Brahms - Michelangeli, Ballade Op.10 No 4 in B major
  • Classical music composed by Johannes Brahms (Lugano, 1981) Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (January 5, 1920 June 12, 1995) was an Italian classical pianist. He has been regarded as among the most commanding and individual piano virtuosos of the 20th century, among names such as Horowitz and Richter. Along with Ferruccio Busoni, he is often considered the most important Italian pianist. Born in Brescia, Italy, he began music lessons at the age of three, initially with the violin, but quickly switched to the piano. At ten he entered the Milan Conservatory. In 1938, at age eighteen, he began his international career by entering the Ysaÿe International Festival in Brussels, Belgium, where he placed seventh (a brief account of this competition, at which Emil Gilels took first prize, is given by Arthur Rubinstein, who was one of the judges. According to Rubinstein, Michelangeli gave "an unsatisfactory performance, but already showed his impeccable technique"). A year later he earned first prize in the Geneva International Competition where he was acclaimed as "a new Liszt" by pianist Alfred Cortot, a member of the judging panel, which was presided by Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Michelangeli was known for his note-perfect performances. The music critic Harold Schonberg wrote of him: "His fingers can no more hit a wrong note or smudge a passage than a bullet can be veered off course once it has been fired...The puzzling part about Michelangeli is that in many pieces of the romantic repertoire he seems unsure of himself ...

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