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Piano solo - Verschenen op 26 oktober 2018 | APR

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
When thinking of the great German pianist Wilhelm Backhaus, the image of an old master with a large pale forehead often comes to mind, frozen in his somewhat wise and austere performances. With his fierce young Beethoven-like appearance, Backhaus gave his first recital in 1899 while his last concert, by which time he was a respectable old man, took place on July 5 1969, a week before his death. The miraculous advances in recording preserved this brilliant seventy-year-long career, because, unlike his colleagues Rubinstein and Schnabel who shied away from vinyl, Backhaus was one of the pioneers of the medium, having made his first records in 1908. Created for His Master’s Voice (HMV) between 1925 and 1935 and carefully restored here, these recordings are mainly devoted to Chopin (with the first complete recording of the Études), Liszt and Schumann. In addition, the second part is reserved for the transcriptions that were popular in those distant times. While the young Backhaus’ technique is breathtaking, it also teaches us something about musical history. Styles of playing change over the years and no one today would dare to play at such a dizzying speed. It was after the Second World War that pianists became a little more relaxed and began to abandon the sacred "short pieces" to play Beethoven's or Schubert's great sonatas, finding more gravity in keeping with the spirit of the times. The tempos slowed down significantly while the invention of the microgroove made it possible to capture long pieces of music, more favourable to the outpouring of expression than the 78-rpm sides allowed. It is truly touching to return to these recordings that symbolise a world that was lost forever. © François Hudry/Qobuz
CD€ 19,99

Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 26 oktober 2018 | APR

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 5 étoiles de Classica
When thinking of the great German pianist Wilhelm Backhaus, the image of an old master with a large pale forehead often comes to mind, frozen in his somewhat wise and austere performances. With his fierce young Beethoven-like appearance, Backhaus gave his first recital in 1899 while his last concert, by which time he was a respectable old man, took place on July 5 1969, a week before his death. The miraculous advances in recording preserved this brilliant seventy-year-long career, because, unlike his colleagues Rubinstein and Schnabel who shied away from vinyl, Backhaus was one of the pioneers of the medium, having made his first records in 1908. This album contains all his Beethovenian recordings produced in London before the war. We find extraordinary performances of four sonatas and Concertos No. 4 and No. 5, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Landon Ronald. Recorded in 1927, the Emperor was easy for both the pianist and the orchestra and required few takes. In 1928, Backhaus told the British press that his recording of Concerto no. 5 was the most beautiful thing he would ever make, without knowing that he still had over forty career years ahead of him. The sessions for the 4th Concerto were very different. Three sessions were needed in September 1929 and two more were added in March 1930 following technical problems. Contrary to the myth that the takes were all unique at the time of the 78 rpm, it took seven or eight of them (the faces lasted two minutes, during which time "no" mistakes were allowed) to complete the work in March 1930, because Backhaus and the musicians – who were probably very tired at this point - were constantly tripping up. The result is nevertheless stunning, as the rendition is characterised by a breath-taking fluidity. The difficulty of recording at the time was that you could easily lose the tension or tempo from one side of the record to the other. However, Backhaus' winged touch, probably on one of the very light pianos of that time, spins like a spring-time wind. The rest of this double album is devoted to four sonatas and a few of Bach's Preludes and Fugues. Let us add that the softness and precision of these recordings perfectly illustrates the mastery acquired in a short time by the sound engineers. As with old films, today's restorations allow us to see and hear these testimonies from a distant past in such a quality that our elders would never have thought possible. © François Hudry/Qobuz
CD€ 29,99

Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 maart 2018 | SWR Classic

Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 juli 2010 | Audite

Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica
CD€ 7,99

Piano solo - Verschenen op 7 februari 2012 | ICA Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 22 mei 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 10 april 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 juni 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1967 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 juni 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1992 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1959 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 4 oktober 1958 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1957 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1960 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1960 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1960 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 8 mei 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 23 januari 1955 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 20 maart 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.