat.  It can be lovely, but something of importance is lost in the translation.

Her way with the French composers is wonderful, though a certain lack of languor makes her a less than ideal interpreter of the nocturnes of Fauré. As for her Debussy, it  is exquisite.  The earlier video containing both "Poissons d"or" and "Feux d'artifice" allows the viewer a perfect window on her marvelous technique.  The second of the Debussy Possons d'Or was recorded when she was 92 years old.  While by no means the Magda Tagliaferro of old, it is an astonishing document.

And it is fascinating to compare her 1930 and 1967 versions of "Jeune filles au jardin" by Federico Mompou, a fine composer whose music is all to little known on this side of the Atlantic. 

Although she played beautifully into her nineties, I think her finest recordings date from the 1930's to the mid-1950s.

Weber  Rondo Brillant in E major "La Gaité"

recorded in 1936

Chopin  Grande polonaise brillante, Op 22

recorded live in 1957

Chopin  Mazurka in C major, Op 24~2

recorded in 1972

Chopin  Polonaise 1 in C minor, Op 26~1

recorded in the early 1950s

Chopin  Waltz 5 in A major, Op 42

recorded in 1933

Chopin  Ballade 4 in F minor, Op 52

recorded live in 1957

Chopin  Piano Sonata in B Minor, Op 58
iii Largo

recorded in 1972

Schumann - Carnaval, Op 9

recorded live in 1957

Schumann  Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op 26

i Allegro

ii Romanze - Ziemlich Langsam
iii Scherzino
iv Intermezzo - Mit Größter Energie
Finale - Höchst Lebhaft

Schumann  Romance in F major, Op 28~2

recorded in 1934

Liszt  Liebestäume 3, Nocturne in A major

recorded in the early 1950s

Liszt  Etude de concert 2 in F minor "La Leggierezza"

recorded in the early 1950s

Saint-Saëns  Étude, Op 52~6

Fauré  Nocturnes

4 in E major, Op 36

6 in D major, Op 63

MAGDA TAGLIAFERRO plays French Music

Pièces pittoresques: Scherzo-Valse - 06:02 ➢ Idylle

08:32 ➢ SEVERAC  Cerdaña - Le retour des muletiers
13:26 ➢ HAHN  Les rêveries du Prince Eglantine
16:32 ➢ SAINT-SAËNS  Etude en forme de Valse

Pour le piano: 23:12 ➢ Prélude - 27:32 ➢ Sarabande - 32:13 ➢ Toccata
38:07 ➢ Arabesque 1 - 39:41 ➢ Arabesque 2
43:08 ➢ L'Isle joyeuse

recorded in 1960

Albéniz  "Evocacion"

Albéniz   "Seguedillas" Op 232~5

recorded in 1932

Debussy  "Clair de lune"
Chopin  Waltz 5 in A major, Op 42

recorded in 1952

3 "Poissons d'Or" from Images Book II
12 "Feux d'artifice" (Modérément animé) from Préludes Book II

Debussy  Poissons d'Or

recorded ca1985

Debussy  from Préludes, Book II
12 "Feux d'artifice" - Modérément animé

Granados  Spanish Dances

2 "Oriental"
recorded in 1960

5 "Andaluza"
2 "Oriental"
recorded in 1955

Granados  from Goyescas, Op 11
(Los majos enamorados)

recorded in 1955

3 "El Fandango de Candil"

4 "Quejas o La maja y el ruisenor"

Déodat de Séverac (1872-1921)  5 "Le Retour des Muletiers" from Cerdaña

recorded in 1970

Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947)  Sonatine in C major (1907)i

i Allegro non troppo
02:24ii Andantino rubato
06:24iii Final en forme de tambourin

recorded in 1936

de Falla  Dance Espagnole 1 from La Vida Breve
[transcription by Gustave Samazeuilh]

recorded in 1960


"Jeunes filles au jardin" from Scénes d'enfants
02:18 ➢ "La rue, le guitariste et le vieux cheval" from Suburbis

recorded in 1930

Villa Lobos  Ciclo Brasileiro

recorded in 1955

2 "Impressões seresteiras"

3 "Festa no sertão"

Mompou  "Jeune filles au jardin"

recorded live in 1967

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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