excerpt from 'Béla Bartók Letters' pp. 16,17 (294 words)

excerpt from 'Béla Bartók Letters' pp. 16,17 (294 words)

part of

Béla Bartók Letters

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

16,17

type

text excerpt

encoded value

I have heard and seen Sauer. / I really couldn’t tell you just now which of the two plays best – he or d’Albert. For what I liked best in d’Albert’s playing, namely Bach and Beethoven, did not feature in this concert. What he did play he played beautifully. At times, he managed to evoke such peculiar tones that I seemed to be listening to some instrument other than the piano. Schumann, Chopin and Liszt – all very finely executed, and I was thrilled by all those pieces, whereas, with d’Albert, it was Tausig’s Zigeunerweisen that I liked least of all. Incidentally, his female listeners were quite enthralled: they all agree that, as a pianist, he is a hundred times better than d’A[lbert]. Professor Thomán also liked his playing, though not so much. (He is a great enemy of Sauer’s.) At the end of the recital the public behaved in the usual manner and were determined to hear him play the Tannhäuser Overture, but Sauer was quite worn out and refused to oblige. / By the way, he has an interesting way of striking attitudes. He keeps lifting his hands high in the air, about 1 metre above the keyboard, swaying his head from side to side and gazing up to the skies. He ponders a long time before starting a piece, then suddenly, as if he has just remembered what it is he’s supposed to play, he strikes up. And at the end of the piece, he again lifts his hands up in the air, the lets them fall on his lap, etc. (Maybe it’s just this that pleases the ladies so much.)

 I have heard and seen Sauer. / I really couldn’t tell you just now which of the two plays best – he or d’Albert. For what I liked best in d’Albert’s playing, namely Bach and Beethoven, did not feature in this concert. What he did play he played beautifully. At times, he managed to evoke such peculiar tones that I seemed to be listening to some instrument other than the piano. Schumann, Chopin and Liszt – all very finely executed, and I was thrilled by all those pieces, whereas, with d’Albert, it was Tausig’s Zigeunerweisen that I liked least of all. Incidentally, his female listeners were quite enthralled: they all agree that, as a pianist, he is a hundred times better than d’A[lbert]. Professor Thomán also liked his playing, though not so much. (He is a great enemy of Sauer’s.) At the end of the recital the public behaved in the usual manner and were determined to hear him play the Tannhäuser Overture, but Sauer was quite worn out and refused to oblige. / By the way, he has an interesting way of striking attitudes. He keeps lifting his hands high in the air, about 1 metre above the keyboard, swaying his head from side to side and gazing up to the skies. He ponders a long time before starting a piece, then suddenly, as if he has just remembered what it is he’s supposed to play, he strikes up. And at the end of the piece, he again lifts his hands up in the air, the lets them fall on his lap, etc. (Maybe it’s just this that pleases the ladies so much.)

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excerpt from 'Béla Bartók Letters' pp. 16,17 (294 words)

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