COR de GROOT (1914-1993)
Dutch Pianist

Cor de Groot was a pianist of remarkable ability. He came to the attention of musical Europe in 1943 when he substituted for an ailing Wilhelm Backhaus at the last minute and played the Beethoven third piano concerto at a concert in Germany, clearly very successfully.

A much admired pianist, he performed world wide until 1959 when he suffered from what ws diagnosed as a nervous disorder that affected the use of his right hand. In spite of this, he continued to play music written for the left hand, making many of his own arrangements of two hand piano music for the left hand alone. When the news of his disability reached the musical community in Holland, every Dutch composer of note set to work on piano pieces for the left hand for de Groot to play. The literature tripled overnight.

It is quite likely that what de Groot suffered from was an injury sustained in playing. Much more is known about this today and I shall cover this extensively in a planned but not yet executed section on piano technique, and piano injuries - one of the best kept secrets of the world of pianism.

He also was a composer of some note, though I regret to say I am as yet unfamiliar with his own music and only have two short works for cello and piano that do not give any indication of what he is noted for.

I came across several recordings by Cor de Groot in Paris in 1968 and fell in love with his playing and the sounds he is able to bring forth from the piano. He has a wonderful singing tone, a great sense of structure, and a sensitivity that often belies his technical supremacy.

De Groot's perfomance of the Rachmaninov Melodie is stunning. It is, to my taste, perfectly interpreted, and the piano sings beautifully in every register. And pay close attention to the Mozart sonata. This is piano playing of the very highest order. I find it impossible to listen to this performance without a lump in my throat.

A second page is devoted to de Groot's Chopin, and a third to de Groot the soloist.

Rachmaninov Morceaux de Fantaisies Op 3

n°2 Prelude in C sharp minor

n°3 Mélodie in E Major

Rachmaninov Préludes Op.32
recorded n the 1940s

n°5 in G Major (Moderato)

n°10 in b minor (Lento)

n°11 in B Major (Allegretto)

Beethoven Piano Sonata 23 in F minor Op 57
Recorded in 1937

i Allegro assai

ii Andante con moto
iii Allegro ma non troppo

Schubert Impromptu in E flat Major Op 90 n2
recorded in 1942

Mendelssohn Andante and Rondo Capriccioso Op 14

Mendelssohn Songs Without Words
Op 19 n1 and Op 19 n2

Mendelssohn Spinnerlied Op 67 n4 & Capriccio Op 16 n2

Mendelssohn Variations Op 54

Schumann Papillons Op 2
Recorded in 1942

Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 8 in F sharp Major


Liszt Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses n7 "Funerailles"

Liszt Sonata in b minor
recorded in 1942

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Granados Andaluza from 12 Spanish Dances, Op 37~5

Ravel Gaspard de la nuit
Recorded in 1951

I Ondine

II Le Gibet

III Scarbo

Ravel Miroirs
Recorded in 1951

2 "Oiseaux tristes"

3 "Une barque sur l'océan"

And finally two examples of Cor de Groot playing chamber music. Here, with the great violinist Gerhard Taschner, he plays a movement from a Handel sonata, followed by the promised short chamber works by de Groot himself.

Handel Violin Sonata No. 13 in D Major HWV 371
iii Allegro

Music by Cor de Groot

En Ut for cello and piano
performed by Duo "INTERMEDIA" (Serban Nichifor, cello and Liana Alexandra, piano

"Zonder Strijkstok" a pizzicato Waltz

Here is my new book, a murder mystery with a musical polemic

and the audiobook version

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