DiedJanuary 8, 2012, Lugano, Switzerland MoviesClassic Archive: Alexis Weissenberg AlbumsAlexis Weissenberg: The Champagne Pianist Similar PeopleHerbert von Karajan, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Carlo Maria Giulini, Emil Gilels, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
Alexis weissenberg bach liszt prelude fugue in a minor bwv 543
Alexis Weissenberg (July 26, 1929 – January 8, 2012) was a Bulgarian-born French pianist.
Alexis weissenberg plays mozart piano concerto k 271 in e flat 2nd movement
Early life and career
Born into a Jewish family in Bulgaria, Sofia, Weissenberg began taking piano lessons at the age of three from Pancho Vladigerov, a Bulgarian composer. He gave his first public performance at the age of eight.
In 1941, he and his mother tried to escape from German-occupied Bulgaria for Turkey, but they were caught and imprisoned in a makeshift concentration camp in Bulgaria for three months. One day, a German guard – who had enjoyed hearing Alexis play Schubert on the accordion – hurriedly took him and his mother to the train station, throwing the accordion to him through the window. The guard told them, "Good luck," and the next day, they safely arrived in Istanbul.
In 1945, they emigrated to Palestine, where he studied under Leo Kestenberg and performed Beethoven with the Israel Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. In 1946, Weissenberg went to the Juilliard School to study with Olga Samaroff. He also studied with Artur Schnabel and Wanda Landowska.
In 1947, Weissenberg made his New York debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and George Szell in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 and with Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy, with which Weissenberg won the Leventritt Competition. Between 1957 and 1965, he took an extended sabbatical for the purpose of studying and teaching. Weissenberg resumed his career in 1966 with a recital in Paris. Later that year he played Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in Berlin conducted by Herbert von Karajan, who praised him as "one of the best pianists of our time".
Weissenberg gave piano master classes all over the world. With his Piano Master Class in Engelberg (Switzerland), he had as students many pianists of the new generation: Kirill Gerstein, Simon Mulligan, Mehmet Okonsar , Nazzareno Carusi, Andrey Ponochevny, Loris Karpell, and Roberto Carnevale among them. He composed piano music and a musical, Nostalgie, that was premiered at the State Theatre of Darmstadt on October 17, 1992.
Weissenberg died on January 8, 2012 at the age of 82 in Lugano, Switzerland after suffering from Parkinson's Disease. He is survived by three children, David, Cristina and Maria.
Bryce Morrison, in "Gramophone", described his early 1970s recording of the Liszt Sonata in B minor as one of the most exciting and also lyrical renditions of the work. His readings of Schumann, Rachmaninoff, and many works by Frederic Chopin (including his complete works for piano and orchestra, Piano Sonatas No. 2 & 3, nocturnes, and waltzes) are also very well known.
Among his other notable interpretations were those of Johannes Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Carlo Maria Giulini and Riccardo Muti, ("Les Introuvables d'Alexis Weissenberg", 2004), Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as his Piano Concerto No. 3 with Georges Pretre and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Seiji Ozawa with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (also with Leonard Bernstein and the Orchestre National de France).
His 1965 film recording of Stravinsky's Three Movements from Petrushka (directed by Ake Falck) was also highly praised. When Karajan watched the movie, he immediately invited Weissenberg to participate in a filmed performance of the Tchaikovsky First Concerto, replacing Sviatoslav Richter.
Bach: Goldberg Variations
Bartok: Piano Concerto No. 2 with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra RCA
Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra EMI (3 CDs)
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas: "Pathetique, Moonlight and Appassionata"
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (two recordings, with Carlo Maria Giulini and Riccardo Muti,e EMI
Brahms: Sonatas for violin & piano Nos. 1–3, with Anne-Sophie Mutter. EMI (CD)
Chopin: Works for piano and orchestra. EMI (2 CDs)
Chopin: The Nocturnes. EMI
Chopin: Piano Sonata Nos. 2 and 3 EMI
Debussy: Estampes, Suite Bergamasque, Children's Corner, L'Isle Joyeuse, etc. on Deutsche Grammophon
Debussy: Piano works. Deutsche Grammophon (CD)
Franck: Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra (with Herbert von Karajan and The Berlin Philharmonic)
Haydn: Sonatas Hob.XVI/20,37 & 52, RCA (LP)
Liszt: Piano sonata in B minor. Einsatz Records, Japan
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 9 and 21 with Giulini and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition EMI
Prokofiev: Piano concerto No.3 – Seiji Ozawa, Orchestre de Paris
Rachmaninoff: Complete Preludes. RCA (CD)
Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1, 2. Deutsche Grammophon (CD)
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 1972)
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 (three different recordings, with Georges Pretre, Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein)
Ravel – Piano concerto – Seiji Ozawa, Orchestre de Paris
Scarlatti: Sonatas (A selection of 15) on Deutsche Grammophon
YouTube: Alexander Scriabin, Nocturne for the Left Hand, Opus 9, No. 2, Alexis Weissenberg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ57eF_D4qA)
Gustl Breuer/Henno Lohmeyer (Hrsg.): »Alexis Weissenberg. Ein kaleidoskopisches Portrat«. Rembrandt Verlag, Berlin 1977.
Lettre d'Alexis Weissenberg a Bernard Gavoty, 1966
Weissenberg – Drei Interviews – 2012, Sofia
Pictures at an Exhibition: Gnomus Variations on "I Got Rhythm" Pictures at an Exhibition: The Great Gate at Kiev Children's Corner - II Jimbo's Lullaby La fille aux cheveux de lin L'isle joyeuse Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum Piano Concerto No 5 - Op73 'Emperor' : II Adagio un poco mosso Grande valse brillante in E Flat Op18 Cantata No 147 - 'Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben' BWV147: Choral: Jesu bleibe meine Freude Chanson "Coin de rue" No 6 in E-Flat BEETHOVEN: PIANO CONCERTO NO 5 IN E FLAT - OP 73 : I ALLEGRO Album fur die Jugend Op 68 - Part 1 - Fur Kleinere : 12 Knecht Ruprecht Studi sinfonici - Etude III: Vivace Debussy: Children's Corner - L113 - 4 The Snow Is Dancing Album fur die Jugend: XXVII Canonisches Liedchen Jesus bleibet meine Freude / Jesu - joy of man's desiring / Jesus que ma joie demeure - BWV 147 Nocturne no 21 in C minor - op posth Album fur die Jugend Op 68 - Part 2 - Fur Erwachsenere : 30 13 Preludes - op 32 no 6 in F minor Variations in B Flat on 'La ci darem' - Op2 : Variation V Debussy: Preludes - Book 1 - L 117 - 8 La fille aux cheveux de lin Piano Concerto No 1 in E Minor - Op11 : III Rondo Italian Concerto in F Major BWV971: III Presto Debussy: Estampes - L 100 - 3 Jardins sous la pluie BEETHOVEN: PIANO CONCERTO NO 3 IN C MINOR - OP 37: III RONDO Liebestraum - No 3 in A-Flat Major S541 BEETHOVEN: PIANO CONCERTO NO 5 IN E FLAT - OP 73 EMPEROR: RONDO Album fur die Jugend Op 68 - Part 2 - Fur Erwachsenere : 38 Winterszeit I Nun komm - der Heiden Heiland - BWV 61 Chromatische Fantasie & Fuge: I Fantasie - BWV 903