Historical interpretations of Friderick Chopin works

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Alfred  Reisenauer - biography


Alfred Reisenauer, a German pianist and composer, was born on 1 November 1863 in Königsberg, and died on 3 October 1907 in Lipawa (Latvia). His first music and piano lessons were given to him by his mother. They were followed by piano and theory of music classes under Louis Köhler, a composer and pianist, who had conducted a singing association and had been the director of a music school in Königsberg since 1845. As a twelve-year-old pianist Reisenauer performed in Weimar. There he was heard by Franz Liszt, who invited him to become one of his pupils. The young pianist's debut took place at a joint performance with Liszt in 1881 in Rome. In the same year, guided by the composer, he commenced law studies in Leipzig. However, in 1886 he returned to artistic activities. He became a popular and admired virtuoso, with his artistic career comprising of over 2000 concerts. He performed in London, a number of times in Germany, in 1900 he played in Poland, followed by Russia and China. He died performing at a recital. His repertoire included predominanty the works by Romantic composers. Reisenauer's interpreting style featured great emotions as well as precision and the excellent imagery of the phrase, richness in colour and pedal mastery. In 1905 a number of his performances were recorded in Leipzig on Welte-Mignon piano rolls. He was also a recognised pedagogue. In 1885 he became the first piano teacher at the Sonderhausen Conservatoire. Between 1900 and 1906 he conducted a master class at the Königliches Konservatorium der Musik in Leipzig. His pupils included: Sigfried Karg-Elert, Siergiej Bortkiewicz and Bruno Hinze-Reinhold. He composed a number of songs to poems by German Romantic poets (J. Goethe, H. Heine, L. Uhland) as well as piano pieces (inter alia Reisebilder op. 14, Symphonische Variationen for four hands). His compositions remain mostly in manuscript form.

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