Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nikita Magaloff: Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.1

Nikita Magaloff [1912-1992], a Georgian-Russian pianist, performs Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.1, in F-sharp minor, opus 1; Rachmaninov composed the piece in 1891 when he was 18.

Nikita Magaloff was born in Saint Petersburg Russia, in 1912, to a Georgian noble family named Maghalashvili. Magaloff, aged 6, and his family left Russia and its bloody Revolution in 1918 for Finland, settling briefly in the United States before ending up in Paris in 1922. When he later entered the Paris Conservatory, his teacher was Isidor Philipp, the well-regarded French pianist and composer of Hungarian descent.

Other influences soon followed, one site puts it:
It was in the 1920s in Paris that Magaloff met Prokofiev, Ravel, and Rachmaninov, composers whose music and influence figured prominently in his career. He also befriended Szigeti there, a man he credited with introducing him to a broad range of chamber music and whose daughter he would later marry.
While from the 1920s through the 1950s Magaloff was active in the concert hall and recording studio, his career seemed to take wing after 1960. This lift might have been due to the cessation of his teaching activities: from 1949 to 1959 he regularly held master classes at the Geneva Conservatory. But then perhaps part of Magaloff's late success owed something to the change in his style: he took more chances, displayed greater passion, and played, arguably, with more spirit.
This undated piece might prove that point.

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