A first-rate contribution
Charlus | NYC | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Magda TAGLIAFERRO (1893-1985), Brazilian to the core but thoroughly French-trained, was an exciting pianist, with a lovely, big tone, an arresting sense of rhythm and a lively sense of musical structure. Her interpretations always seem to be going somewhere, and there can be very few players who had such a generous sense of fun, such a life-giving joy in music-making. When I heard her in New York she was well past 80, and could still put the life of the world into her playing: listen to her recording of the Albéniz Sevilla (on this CD) to see just what I mean. No wonder the late Harold Schonberg wrote in the NY "Times", following that concert, "This listener honestly doesn't remember when he has more enjoyed a Carnaval. In its improvisatory quality, its infallible rhythm and perfect pacing, it was the essence of Schumann".
She did not make too many records, so all of them are important. These are mostly 1934 Pathés, with two 1930 HMVs and two 1932 Ultraphones. The Pathés include the much sought Hahn concerto (Hahn himself conducting,) the same composer's delicious Sonatine (I love it!!) and the famous Faschingsschwank aus Wien, in beautiful life-like sound, which happens to have won the 1934 Grand Prix du Disque. I particularly love the Schumann romance in f-sharp minor, played with ravishing lyricism.
The Mompou trifles are played with unforgettably chimeric spontaneity and gorgeous tone, as is, of course, the Debussy. With the exception of Schumann and Chopin, TAGLIAFERRO knew, worked with and was admired by each and every one of these composers.
Roger Beardsley has done a superb job of transferring these old disks, and this CD is thoroughly recommended."