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From Mozart’s fabulous legato that “flowed like oil” to Beethoven’s oceanlike surge, from Clara Schumann’s touch “sharp as a pencil sketch” to Rubinstein’s volcanic and sensual playing, The Great Pianists brings to life the brilliant, stylish, and sometimes eccentric personalities, methods, and technical peculiarities of history’s greatest pianists.
Pulitzer Prize–winning critic and author Harold C. Schonberg presents vivid accounts of the artists’ performances, styles, and even their personal lives and quirky characteristics— such as Mozart’s intense competition with Clementi, Lizst’s magnetic effect on women (when he played, ladies flung their jewels on stage), and Gottschalk’s persistent nailbiting, which left the keys covered with blood.
Including profiles of Horowitz and Van Cliburn, among others, and chapters detailing the playing and careers of such modern pianists as de Larrocha, Ashkenazy, Gilels, Gould, Brendel, Bolet, Gutierrez, and Watts, The Great Pianists is a comprehensive and fascinating look at legendary performers past and present.
About the Author
Harold Charles Schonberg was a music critic and author. He is best known for his contributions in The New York Times.