British pianist (1902 - 1988)

Solomon Cutner was known simply as Solomon throughout his professional life.  As a child, he was a pupil of Mathilde Verne, herself a pupil of Clara Schumann and early teacher of another of the greatest of English pianists, Moura Lympany.  He toured the United States and Australia extensively and gave the world premier performance of the Arthur Bliss Bmajor piano concerto at the New York World's Fair in 1939.  A movement of this fine concerto can be heard by following this link: Solomon plays Concerti.

When one hears or reads about the great Beethoven pianists, one so often encounters the names of Artur Schnabel, Daniel Barenboim, and a number of others, all very splendid pianists.  Some few, like Annie Fischer, surely do deserve to be cited among the all time great performers of Beethoven's music for the piano.  But to my mind, the names Solomon Cutner and Beethoven are synonymous in the pantheon of great composers and their greatest interpreters: Solomon plays Beethoven.

Solomon Cutner was a supremely intelligent and thoughtful pianist.  Not a note was out of place.  But the elasticity of his playing, the perfect ritardandi and accelerandi, the perfect breathing and breadth of his phrasing makes one ever aware of what his performances bring out of the music.  He was elegance incarnate, and though these words have so often used to describe Artur Rubinstein's playing (I have done so myself), Solomon never leaves me with the impression that the elegance of his playing distances him from the heart and soul of the music.

Solomon Cutner's recording of the Chopin Fantaisie and 4th Ballade are perfect examples of his art.  They are entirely devoid of stylistic eccentricities.  The recording of the Bach Chorale demonstrates a tonal richness that is, simply put, to die for.  And his Brahms!

The comparison of three performances of Liszt's "La Leggierezza" is very interesting.  All three pianists, Magda Tagliaferro, Solomon, and Carlo Zecchi have much to offer.  But from the point of view of the touch required for this piece, I must say my heart goes to Magda.

Schubert  Impromptu in A major, D 899 (Op 90~4)

recorded in 1956

Schubert  Piano Sonata 13 in A major, D 664 (Op posth 120)

i Allegro moderato
06:44 ➢  ii Andante
11:36 ➢  iii Finale - Allegro

recorded in 1952

Schubert  Piano Sonata 14 in A minor, D 784

i Allegro giusto
10:56 ➢  ii Andante
15:36 ➢  iii Allegro vivace

recorded in 1952

Chopin  Ballade 4 in F minor, Op 52

Chopin Études

in F major, Op 25~3
in F major, Op 10~8

recorded in 1934

Op 10

3 in E major (rec 1946)

7 in C major - Ignaz Friedman (rec 1926)
01:19 ➢  8 in F major - Claudio Arrau (rec 1929)
03:34 ➢  9 in F minor - Solomon (rec 1945)
05:45 ➢  10 in A major - Wilhelm Backhaus (rec 1927)
08:07 ➢  11 in E major - Josef Lhévinne (rec 1929)
10:32 ➢  12 in C minor - Ignaz Friedman (rec 1926)

Chopin  Fantaisie in F minor, Op 49

recorded in 1956

Chopin  Nocturnes

1 in B minor, Op 9~1 (rec 1956)

8 in D major, Op 27~2 (rec 1942)

Chopin  Polonaise 3 in A major, Op 40~1 "Military"

recorded in 1932

Chopin  Polonaise 6 in A major, Op 53 "Heroic"
06:12 ➢  Chopin Étude in A major, Op 25~1

recorded in 1932

Chopin  Scherzo 2 in B minor, Op 31

recorded in 1956

Chopin  Waltzes

recorded in 1946

5 in A major, Op 42

14 in E minor, Op posth

Schumann  Carnaval, Op 9

recorded in 1952

Préambule - Pierrot - Arlequin - Valse noble - Eusebius - Florestan

Coquette - Réplique - Papillons - Lettres dansantes (A.S.C.H. - S.C.H.A.)
- Chiarina - Chopin - Estrella - Reconnaissance - Pantalon et columbine

Valse allemande - Intermezzo: Paganini - Aveu - Promenade
- Pause - Marche des Davidsbündler contre les Philistins

Liszt  "La leggierezza"

1 Magda Tagliaferro
04:552 Solomon
09:283 Carlo Zecchi

Liszt  "Au bord d'une source"
from Années de pelerinage, premiére année (Suisse)

Liszt  Hungarian Rhapsody 15 in A Minor "Rakoczy March"

recorded in 1932

Brahms  Piano Sonata 3 in F minor, Op 5

recorded in 1952

i Allegro maestoso

ii Andante espressivo

iii Scherzo - Allegro energico

iv Intermezzo (Ruckblick) - Andante molto
v Finale - Allegro moderato ma rubato

Brahms  Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel, Op 24

recorded in 1942

Brahms  Rhapsodies, Op 79

recorded in 1956

1 Agitato in B minor

2 Molto passionato, ma non troppo allegro in G minor

Brahms  Intermezzo in E major, Op 116~4

recorded in 1956

Brahms  Intermezzo in B minor, Op 117~2

recorded in 1944

Brahms  Intermezzo in E minor, Op 118~6

recorded in 1956

Brahms  Intermezzo in C major, Op 119~3

recorded in 1952

Debussy  from Preludes Book I

recorded in 1946

2 "Voiles": Modéré

10 "La cathédrale engloutie": Profondément calme

Déodat de Séverac (1872-1921)  "Où l'on entend une vieille boîte à musique"
from Petites pièces romantiques

recorded in 1946

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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