[The title of this post references two world-renowned musicians from two very different backgrounds and countries who came together in two different eras to provide an astonishing recording that has stood the test of time.]
Richard Strauss Rudolph Serkin
June 11, 1864-Sept. 8, 1949 March 28, 1903-May 8, 1991
I was rummaging through my LP recordings section in our drawing room library, when I came across quite unexpectedly on an old Columbia Masterworks album, which contained one favorite of mine – Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 45, and amazingly another work I’d completely forgotten about – Richard Strauss’s Burlesque in D Minor for Piano and Orchestra. Since today is indeed the great man’s birthday anniversary, you may check out Serkin’s sterling performance on YouTube by clicking on the red hotspot and taking a rare aural glimpse into another era of music-making with Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.
Afterword: A quick scan of the ancient disc cover can be seen right here: Burlesk
Also, during Richard’s early days in Weimar, one Ernest Hutcheson – an Australian pianist, composer and teacher – wondered aloud why “so well-equipped a pianist did not give more of his talent to the instrument.” Out of all that he did give, Burlesk was Strauss’s most important music for the piano and was written at the age of 21 when he was still in his Brahmsian stage .
Reference: My Columbia Hi-Fi LP Album
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