The Russian pianist Grigory Ginsburg is a relatively new discovery for me, but one I’m very glad I made. Born in 1904 in Nizhny Novgorod, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory under the expert (and prolific) teacher Alexander Goldenweiser. He eventually became an assistant and later a professor at the conservatory, producing many important students - including Sergei Dorensky, who, interestingly, taught my teacher - Alexander Shtarkman. Ginsburg is well known for his Liszt recordings, which are fluent, exciting, and quite beautiful. My very favorite performance of his, which I discovered on YouTube, however, is of a Chopin Waltz. It’s wonderfully balanced, beautifully voiced, and quite touching. Here it is:

Also of great interest, as I said before, is his Liszt playing. Here is a performance of a Liszt Étude (La Campanella) captured on video. This performance is exactly as great Liszt playing should be. Incidentally, to the best of my knowledge, these two performances are the only available video footage of Ginsburg at the piano.

AuthorChad R. Bowles
CategoriesGeneral Musings