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My Father was Simon Barere: Interview of Boris Barere (by Jacques Leiser) and selected performances
[2006, 67 minutes]
"You are a pianistic genius", said the legendary Sergei Rachmaninoff to Simon Barere. "Barere is an Anton Rubinstein in one hand and a Liszt in the other" said the famous composer Alexander Glazunov. But if you mention Simon Barere (1896-1951) to most people today, their response is “Simon Who”? Just a small group of passionate piano connoisseurs and historians will tell you that he was a freak virtuoso who stunned his audiences and those of them and others who bought his few and now very rare recordings. They placed him alongside icons of piano history such as Josef Hofmann, Ignaz Friedman, Vladimir Horowitz and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
The life and career of Simon Barere is illuminated in an interview with his son, Boris Barere, conducted by impresario and piano expert Jacques Leiser. The result: a wealth of information about Barere as well as first hand recollections and anecdotes of the greatest musicians of the time who knew him and visited him at Barere’s homes. This is no sentimental family memoir – it is a deeply informative, highly colorful and uncommonly entertaining cameo of a unique figure in piano history as well as some of the most famous piano legends in memory. Interspersed are some of Simon Barere’s most extraordinary recordings, both from the studio and privately taken in the concert hall, made available by the APR company that has reissued on CD all known audio documents of Barere.
Scriabin: Étude in D-flat Major, Op. 8, No. 10
March 1947, Live recital, New York – from APR 5622 [1:42]
Interview: Boris Barere, Jacques Leiser [7:52]
18 November 1946, Live recital, New York – from APR 5621 [2:35]
Liszt: La leggierezza (Étude de concert No. 2)
30 January 1934, HMV – from APR 6002 [3:50]
Blumenfeld: Étude for the Left Hand
11 November 1947, Live recital, New York – from APR 5623 [3:49]
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major (last movement excerpt; Orchestra conducted by David Broekman)
17 May 1946, New York – from APR 5621 [3:15]
Schumann: Toccata in C Major, Op. 7
10 October 1935, HMV – from APR 6002 [4:25]
Chopin: Impromptu No. 1 in A-flat Major, Op. 29
11 November 1947, Live recital, New York – from APR 5623 [3:14]
11 November 1947, Live recital, New York – from APR 5623 [8:01]
Scriabin: Étude in D-sharp minor, Op. 8, No. 12
11 November 1947, Live recital, New York – from APR 5623 [2:08]
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