Julius Katchen

Biography

Born: August 15, 1926; Long Beach, NJ   Died: May 29, 1969; Paris, France  
A child prodigy of startling promise, Julius Katchen matured into a solo and chamber music pianist of broad interests and probing artistry. His death from cancer at age 42 denied a discerning public the presence of a pianist especially well-equipped to penetrate to the center-most meanings of those works he favored.

Born to a musical family, Katchen was instructed in the musical arts from his earliest years. His grandmother, formerly a
Read more faculty member at the Warsaw Conservatory, was his first piano instructor, while his grandfather taught him theory (his mother, a pianist, had trained at the Fontainebleau School of Music and had made concert appearances in both Europe and America). In 1937, Katchen presented himself to Eugene Ormandy and requested that he be permitted to play for him. Ormandy was sufficiently impressed to engage the lad for an appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The October 21, 1937, concert found Katchen performing Mozart's Concerto in D minor to high praise. Following this glowing reception, the 11-year-old pianist was invited to perform at a pension fund concert with the New York Philharmonic the following month. Critic Lawrence Gilman was moved to recall the debut of Josef Hofmann as a prodigy a half century before. "His fingers are fleet, his conceptions clear and intelligent," wrote Gilman of Katchen. "He has a musicianly feeling for the contour and flow and rhythm of a phrase and a sense of what is meant by Mozartean style." A New York recital a year later brought even more enthusiastic praise for the youth's musical understanding.

Before his career advanced, however, Katchen's parents chose to place a hold on further public appearances and enroll him instead at Haverford College, where he majored in philosophy and English literature. His break, Katchen often insisted, developed in him the intellectual curiosity that fed his interest in the more mentally challenging works in the repertory.

A fellowship extended by the French government permitted Katchen to travel to Paris in 1946; that cosmopolitan city became his home for the remainder of his life and he lost no time in making himself a formidable presence there and in the rest of Europe, respected for his commanding interpretive thoughtfulness and virtuoso technique. He undertook several highly successful tours of the Continent, winning acclaim in each center he visited. Decca Records signed him to an exclusive contract and he began recording a bracing cross-section of the repertory with Brahms always at the core. He presented concert performances of Brahms' complete solo piano works in New York, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Berlin and was heard with major orchestras in the two piano concertos. In addition to solo appearances, Katchen often took part in chamber music performances, again concentrating on Brahms, but certainly not neglecting other aspects of an extensive personal repertory. Ned Rorem and Benjamin Britten were just two contemporary composers to benefit from Katchen's advocacy. To say, as some have, that Katchen never achieved the success in America that was his in Europe fails to account for the far greater portion of his mature years that were spent on the Continent where other cultural stimulations prompted his most involved and productive work. Katchen was also acutely aware of the need to extend the exposure of classical music well beyond its existing ranks -- on December 11, 1968, he was one of! a large group of musicians, all but one of them from the rock and blues fields, to perform as part of the Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus, and a segment that was introduced by Brian Jones, no less; alas, due to production and post-production problems, no one got to see any part of Katchen's performance until over three decades later; the pianist himself, terminally ill with cancer, didn't live another six months after this extraordinary event. His tragic death was keenly felt on both sides of the Atlantic. Read less

Biography

Born: August 15, 1926; Long Beach, NJ   Died: May 29, 1969; Paris, France  
A child prodigy of startling promise, Julius Katchen matured into a solo and chamber music pianist of broad interests and probing artistry. His death from cancer at age 42 denied a discerning public the presence of a pianist especially well-equipped to penetrate to the center-most meanings of those works he favored.

Born to a musical family, Katchen was instructed in the musical arts from his earliest years. His grandmother, formerly a
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Maestoso
II. Adagio
III. Rondo: Allegro non troppo
Brahms: 4 Ballades, Op.10 - No.1 in D minor
Brahms: 4 Ballades, Op.10 - No.2 in D
Brahms: 4 Ballades, Op.10 - No.3 in B minor
Brahms: 4 Ballades, Op.10 - No.4 in B
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in G, Op.78 - 1. Vivace ma non troppo
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in G, Op.78 - 2. Adagio
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in G, Op.78 - 3. Allegro molto moderato
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.100 - 1. Allegro amabile
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.100 - 2. Andante tranquillo - Vivace - Andante - Vivace di piů - Andante vivace
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.100 - 3. Allegretto grazioso (Quasi andante)
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 in D minor, Op.108 - 1. Allegro
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 in D minor, Op.108 - 2. Adagio
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 in D minor, Op.108 - 3. Un poco presto e con sentimento
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 in D minor, Op.108 - 4. Presto agitato
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op.15 - 1. Allegro con brio
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op.15 - 2. Largo
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.1 in C major, Op.15 - 3. Rondo (Allegro scherzando)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19 - 1. Allegro con brio
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19 - 2. Adagio
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19 - 3. Rondo (Molto allegro)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 - 1. Allegro con brio
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 - 2. Largo
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 - 3. Rondo (Allegro)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -"Emperor" - 1. Allegro
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -"Emperor" - 2. Adagio un poco mosso
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -"Emperor" - 3. Rondo (Allegro)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4 in G, Op.58 - 1. Allegro moderato
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4 in G, Op.58 - 2. Andante con moto
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4 in G, Op.58 - 3. Rondo (Vivace)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Tema (Vivace)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation I (Alla marcia maestoso)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation II (Poco allegro)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation III (L'istesso tempo)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation IV (Un poco piů vivace)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation V (Allegro vivace)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation VI (Allegro ma non troppo e serioso)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation VII (Un poco piů allegro)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation VIII (Poco vivace)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation IX (Allegro pesante e risoluto)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation X (Presto)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XI (Allegretto)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XII (Un poco piů moto)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XIII (Vivace)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XIV (Grave e maestoso)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XV (Presto scherzando)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XVI (Allegro)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XVII
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XVIII (Poco moderato)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XIX (Presto)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XX (Andante)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXI (Allegro con brio - Meno allegro - Tempo I)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXII (Allegro molto): Alla "Notte e giorno faticar" di Mozart
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXIII (Allegro assai)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXIV: Fughetta (Andante)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXV (Allegro)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXVI
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXVII (Vivace)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXVIII (Allegro)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXIX (Adagio ma non troppo)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXX (Andante, sempre cantabile)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXXI (Largo, molto espressivo)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXXII: Fuga (Allegro - Poco adagio)
Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli - Variation XXXIII (Tempo di minuetto moderato, ma non tirarsi dietro)
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op.111 - 1. Maestoso - Allegro con brio ed appassionato
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op.111 - 2. Arietta (Adagio molto semplice e cantabile)
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Theme
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation I - Recitative
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation II - Romance
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation III - March
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation IV - Arabesque
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation V - Chant
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation VI - Nocturne
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation VII - Badinerie
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation VIII - Burlesque
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation IXa -Toccata I
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation IXb - Toccata II
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation X - Adagio
Britten: Diversions for piano (left hand) & orchestra, Op.21 - Variation XI - Tarantella
1. Allegro maestoso - Tempo giusto
2a. Quasi adagio
3. Allegretto vivace
4. Allegro marziale animato
1. Adagio sostenuto assai - Allegro agitato assai
2. Allegro moderato
3. Allegro deciso - Marziale un poco meno allegro
4. Allegro animato
1. Evocatión
2. El Corpus en Sevilla
3. Triana
4. El Puerto
5. El Albaicín
Stravinsky: The Shrovetide Fair
Stravinsky: In Petrushka's Room
Stravinsky: In the Moor's Room
Stravinsky: The Shrovetide Fair (evening)
1. Allegro
2. Adagio
3. Allegro agitato
1. Allegro maestoso - Tempo giusto
2a. Quasi adagio
3. Allegretto vivace
4. Allegro marziale animato
1. Adagio sostenuto assai - Allegro agitato assai
2. Allegro moderato
3. Allegro deciso - Marziale un poco meno allegro
4. Allegro animato
1. Allegro molto moderato
2. Adagio
3. Allegro moderato molto e marcato - Quasi presto - Andante maestoso
Promenade - Gnomus
Promenade - The Old Castle
Promenade - The Tuileries - Bydlo
Promenade - Ballet of Unhatched chicks - 2 Polish Jews
Promenade - The Market Place at Limoges - The Catacombs
The Hut on Fowls Legs - The Great Gate of Kiev
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15 - 1. Maestoso - Poco piů moderato
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15 - 2. Adagio
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15 - 3. Rondo (Allegro non troppo)
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54 - 1. Allegro affettuoso
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54 - 2. Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso)
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54 - 3. Allegro vivace
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83 - 1. Allegro non troppo
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83 - 2. Allegro appassionato
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83 - 3. Andante - Piů adagio
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83 - 4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco piů presto
Schumann: Fantasie in C, Op.17 - 1. Durchaus fantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen - Im Legenden-Ton
Schumann: Fantasie in C, Op.17 - 2. Mäßig. Durchaus energisch - Etwas langsamer - Vielbewegter
Schumann: Fantasie in C, Op.17 - 3. Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten - Etwas bewegter
1. Allegro maestoso - Tempo giusto
2a. Quasi adagio
3. Allegretto vivace
4. Allegro marziale animato
1. Adagio sostenuto assai - Allegro agitato assai
2. Allegro moderato
3. Allegro deciso - Marziale un poco meno allegro
4. Allegro animato
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in G, Op.78 - 1. Vivace ma non troppo
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in G, Op.78 - 2. Adagio
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in G, Op.78 - 3. Allegro molto moderato
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.100 - 1. Allegro amabile
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.100 - 2. Andante tranquillo - Vivace - Andante - Vivace di piů - Andante vivace
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 in A, Op.100 - 3. Allegretto grazioso (Quasi andante)
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 in D minor, Op.108 - 1. Allegro
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 in D minor, Op.108 - 2. Adagio
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 in D minor, Op.108 - 3. Un poco presto e con sentimento
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 in D minor, Op.108 - 4. Presto agitato
Brahms: Piano Trio No.1 in B, Op.8 - 1. Allegro con brio
Brahms: Piano Trio No.1 in B, Op.8 - 2. Scherzo (Allegro molto)
Brahms: Piano Trio No.1 in B, Op.8 - 3. Adagio
Brahms: Piano Trio No.1 in B, Op.8 - 4. Allegro
Brahms: Piano Trio No.2 in C, Op.87 - 1. Allegro
Brahms: Piano Trio No.2 in C, Op.87 - 2. Andante con moto
Brahms: Piano Trio No.2 in C, Op.87 - 3. Scherzo (Presto)
Brahms: Piano Trio No.2 in C, Op.87 - 4. Finale (Allegro giocoso)


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