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Sound Samples & Downloads

Arthur Friedheim – Liszt, Rosenthal and Gottschalk
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Hungarian Rhapsody No.10 in E [6:31]
Années de pèlerinage, premiere année, Suisse No.4 - Au lac de Wallenstadt [1:56]
Grandes Etudes de Paganini; No.1 Tremolo [4:19]
Grandes Etudes de Paganini, No.3 La Campanella [4:30]
Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 in C sharp minor [8:26]
Légendes; St Francis Preaching to the Birds [8:40]
Légendes; St Francis Walking on the Waves [7:24]
Hungarian Rhapsody No.9 in E flat [11:44]
Moritz ROSENTHAL (1862—1946)
Papillons [2:15]
Louis Moreau GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869)
The Banjo (Fantasie Grotesque) [3:32]
Arthur Friedheim (piano)
rec. piano rolls, 1915-26
NIMBUS GRAND PIANO NI 8815 [59:15]

 

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Arthur Friedheim – The Great Pianists Vol.12; Masters of the Piano Roll series
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Prelude in F sharp minor Op.28 No.8 [1:46]
Prelude in G, Op.28 No.3 [1:43]
Adolf von HENSELT (1814-1849)
Were I a Bird Op.2 No.6 [1:37]
Louis Moreau GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869)
The Banjo (Fantasie Grotesque) [3:39]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Légendes; St Francis Preaching to the Birds [7:21]
Légendes; St Francis Walking on the Waves [6:45]
Années de pèlerinage, premiere année, Suisse No.4 - Au lac de Wallenstadt [2:03]
Grandes Etudes de Paganini; No.1 Tremolo [4:57]
Grandes Etudes de Paganini, No.3 La Campanella [4:51]
Transcendental Etude No.11 [8:23]
Fountains of Villa d’Este [6:14]
Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 in C sharp minor [8:35]
Hungarian Rhapsody No.10 in E [6:45]
Hungarian Rhapsody No.9 in E flat [9:01]
Arthur Friedheim (piano)
rec. piano rolls, 1915-26
DAL SEGNO DSPRCD052 [73:40]

Experience Classicsonline


 

 
Liszt students enjoy considerable cachet. Liszt students who left behind tangible examples of their playing enjoy a renown that adds to the Liszt debate. Arthur Friedheim was one such, but he had the dual distinction of having also been taught by Anton Rubinstein with whom he studied at the age of fourteen; Friedheim was born of German parents in St Petersburg in 1859. His move to Liszt in Weimar led to a breach with Rubinstein, who called Liszt ‘the devil’. Eventually Friedheim became Liszt’s secretary and indeed his amanuensis, remaining with the composer for eight years until Liszt’s death. Travel and endless concerts followed and also a rather peripatetic life; London, Munich, Toronto and New York, where he died, were also places where he lived for a time. The First War saw him ostracised in America, and working as a pianist in a movie theatre. He died in 1932.
 
Friedheim recorded on disc and roll. But he only made ten sides on 78 discs, a rather paltry return for so eminent a musician. One of his disc recordings coincides with a roll; the second Hungarian Rhapsody, though the disc, which was made for Emerson in 1917, is truncated and essentially halved in length. Nevertheless despite the rather cloudy Emerson sound — not a prestigious label, though it did record some prestigious musicians — we can discern one thing. The statuesque and dull roll performance is worlds away from the passionate ardour and splendour of the disc. The usual prescriptive comments about roll performances must apply. No one could take the Chopin Prelude performances seriously as examples of Friedheim’s playing. The F sharp minor sounds plain weird, and the companion Prelude in G has clearly been edited to such an extent that it’s hard to tell how many voices are teeming there.
 
Some things do survive somewhat intact. Gottschalk’s The Banjo is sprightly, bright, crisp and amusing. Elements of his Lisztian playing can be inferred but they must be considered provisional only. The roll recording of La Campanella can be compared with a 78 he made of the same piece. The roll’s endemic brightness and generic tonal response contrast with the subtle colouration preserved in the grooves of the 1913 Columbia. But there is also a further proviso. Both the Dal Segno and the Nimbus Grand Piano series have transferred some (but not all) of the same rolls. The results, mechanically speaking, vary enormously. The Nimbus version of La Campanella is, in my view, a far more realistic affair than the lumpen and rather bizarre sounding Dal Segno. But there are huge tempo variations in the two transfers of other pieces, as a look at the headings will indicate.
 
So, whatever one wishes to infer from the playing of this important Liszt student, the evidence is improbably preserved by these two discs. It’s best to seek out Friedheim’s disc records — they’re on Symposium 1343, coupled with the recordings of another Liszt student, José Vianna da Motta.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


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