Moszkowski, Moritz biography

Moszkowski, Moritz

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Moszkowski, Moritz Biography

Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925)

Moritz Moszkowski was a Polish-German-Jewish pianist and composer known for his salon pieces. Moszkowski studied piano at Dresden and Berlin, where he gave his first concert in 1873. His opera Boabdil der Maurenkönig (1892; “Boabdil the Moor King”) was known chiefly for its ballet. He also wrote concerti and chamber music. He was a talented violinist. He has been greatly underrated and described as a 'salon' composer. There is a particularly acerbic description of his contribution in a privately published essay by JB Priestley who damns Moszkowski with faint praise. A composer of excellent 'salon' music he may have been but he also wrote many very demanding pieces which are now established in the repertoire. Earl Wild, the pianist, rates Moszkowski's transcription for piano of 'Isolde's Tod' as superior to that of Liszt's (see 'The Art of Transcription', Earl Wild, Carnegie Hall 1981). His Piano Concerto in E is one of the best of the Romantic period concertos and has been recorded by many artistes. His suite for 2 violins and piano is a deliciously moving example of the Moszkowski style (recently performed to great applause at Elvehjem Museum in Madison, WI, USA on March 7, 2004, and as part of the aperitif series of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, Sanders Theatre - Harvard Univ., October 3, 2004.). He lost all his investments in the German stock market crash. A Paris fund-raising concert in his honour was attended by such luminaries as Percy Grainger and Leopold Godowsky. He died nearly forgotten by stomach cancer.


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