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Pianos and Pianists - Consultant Editor Ates Orga



Ates Orga

listens to some of Eileen Joyce's concerto recordings
in a timely reissue from Dutton Laboratories


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Practitioners, distinct from critics, knew differently. Grainger, Backhaus, Teichmüller (her teacher in Leipzig); Schnabel, Albert Coates, Henry Wood (who gave her her first Queen's Hall Prom crusading the Prokofiev Third, September 6th 1930) all emphatically endorsed a prodigious talent. In her memoirs, Finale (London 1955), the veteran Adelina de Lara portrayed her, stripped of the tinsel and fiction, as a child-like person of 'simple charm,' without conceit or vanity. 'To talk to her, one would never believe she has astonished most of the world; that she has travelled as she has, and plays as she does, throwing off great concertos before enormous audiences as if they were mere trifles, yet playing them magnificently, with flawless technique and a masculine power surpassed by no one... In the early days it seemed to me that her playing, naturally, lacked maturity. Remembering the words of Clara Schumann to me as a girl, I felt that perhaps it was because she had not yet suffered... she certainly plays with feeling and maturity now.' It wasn't just the old-timers who admired, either. There was, too, amazingly some might think, Glenn Gould, extolling the 'devotion' of her Mozart K. 576: 'what an extraordinary pianist she really was' (Piano Quarterly, Fall 1976).

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Copyright © Ates Orga, December 3rd 1999


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