Archive for category History

Horowitz’s & Beecham … A Flashy Day In History

12th January 1928

Even with the rise of jazz and pop music during the period, the 1920s and 30s was a time when performances of classical music, both live and on radio, drew enormous audiences in the. Of the many composers, conductors and performers who became household names during this era, none made a bigger splash than a young pianist from Kiev named Vladimir Horowitz. From his first U.S. performance on January 12, 1928, Horowitz established a special bond with American audiences—a bond that would make him the best known and most beloved pianist in his adopted country for the next 60 years.

Horowitz was not the primary draw for the concertgoers attending his debut at Carnegie Hall. The headliner that night was Sir Thomas Beecham, acting as guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic, it was his first time in front of the orchestra and his first time on the podium in America. The dynamic Beecham—”crouched like a panther, ready to spring upon a piece of counterpoint the instant that its head projected from its lair”—drew raves in the next morning’s New York Times review. But it was the young Russian pianist playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 who clearly stole the show.

Britannia Piano Auctions: Sir Thomas Beecham

Britannia Piano Auctions: Sir Thomas Beecham

The Times’ Olin Downes was reserved in his assessment of Horowitz’s artistic promise: “Very possibly Mr. Horowitz is a great musician as well as virtuoso….But he has that to prove.” But the critic left little doubt about the impact on the audience of the young man who “caused most of the intermission to be occupied in applauding and cheering him and calling him back to the stage. It has been years since a pianist created such a furor with an audience in this city.”

What that initial review referred to as Horowitz’s “electrical temperament, his capacity for animal excitement” was the basis of harsh critiques that followed Horowitz throughout his career. American critic and composer Virgil Thompson saw Horowitz as an artless panderer, a “master of distortion and exaggeration.” But there could be no denying the effect of Horowitz’s playing both on audiences and on musicians of future generations.

Britannia Piano Auctions:  Horowitz

Britannia Piano Auctions: Horowitz

On the occasion of Horowitz’s death in 1989, the American pianist Emmanuel Ax offered an assessment that was probably shared by the audience in that first American concert 61 years earlier: “He brought the idea of excitement in piano playing to a higher pitch than anyone I’ve ever heard….There was the sense of an unbelievable energy being harnessed, and the feeling that if he ever let it go, it would burn up the hall.”

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Britannia Piano Auctions Auction Buy Sell Best Way How ToBritannia Piano Auctions December Christmas Auction In Manchester UK Buy Sell Steinway Yamaha Bluthner Kawai Bechstein Yamaha Best

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Lot 11: A Bechstein With History

This Bechstein piano is available in our September auction a week today, there are many Bechstein Model B pianos available but this model comes with a history worth talking about and has been maintained to a high standard for the concert platform.

A Brief History of the Society’s Bechstein Piano

Make: Bechstein

Model: B

Serial Number: 81867 (1906)

     Lot 11

Purchased by the Society in 1956, from the Arts Council.
Prior to that a piano was hired from the NW Region of the Arts Council when required.

In 1990 the instrument was restrung, action keyboard & pedals were overhauled and the case was repolished.

After having 15 years of good use the action was replaced again In 2005.

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

During its 54 years in the Society’s possession many recitals at the instrument have been given by some very distinguished pianists including:

John Ogden

Steven Kovacevizc

Peter Katin

Liza Fuchsova

Paul Hamburger

Martin Roscoe

Mark Bebbington

Bechstein Model B John Ogden Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

Bechstein Model B John Ogden Britannia Piano Auctions 2014

This piano comes with a full history of concert performances and a copy of programs for selected pianists with a letter of provenance from the society.

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Britannia Piano Auctions September 2014 Catalogue now available from us at £5 delivered to your door

Britannia Piano Auctions September 2014 Catalogue now available from us at £5 delivered to your door

Britannia Piano Auctions

0161 977 0075

info@britanniapianoauctions.com

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