Moritz Moszkowski

Biography

Born: August 23, 1854; Breslau, Germany   Died: March 4, 1925; Paris, France  
The Jewish pianist Moritz Moszkowski was German-born, but always claimed Polish nationality. A child prodigy, Moszkowski entered the Dresden conservatory at age 11, and from there moved on to Berlin where he studied piano with Eduard Frank and Theodore Kullak and composition with Friedrich Kiel. Kullak was so impressed by Moszkowski that he made the latter an instructor at the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst; Moszkowski was then only 17 years of age, Read more and he remained in this position until 1896. In 1873, Moszkowski made his debut appearance in Berlin and swiftly rose through ranks to recognition as one of the top piano virtuosi in Europe. In 1875, Moszkowski premiered his First Piano Concerto; soon after the premiere, Franz Liszt joined performed a two-piano version with him.

By the mid-1880s, Moszkowski was suffering from nerves and began to curtail his recital activity in favor of composing, conducting and teaching. His many published compositions proved very popular in the era of salon pianism, and netted the composer a handsome income. These included the Serenata Op. 15/1, Concert Studies Op. 24, Caprice Espagnol Op. 37, Etincelles Op. 36/6 and Guitarre Op. 45/2. Moszkowski's music for piano duet was especially popular, in particular the Spanish Dances Opp. 12, 21, and 65. Early in his career Moszkowski had some success with orchestral music as well, but these pieces remained largely unpublished and most are now lost.

Among Moszkowski's honors were membership in the Berlin Academy of Art, and an honorary lifetime membership in the Philharmonic Society in Britain, where he often appeared as conductor. Upon leaving the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst, Moszkowski re-settled in Paris with his wife, the sister of the composer Cecile Chaminade. In 1910 Moszkowski's wife left him for his best friend, taking their daughter with her; he never truly recovered from this personal tragedy.

In the early years of the twentieth century Moszkowski proved unable to adapt to changing musical styles, and sales of his works quickly declined. Having lost his considerable fortune during the tumult of the First World War, Moszkowski was living in poverty by the early 1920s. On December 21, 1921 a group of concerned colleagues arranged a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall on his behalf; among the 14 pianists who played the event were Percy Grainger, Harold Bauer, Wilhelm Bachaus, Leo Ornstein, and Ignaz Freidman. The conductor of this "monster concert" was Walter Damrosch, who remembered that this event as the most difficult assignment of his career. Nonetheless, the concert generated $10,000; however Moszkowski was unable to access this windfall of cash until mere weeks before his death in Paris at age 70. Despite living up to the very eve of electrical recording, Moszkowski is not known to have left behind any records or piano rolls of his own playing. Read less

There are 164 Moritz Moszkowski recordings available.

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Works

Moritz Moszkowski


MOST POPULAR WORKS
WORKS
I. Allegro moderato
II. Vivace assai
III. Con moto
IV. Moderato e grazioso
No. 1. Russian
No. 3. German
No. 4. Spanish
No. 5. Polish
No. 2. Italian
No. 6. Hungarian
I. Moderato
II. Andante
III. Scherzo: Vivace
IV. Allegro deciso
No. 1. Moderato
No. 2. Allegretto con moto
No. 3. Moderato e grazioso
No. 4. Allegro animato
No. 5. Allegro con brio
I. Molto allegro e con fuoco
II. Presto
III. Andante
IV. Allegro moderato e grazioso
V. Allegro con spirito
VI. Mesto
VII. Tempo di valse
No. 1. Kinder Marsch: Allegro
No. 2. Humoreske: Allegretto
No. 3. Tarantelle: Allegro molto
No. 4. Spinnerlied: Vivo
I. Prologue: Allegro brioso
II. Moment musical: Molto moderato
III. Melodie: Allegro moderato
IV. Air de Ballet: Andante con moto
V. Arabesque: Allegretto animato
VI. Berceuse: Andante
VII. Valse: Tempo moderato
VIII. Tarantelle: Molto vivace
No. 1. Cortege: Allegro ma non troppo
No. 2. Gavotte: Moderato
No. 1. Mazurka: Allegro
No. 2. Mazurka: Allegro un poco moderato
No. 3. Polonaise: Allegretto con moto
No. 4. Krakowiak: Allegro con spirito
No. 1. Allegro brioso
No. 2. Moderato
No. 3. Con moto
No. 4. Allegro comodo
No. 5. Bolero: Con spirito
No. 1. Allegro ma non troppo
No. 2. Andante con moto
No. 3. Habanera: Allegretto
No. 1. Polonaise: Brioso ed energico
No. 2. Walzer: Allegretto grazioso
No. 3. Ungarischer Tanz: Allegro con fuoco
I. Allegro energico
II. Allegro moderato
III. Lento assai
IV. Molto vivace
No. 1. Allegro moderato
No. 2. Pesante e lugubre
No. 3. Allegro grazioso
No. 4. Vivace assai
No. 5. Pomposo ed energico, ma non troppo allegro


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