Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spanish pianist Alicia De Larrocha

Spanish pianist Alicia De Larrocha died very recently at age 86. Born in Barcelona, she had established a unique career and identity by the 1950s, and was well known for her interpretations of Mozart as well as Spanish composers like Albeniz and Granados. Sometimes she was characterized as “minimalist” or “diminutive”. (See how she performs Mozart’s last piano concerto in this YouTube video link). She also played Beethoven, Schumann and Rachmininoff, but her piano style was a bit understated, or at least that’s how I recall her when I took piano in the 1950s. Standing at 5 feet 1, she was unusual, in that many successful concert pianists (especially men) are tall and have large hands.

NPR carries the AP story, dated Sept. 26, here.

In my own mind, I remember comparing her to Polish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska, who died in 1959.

Attribution link for picture of a bridge in Bilbao Spain (pd, Wikipedia) I visited Bilbao in April 2001.

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