Historical interpretations of Friderick Chopin works

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Marguerite Long - biography


Marguerite Long, a French pianist, was born on 13 November 1874 in Nîmes, and died on 13 February 1966 in Paris. She began to learn piano with her sister, and soon after entered the Nîmes Conservatory. In 1886, the twelve-year-old was heard by Teodor Dubois, a professor at the Paris Conservatory, and it was him who sent her to the Parisian academy to study piano under Alexis-Henri Fissot. In 1891 she graduated with a premier prix, and continued her education in private classes under Antoine Marmontel. She made her debut in 1893 at the Pleyel-Wolff in Paris. Her repertoire included works by classical and Romantic composers, but she was particularly devoted to performing French contemporary music by Fauré, Debussy, Satie, de Séverac, Roger-Ducasse, Ravel, Milhaud, or Poulenc. She was the first to perform some of the works by Debussy, Fauré and Ravel. In 1919 she played Ravel's suite Le tombeau de Couperin, whose final Toccata was dedicated to her husband, Joseph de Marliave, killed in battle in 1914. During a three-month-tour of Europe in 1932, she played the Ravel Piano Concerto in G major, also dedicated to her by the composer. On 11 March 1932 she performed in Warsaw with Ravel conducting the Philharmonic Orchestra. She also gave concerts in South America. From 1940, she performed as a chamber musician with the violinist Jacques Thibaud. This is what Fauré wrote on her virtuoso playing: "One could not play with better fingers, more clarity and taste, [or] a more natural and charming simplicity”. Her recordings were released inter alia by Columbia. Long also earned an international reputation as a teacher. She developed her own method of mastering the technique jeu perle, typical for the French pianistic school. From 1906 she was a teacher at the Parisian Conservatory, and between 1920 and 1940 she held the position of a professor. From 1921 she also taught at the École normale de musique. In 1920 she opened her own school of piano playing, and in 1941 she and Jacques Thibaud set up the École M. Long - J. Thibaud. In 1943 they organized a piano competition in Paris, which from 1946 to 1962 was an international event, and then national again. Up till today the Concours international de piano et violon Marguerite Long - Jacques Thibaud has been one of the most prestigious piano competitions in the world. She gave first public courses of interpretations of works by Fauré and Debussy. She also sat on the jury of the International Chopin Competitions in Warsaw in 1932 and 1949. Her pupils included Jacques Février, Lucette Descaves, Jean Doyen, Annie d’Arco, Samson François, Nicole Henriot-Schweitzer, Gabriel Tacchino, Arthur Moreira-Lima, Marielle Labèque. At the turn of 1937 and 1938 she taught Witold Małcużyński. She is the author of the following works published in Paris: Le Piano (1959), Au piano avec Claude Debussy (1960), La petite méthode de piano (1963), Au piano avec Gabriel Fauré (1963), and with Pierre Laumonier Au piano avec Ravel (1971).

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