Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cor de Groot Beethoven piano concerto no 5 and others on Spotify

Together with Hans Henkemans, Cor de Groot was the finest Dutch pianist of the 1950’s.
Below is an article that appeared on now defunct Andante label, which could be traced back on

'Now that I have heard Cor de Groot, I can die in peace', Emil von Sauer is reported to have said after hearing de Groot in the final stages of the 1936 Vienna Piano Competition. The apparently effortless technical command and scrupulous attention to phrasing and sonority in the present performances are certainly indicative of a major artist. Although he built an impressive career after the Second World War, appearing in concert throughout the world as well as recording extensively for Philips, de Groot was forced to withdraw from the concert platform in 1959 due to a paralysis in his right hand attributable to what would later become identified as repetitive strain injury. His hand did subsequently recover and he made periodic radio appearances until 1989, one of which, an appropriately brooding and dark-hued performance of the Dohnányi F sharp minor Rhapsody, has already been released on APR and provides ample evidence of de Groot's undiminished powers. While out of action, he devoted his attention to composition, including works for the left hand alone - other composers, such as Jan Felderhof and Maurice Karkoff, also wrote pieces for the left hand with de Groot in mind - as well as teaching and working for the Dutch Broadcasting Corporation. In fact, he was instrumental in setting up a sound archive for the corporation, of which many of his own performances, along with those of Mengelberg, form a significant part.

Masculine performances, recorded by Philips in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in a timespan between 1950 and 1954. As a bonus, the famous live recording Cor de Groot made with Willem Mengelberg in Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto, this time with the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Hope you will enjoy the performances! 

Ludwig van Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No.5 in Eb major Op.73
Hague Philharmonic Orchestra, Willem van Otterloo, Conductor
(rec. november 23, 1953 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam)

Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor Op.37
Piano Concerto No.1 in C major Op.15
Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb major Op.19
Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Willem van Otterloo, Conductor

Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor Op.31/2 Tempest
Piano Sonata No. 18 in Eb major Op.31/3

Piano Concerto No.4 in G major Op.58
Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Willem van Otterloo, Conductor
(rec between 1950 and 1954)

Piano Concerto No.5 in Eb major Op.73
Concertgebouwouworchestra, Willem Mengelberg, Conductor
Live Concertgebouw, May 9, 1942 
(HTTP link for four hours and eight minutes music...)

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