Discover the musical legacy of Harold Bauer, the celebrated British pianist whose recordings from the bygone era continue to captivate. Explore his exquisite renditions, rare film footage, and more in this tribute to a pianist born 150 years ago.
In yesterday’s feature on Ossip Gabrilowitsch, we were enchanted by his musical prowess. Today, we delve into the world of British pianist Harold Bauer, a collaborator with Gabrilowitsch on the enchanting Arensky Waltz (which we highlighted in yesterday’s post).
Bauer’s name first crossed my path while perusing the pages of Harold C. Schonberg’s revered masterpiece, “The Great Pianists.” This remarkable artist left a lasting imprint with his recordings from the 78rpm disc era, fortunately reintroduced through early LP releases by RCA and later by the International Piano Archives.
In this remarkable digital age, we are privileged to have immediate access to the studio recordings of these legendary pianists, alongside hidden gems like radio broadcasts and previously locked-away film footage.
In today’s post, you’ll find a few noteworthy links. First, we have a fresh transfer of Bauer’s May 10, 1927 RCA Victor recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.23, famously known as the “Appassionata.” This iconic recording was made in the hallowed halls of RCA’s Camden, New Jersey studio on a Mason & Hamlin piano. A heartfelt thank you to Tom Jardine for making this transfer possible, using records from his personal collection. Bauer’s rendition is a testament to his velvety tonal palette, refined dynamic nuances, exquisite voicing clarity, and fluid phrasing, offering a noble and majestic interpretation of this masterpiece.
Furthermore, we invite you to explore two dedicated pages on our website, paying tribute to the great artist who was born 150 years ago. The first page presents an in-depth exploration of Bauer’s life and artistry, a project I crafted a few years back. The second page is a treasure trove of surviving film footage featuring the artist, alongside his captivating appearances on the radio.
Harold Bauer remains a truly wonderful pianist in every aspect, leaving an indelible mark on the world of classical music.