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Prince of Virtuosos: A Life of Walter Rummel, American Pianist (Mixed media product)

Charles Timbrell

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ISBN 10: 0810851393 / ISBN 13: 9780810851399
Edité par Scarecrow Press, United States, 2004
Neuf(s) Etat : New Mixed media product
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A propos de cet article

Language: English . Brand New Book. American pianist and composer Walter Rummel s glamorous career lasted from the 1920 s until his death in 1953. During his career, Rummel performed with the leading conductors of his day and was a friend of Claude Debussy, Bernard Shaw, W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and Queen Elisabeth and King Leopold III of Belgium. His biography reveals the inspiration his playing provided for some of the leading figures of Europe during the two world wars. N° de réf. du libraire ANB9780810851399

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : Prince of Virtuosos: A Life of Walter Rummel...

Éditeur : Scarecrow Press, United States

Date d'édition : 2004

Reliure : Mixed media product

Etat du livre :New

Edition : New..

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

This is the first full-length biography of Walter Rummel, a charismatic American pianist and composer who had a major career in Europe from the 1920s until his death in Bordeaux in 1953. Rummel studied in Berlin with the legendary pianist Leopold Godowsky, and became Debussy's close friend and pianistic champion. He performed under such conductors as Felix Weingartner, Henry Wood, Paul Paray, and Andre Cluytens. He was also a noted composer whose forty songs were performed by some of the century's most noteworthy singers, including Maggie Teyte, Marian Anderson, and John McCormack. He was the friend of Ezra Pound, G.B. Shaw, and W.B. Yeats, and he enjoyed a remarkable three-year relationship with Isadora Duncan. His playing also led to friendships with Queen Elisabeth and King Leopold III of Belgium. Rummel was a window on his time, an American who lived through two world wars in Europe and mixed easily with the musicians, writers, artists, philosophers, and politicians of his day.

Critique:

...well documented and spellbinding...Rummel made only a handful of commercial recordings, and a disc with some of them comes with this book plus unpublished radio studio recordings-and they are overwhelming! There are definitive recordings of Liszt and heart-breaking renditions of Bach in the idiomatic Rummel arrangements-all done with a musical sensibility belonging to a bygone age. Yet we cannot understand Rummel the artist and composer unless we delve into his relationship with Claude Debussy (who regarded him as a near-perfect interpreter), Rudolph Steiner, George Bernard Shaw and his muse and mistress Isadora Duncan-all vividly portrayed by the indefatigable Timbrell. Today we wouldn't tolerate such a complex character, but if in doubt about his personality after reading the book, play the Liszt Liebestraume and you'll be prepared to forgive him nearly everything. The Pianist Charles Timbrell's research is breathtakingly thorough; he gives the reader a chronology of Rummel's life in vivid detail using invaluable source material-letters, programs, reviews, pictures, and personal interviews with family members. With a scholar's sense of fairness and balance, he has not shrunk from including some negative views of Rummel in letters and articles-particularly, a discussion of Rummel's involvement with the Germans during WWII, his unfortunate writings in support of Nazi pronouncements, his wartime concerts, and his subsequent investigation by the FBI. Fanfare Magazine Timbrell gives many details of Rummel's concert activity and repertoire, including fascinating contemporary reviews of performances including premiers of works by Debussy. It is clear from this contemporary information quite what an extraordinary pianist Rummel was. His style was in the grand manner and he could sweep audiences along with his often overwhelming performances. A CD included with this fascinating and illuminating book contains not only most of Rummel's commercial recordings, but some previously unpublished acoustic Columbia test pressings and broadcasts from Radio Suisse Romande in 1948 and Deutsches Rundfunk in 1944. Rummel's playing of his once immensely popular Bach chorale transcription Mortify us by thy Grace displays pianism of the highest quality while his recording of Liszt's Liebestraume No. 3 is almost overwhelming in its passion. International Piano Magazine Timbrell has written an excellent biographical account of the amazing concert career of Walter Rummel (1887-1953), son of the famous British pianist Franz Rummel and Cornelia Livingston Morse, daughter of American telegraph inventor Samuel F.B. Morse...Recommended. CHOICE When listening to the all-too-few recordings he left us (his playing can be savoured on a beautifully transferred 20-track disc that comes with this book) one indeed encounters a laser-beam precision and intellectual acuity, combined with a semantic and cultural sensitivity rivaled only in my experience by Dinu Lipatti...The task of putting together the pieces of Rummel's life and placing his achievements in some sort of perspective was therefore unusually challenging, making Charles Timbrell's compelling narrative a particularly remarkable achievement...It's a fascinating story that via Timbrell's infectious prose comes spilling off the page like a detective novel. It's not a description readily associated with classical music tomes, but this immaculately researched, annotated and indexed volume is truly 'unputdownable'. 5 starss BBC Music Magazine One of the most extraordinary books ever to appear about a pianist...[Timbrell] tells the entire story in 150 pages, and in these days of bloated biographies, in which writers can't resist telling us details like the names of ships on which pianists sailed, I say: BRAVO! ...I hope what I have written will make you want to acquire and read Timbrell's book, which arrived in the afternoon's mail after which I couldn't put it down until I had finished it. It is enthralling. -- Gregor Benko, Founder of the International Piano Archives At first, Rummel was bifurcated by an ocean. He was born near Berlin as a British subject, the grandson of the American inventor of the telegraph. He studied in Washington DC with a student of Liszt. He returned to Berlin to study with Godowski and went on to critical acclaim, but in that the division ended. His concert appearances, compositions, love affairs, marriages, and friendships and working partnerships with Pound and Debussy rooted him to the right of the Atlantic. Timbrell (music, Howard U.) concentrates on Rummel's remarkable body of work but gives us little-known facts about his life, including his obsession with the mystical and medieval and his possible Nazi sympathies. Timbrell includes a CD-ROM of Rummel's recordings of works by Bach, Liszt, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Wagner. Reference and Research Book News When listening to the all-too-few recordings he left us (his playing can be savoured on a beautifully transferred 20-track disc that comes with this book) one indeed encounters a laser-beam precision and intellectual acuity, combined with a semantic and cultural sensitivity rivaled only in my experience by Dinu Lipatti...The task of putting together the pieces of Rummel's life and placing his achievements in some sort of perspective was therefore unusually challenging, making Charles Timbrell's compelling narrative a particularly remarkable achievement...It's a fascinating story that via Timbrell's infectious prose comes spilling off the page like a detective novel. It's not a description readily associated with classical music tomes, but this immaculately researched, annotated and indexed volume is truly 'unputdownable'. 5 stars BBC Music Magazine This is the story of an internationally famous pianist who had a major career until his death in 1953, after which he was largely forgotten. It is a tale that needs to be told, and Charles Timbrell set himself the task of retrieving Walter Rummel from the black hole into which he had imploded...With scrupulous precision, Timbrell separates fact from fiction...The attached CD provides a clear picture of his performing style...This is sheer delight...Charles Timbrell should be congratulated on his achievement, and even if you don't usually read book about pianists, his perceptive portrait of a very knowing innocent is a study of real distinction. International Record Review Playgoers attending performances in the main building of the Berkshire Theatre Festival may not be aware that they are sitting in a venue of musical as well as theatrical significance. On July 26, 1910, pianist Walter Rummel played the US premiers of four Debussy preludes and the world premiere of one of them, 'What the West Wind Saw,' in the building, which was designed by Stanford White. This was only one event in the colorful life of a forgotten pianist who is the subject of an entertaining recent biography by Charles Timbrell, 'Prince of Virtuosos.'...Timbrell's biography is meticulously researched, fair, full of surprises, and sometimes touching. One reason Rummel's name is little-known today is that he made so few records, and those he did had limited circulation. A valuable bonus is a Rummel CD in the book. You can hear a wonderful depth and roundness of tone, propelled by a profoundly romantic sensibility. The Prelude and Fugue in B-flat Minor from Book I of Bach's 'Well-Tempered Clavier' is particularly magical. Some Chopin Mazurkas and Liszt's 'Legends' are equally mesmerizing. The Boston Globe A 77-minute CD with the book confirms the sterling qualities of Rummel's pianism. Opening with three of his 25 Bach transcriptions, and continuing with Liszt, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin and Mendelssohn, it reveals a player who manages to combine a calm and dignified manner with a sense of spontaneity; his tone is warm and the textures limpidly clear, not least because of his awareness of color...a fascinating tale... Tempo In the book Prince of Virtuosos the inspired scholarship of Charles Timbrell portrays the life of American pianist Walter Morse Rummel...[On the CD included with the book] Rummel's Liszt playing is fresh and virtuosic when required; his Chopin shows a fine sense of rubato. Best are the pianist's transcriptions of Bach organ chorales, which are deeply felt emanations of the prayer that each embodies. Clavier Charles Timbrell offers a fascinating account of a hitherto unfamiliar musician's life not only by virtue of careful and exhaustive research, including virtually every surviving eyewitness, but also by telling the story of Rummel's life and career compellingly, with elegance and grace. Unlike so many biographies, there is not a superfluous word in the book. Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal (ARSC Journal) A fastidiously researched and presented biography...The entire book is a revelation. Dance Critics Association News

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