BRAILOWSKY The Complete Polydor Recordings, Volume 2 (1928-36) - PAKM079

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BRAILOWSKY The Complete Polydor Recordings, Volume 2 (1928-36) - PAKM079

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Overview

LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1
Solo works and transcriptions of music by Debussy, Falla, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin, Wagner, Weber

Studio recordings, 1928-1936
Total duration: 1hr 58:16

Alexander Brailowsky, piano
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Julius Prüwer

This set contains the following albums:

The present release is the second of two which offer the complete pre-war Polydor recordings of Alexander Brailowsky in new transfers for the first time in thirty years. While the earlier volume (Pristine PAKM 078) focused on his Chopin discs from this period, this one features his recordings of Liszt and other composers.

Alexander Brailowsky was born in Kiev on 16 February 1896. After initial instruction from his father, a professional pianist, he began studies at the age of eight with Leschetizky pupil Vladimir Puchalsky, who would later mentor Horowitz. Upon graduation from the Kiev Conservatory in 1911 where a visiting Rachmaninov predicted that he would have a great future, Brailowsky went to Vienna to study under Leschetizky himself, and made his first public appearances there in 1913. In Zürich, he met with Busoni and sought out his guidance. Moving to Paris where he eventually took up French citizenship, he received further instruction from Planté before making a recital debut there in 1919. His American career began in 1924, and included a coast-to-coast tour in 1936. He gave his last recital at Carnegie Hall in 1967, and died on 25 April 1976.

Brailowsky made his earliest disc recordings for Polydor in Berlin between 1928 and 1936. He also recorded a series of piano rolls for Ampico during the late 1920s. After a couple sessions for HMV in 1938, he began a long association with RCA Victor (1940 – 1958) before making a final group of recordings for American Columbia (1960/1).

Although Brailowsky’s presentations throughout his career of a Chopin cycle featuring the composer’s complete solo works earned him a reputation as a Chopin specialist, his own repertoire was more catholic. Liszt was always a mainstay of his recital programs, whose printed portions often concluded with one of the three Hungarian Rhapsodies featured here. In the LP era, he was later to record the first 15 Rhapsodies, as well as Totentanz   twice – once with Reiner (reissued on Pristine PASC 235), and later in stereo with Ormandy – although he was never to revisit the First Concerto on disc.

The remainder of our program displays Brailowsky’s sympathies in a wide range of repertoire, from the Baroque to what was then relatively new music. Critic Jonathan Summers, in his A-Z of Pianists, singles out some of the highlights from these discs “Mendelssohn’s Scherzo in E minor Op. 16 No. 2 is rhythmically incisive, the Pastoral and Capriccio of Scarlatti (arranged by Tausig) is beautifully controlled with wonderful tone colours, and Liszt’s arrangement of Wagner’s overture to Tannhäuser is probably Brailowsky’s finest moment on disc. Even though he simplifies a few left-hand figures, it is a performance in the true grand Leschetizky style on par with the recording by Benno Moiseiwitsch.”

In this release, the sources for the transfers were German Polydor pressings, except for two sides which came from early, non-laminated American Brunswick copies. Considerable care has been taking in pitching the original recordings, several of which had speed fluctuations throughout the sides.

Mark Obert-Thorn

ALEXANDER BRAILOWSKY The Complete Polydor Recordings – Volume 2


CD 1 (56:36)

LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major
1 1st Mvt. Allegro maestoso (5:46)
2 2nd Mvt. Quasi adagio (4:37)
3 3rd Mvt. Allegretto vivace – Allegretto animato (4:13)
4 4th Mvt. Allegro marziale e animato (4:16)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra ∙ Julius Prüwer
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrices. 993/994/995/996 ½/997 ½ BM ∙ Polydor 66750/2

5 LISZT Liebestraum No. 3 in A flat major (4:37)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 1000 BM ∙ Polydor 66752

6 LISZT Gnomenreigen (Etude de concert No. 2) (3:09)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 2601 ½ BH 1 ∙ Polydor 90175

7 LISZT Valse impromptu (4:49)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 1114 ½ BI 1 ∙ Polydor 95425

8 LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C sharp minor (9:09)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrices 1112 ½/1113 ½ BI 1 ∙ Polydor 95424

9 LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 in D flat major (6:46)
Recorded 1929 ∙ Matrices 682 ½/683 ½ BT 1 ∙ Polydor 90146

10 LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 in C sharp minor (9:11)
Recorded 3 April 1934 ∙ Matrices 747 ½/748 GE 1 ∙ Polydor 35015


CD 2 (61:43)

1 WAGNER/LISZT Tannhäuser – Overture (14:11)
Recorded 1929 ∙ Matrices 193/194 ½/195 ½ BV 1 ∙ Polydor 95419/20

2 WAGNER/LISZT Spinning Chorus (from The Flying Dutchman) (5:48)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrices 1479/1480 BK ∙ Polydor 90027

3 SCHUBERT/LISZT Morgenständchen (“Hark, Hark the Lark”) (3:13)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 2600 ½ BH 1 ∙ Polydor 90175

4 SCHUBERT/LESCHETIZKY Moment Musical, Op. 94, No. 3 (1:52)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 1116 BI 1 [part] ∙ Polydor 95420

5 SCHUBERT/TAUSIG Marche Militaire, Op. 51 (5:01)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 1115 ½ BI 1 ∙ Polydor 95425

SCARLATTI/TAUSIG Pastorale – Capriccio
6 Pastorale (arr. from Sonata in D minor, L 413) (1:56)
7 Capriccio (arr. from Sonata in E major, L 375) (2:18)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 982 BM ∙ Polydor 95141

8 MENDELSSOHN Spinning Song (Songs Without Words, Op. 67, No. 4) (1:47)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 1116 BI 1 [part] ∙ Polydor 95420

9 MENDELSSOHN Scherzo in E minor, Op. 16, No. 2 (2:28)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 2596 ½ BH 1 ∙ Polydor 90173

10 SCHUMANN Traumeswirren (Fantasiestücke, Op. 12, No. 7) (2:44)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 2597 ½ BH 1 ∙ Polydor 90173

11 SCHUMANN Intermezzo (Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26, No. 4) (2:24)
Recorded 23 or 24 March 1934 ∙ Matrix 6016 ½ GD 1 ∙ Polydor 62756

12 WEBER Perpetuum Mobile (Presto from Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 24) (3:58)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 987 BM ∙ Polydor 95141

13 DEBUSSY Serenade for the Doll (from the Children’s Corner Suite) (2:52)
Recorded 31 October 1936 ∙ Matrix 6746 ½ GR 8 ∙ Polydor 62756

14 DEBUSSY Toccata (from Pour le Piano) (3:38)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 2598 ½ BH 1 ∙ Polydor 90174

15 SCRIABIN Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 11, No. 10 (1:25)
16 SCRIABIN Etude in D sharp minor, Op. 8, No. 12 (2:07)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 983 BM ∙ Polydor 95142

17 FALLA Ritual Fire Dance (from El amor brujo) (3:58)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 985 BM ∙ Polydor 95142


Alexander Brailowsky (piano)


Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer Mark Obert-Thorn

Special thanks to Donald Manildi, the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland (IPAM) and Michael Gartz for providing source material

Cover picture Alexander Brailowsky, c.1925 (Tully Potter Collection)


Total duration:  1hr 58:16