November 21, 2019
Great and under-appreciated pianists of the 20th Century: Adrian Aeschbacher, Constance Keene and Bruce Hungerford
A very special lecture/performance was in store for us on November 21st. Check out the the Highlights from this meeting written by Bertha Manndel, Here.
Mr. Isler spoke about Constance Keene and Bruce Hungerford as teachers as well as performers. The third person he spoke about was the Swiss pianist Adrian Aeschbacher (1912-2002), a Schnabel student, who had quite a busy concert career in his young and middle years. He made a lot of records, but never performed in this country. Mr. Isler considers him to be a fantastic Schumann player. Aeschbacher actually lived in Mr. Isler’s grandparents' home in Berlin for a while when he first went there in 1932 to study with Schnabel. At that time his father to be was a ten year old student of Aeschbacher.
Here is Mr. Isler’s account of what recordings he shared:
“I have released recordings of all three of these pianists on my KASP Records label, and will play examples. The two KASP Aeschbacher CD's are from his 1950's era records on Deutsche Grammophon, and other labels (for which I obtained the rights). They have music of Schumann, Schubert and Beethoven. The Keene CD is a live, never before released recital she played in Houston in 1995. It includes the Rachmaninoff Corelli Variations, a MacDowell sonata and some short pieces by him as well as some short pieces of her husband, Abram Chasins, and (perhaps most important) her only recording of the Chopin Ballades. She also makes some comments to the audience.
There are three Hungerford recordings on the KASP label. The first two are never before released live recitals which are long enough to require two CD's each. The first is a five sonata, all-Beethoven recital which he played in Germany in 1965 . For me it is one of the all-time great recorded Beethoven recitals. The second Hungerford project is his last recital, given in Calgary a month and a half before he died in a 1977 auto accident. It has music of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.
The third Hungerford project is something I was hoping to find for over 20 years until someone posted a bit of it on Facebook two years ago. It's a DVD, a live, made for TV concert from East Germany in 1964 in which he plays the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto. I'm planning to play the first movement. This is the only known video of his playing and having been able to produce this DVD is one of the projects I'm proudest of. “
If you would like to learn more about Don Isler, visit his website Here .