Stephen Heller: Etude in E Major, Op. 45, No. 9 (Gerald Moore, Piano)

Stephen Heller (1814-1888)

Stephen Heller was a Hungarian pianist and composer. He showed musical talent at an early age. When he was 10 years old his father took him to Vienna, Austria where he studied piano with the noted pianist Anton Halm. He toured Germany and lived there from 1830-1838. Composer Robert Schumann heard about him and wrote about him in his music journal (Schumann was a music critic for a time). Heller then went to Paris, France which was a major hot spot for artists, writers, and musicians. He met Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, and other important figures of the time and in a short period of time built up a reputation as a pianist and piano teacher. Stephen Heller wrote mostly for the piano. He had a gift for writing beautiful melodies. In many pieces there is a grace and sunny character.

Gerald Moore (1899-1987)

Gerald Moore was a famous British piano accompanist. He accompanied many of the great singers and instrumentalists of the 20th Century including: Victoria de Los Angeles, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau, Yehudi Menuhin, Josef Hassid, Jacqueline Du-Pre, and others. Here is a rare recording of Gerald Moore playing Stephen Heller’s Etude in E Major, Op. 45, No. 9. It was recorded in 1949. Gerald Moore is his best recordings played with a singing tone, fluidity, and natural timing. I hope that you enjoy this simple but nice little piano piece.

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Fini Henriques – Lullaby (Victor Borge – piano)

Fini Henriques (1867-1940)

Fini Henriques was a Danish composer and violinist. He was a colleague of Victor Borge’s father and both he and Victor Borge’s father played in the Royal Danish Orchestra. Fini Henriques was an excellent composer. He wrote music for piano, violin, and chamber ensembles. Fini Henriques also wrote operas.

Here is a rare clip of the Danish comedian and pianist Victor Borge playing a Lullaby by Fini Henriques. This piece was sentimental for Victor Borge because his mother used to play it for him when he was a little boy. I hope that you enjoy this music.

Gabriel Fauré plays his Barcarolle No. 1

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)

Gabriel Fauré was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher.  He was one of the top French composers of his time.  Today he is known for works such as his Requiem, Cantique de Jean Racine, his masterful art songs, and his piano pieces.  Fauré lived long enough to be recorded playing the piano on piano rolls.

Here is a piano roll recording of Gabriel Fauré playing his Barcarolle No. 1.  Listen to how beautifully the music flows and the beautiful melody and the harmony that supports it.