The playing of Jan Smeterlin is new to me. I have been aware of his name for some time, he was a close friend of the great Polish composed Karol Szymanowski who dedicated to Smeterlin a number of his Mazurkas, but only very recently have I had the pleasure of hearing a number of his recordings. To my mind, he is unquestionably one of the great interpreters of Chopin having that quality that can almost only come from having drunk the water of Polish mountain streams and breathed the very air of Poland itself. Just listen to his play the hauntingly beautiful Nocturne in C sharp minor. If ever the poet spoke ...
And then I heard Jan Smeterlin play Brahms and was transported to a time when pianists did not eat this kind of music for breakfast, rather taking the time to greet it and engage it in conversation. I grew up with Julius Katchen's Brahms, but when I hear it played this way I can visualize the composer and the pianist in the salon taking turns at the piano, one saying, "Play it this way," and the other saying, "Yes, but how about this way?"
Finally, the Blue Danube Waltz. This pupil of Leopold Godowsky does his master proud. Have a listen while I change into my evening attire.
in D♭ major, Op 30 n3 - B♭ minor, Op 24 n4 - F♯ minor, Op 59 n3
recorded in 1954
2 in E♭ major Op 9 n2
5 in F♯ Major Op 15 n2
11 in G minor Op 37 n1
15 in F minor, Op 55 n1
16 in E♭ major, Op 55 n2
17 in B major, Op 62 n1
20 in C♯ minor, Op posth
1 in E♭ major, Op 18
5 in A♭ major, Op 42
Brahms Variations on an Original Theme, Op 21 n1
Brahms Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op 35
(part 1 of 2)
(part 2 of 2)
Schulz-Evler Arabesques on "The Beautiful Blue Danube"of Johann Strauss II
recorded in 1929
For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background
which is also available as an audiobook.
And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:
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