Albert Ferber plays Beethoven Sonata No. 5 in C minor Op. 10 No. 1


1. Allegro molto e con brio 2. Adagio molto (5:36) 3. Finale: Prestissimo (13:10) Albert Ferber (29 March 1911 -- 11 January 1987) was a Swiss pianist whose international performing career spanned four decades, taking him all over the world. Albert Ferber was a classical pianist and teacher. He was born in Lucerne, and studied in Switzerland, Germany and France where his teachers included Karl Leimer, Walter Gieseking and Marguerite Long. Whilst in Switzerland he often played to Sergei Rachmaninoff although he never regarded the latter as a teacher in the conventional sense. He first came to England in 1937, basing himself in London permanently from 1939 where he undertook further study with James Ching. As soloist with orchestra, Ferber played several concertos by Mozart and Beethoven as well as the first, second and fourth of the Rachmaninoff concertos, the second by Chopin, Mendelssohn and Camille Saint-Saëns, and those by Schumann and Grieg. More unusually, the Concerto for Piano and Strings by Robert Gerhard featured in his repertoire. He also appeared as accompanist to Alexander Kipnis in Schubert's Winterreise (at the age of 18) and as chamber musician, playing with Henryk Szeryng (violin) and Ernesto Xancó (cello) in duos, and with both artists in trios. Ferber was most active as a solo recitalist, the pianist's repertoire being extensive and wide-ranging. In addition to standard works by J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Schubert, Ferber played many lesser-known twentieth century works such as the piano sonatas by Ernest Bloch, Frank Bridge and Robert Simpson, and Robert Gerhard's Don Quixote suite. In July 1947 he gave the first performance of Lennox Berkeley's Six Preludes for Piano at Broadcasting House and in May 1951 premiered Gerhard's Three Impromptus at the Wigmore Hall. Even when playing works by mainstream composers, Ferber tended to avoid the obvious and introduced audiences to comparative rarities such as Beethoven's Variations on Salieri's La Stessa, la Stessissima, Chopin's Variations on a German Folksong and Schumann's Sonata No. 3. However, the artist was especially drawn to French repertoire, in particular the music of Gabriel Fauré and Claude Debussy, whose œuvre often featured in his concerts. His recital programmes were always imaginative and varied, often structured around collections of shorter items rather than major works, though the latter were included. Ferber's performing style was tasteful, intelligent and unpretentious, devoid of self-serving gesture. His recording of the Balakirev sonata, the finale in particular, demonstrates that his playing was sometimes technically fallible, but he could always identify with the style and underlying spirit of a work and, in concert, his performances seemed to convey musical essence rather than pianistic ego. His sound was distinctive: clear in texture and articulation, and of a fragile beauty which some critics felt could become hard under pressure. His strengths were probably most consistently shown to best effect in the music of Fauré where his tonal shading and undemonstrative interpretation -- 'art concealing art' -- attracted universal admiration. However, perhaps most impressive amongst his recorded legacy is his LP of the Rachmaninov Sonata No. 1 where everything seems to work for him. All performing elements unite to produce a vivid, sharply-drawn, account of an immediacy more commonly associated with live than with studio playing. The recording can be enjoyed on a moment-by-moment basis but equally appreciated as a deeply satisfying cohesive musical experience. (WIKIPEDIA)

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