Wilhelm Backhaus

Biography

Born: March 26, 1884; Leipzig, Germany   Died: July 5, 1969; Villach, Austria  
Wilhelm Backhaus was born in Leipzig, Germany, on March 26, 1884. He made a concert debut there at the age of eight, and studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Reckendorf. In 1899 he left Leipzig to study with Eugène d'Albert in Frankfurt am Main. He made a major debut tour in 1900 and quickly gained a fine reputation as a player and as a teacher. His American debut was on January 5, 1912, in New York, playing the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 Read more with Walter Damrosch and the New York Symphony Orchestra. In 1930 he moved to Lugano and acquired Swiss citizenship. Backhaus established a teaching career there and continued to make concert tours throughout his long life. His last U.S. appearance was in New York in 1962, at age 78; reviews judged that his powers were undiminished. He died on July 5, 1969, in Villach, Austria, where he had gone to make a concert appearance.

Especially during the later phase of his career, he had a remarkably high reputation as a pianist whose devotion to the composer's intentions was total and unselfish. His performances were in the classic line of those that strove to present the music in one broadly viewed arc of concept and logic, embracing not just single movements but entire works. His recorded output ranges from Mozart through the main Classical and Romantic repertoire. It is not surprising that his work was particularly excellent when he encountered those composers who built large-scale, logically constructed classical works, such as Beethoven and Brahms; in reference to his recordings of such works, terms like "magisterial," "exemplary," and "direct" have often been employed by reviewers. Late in his life he came to be regarded as a Beethoven specialist, and he recorded virtually the entire corpus of keyboard works of that master, as well as extensive groups of Brahms and Mozart, and works by Schumann, Grieg, Chopin, and Liszt, including concertos and solo works. He also made some chamber music recordings, notably of Brahms' cello sonatas with Pierre Fournier, and a notable account of the Schubert "Trout" Quintet. Read less

There are 53 Wilhelm Backhaus recordings available.

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Biography

Born: March 26, 1884; Leipzig, Germany   Died: July 5, 1969; Villach, Austria  
Wilhelm Backhaus was born in Leipzig, Germany, on March 26, 1884. He made a concert debut there at the age of eight, and studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Reckendorf. In 1899 he left Leipzig to study with Eugène d'Albert in Frankfurt am Main. He made a major debut tour in 1900 and quickly gained a fine reputation as a player and as a teacher. His American debut was on January 5, 1912, in New York, playing the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Allegro
II. Allegretto
III. Finale: Presto
I. Allegro
II. Scherzo: Assai vivace - Presto - Tempo I
III. Adagio sostenuto, appassionato e con molto sentimento
IV. Largo - V. Allegro risoluto
I. Maestoso
II. Adagio
III. Rondo: Allegro non troppo
II. Adagio
II. Adagio
III. Presto
III. Presto
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
I. Allegro
II. Scherzo: Allegretto vivace
III. Menuetto: Moderato e grazioso - Trio
IV. Presto con fuoco
I. Allegro con brio
II. Introduzione: Adagio molto
III. Rondo: Allegretto moderato - Prestissimo -
I. Vivace ma non troppo
II. Prestissimo
III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung: Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo
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 - Più adagio
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83 - 4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Allegro appassionato
III. Andante
IV. Allegretto grazioso
I. Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen - Im Legendenton - Erstes tempo
II. Massig
III. Langsam getragen
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Allegro appassionato
3. Andante - Più adagio
4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Allegro appasionata
III. Andante
IV. Allegro grazioso
In modo fantastico - Alla legenda: Tempo primo
Moderato: Sempre energico
Andante Sostenuto
Book 1: Theme - Variations 1-8
Book 1: Variations 9-13
Book 1: Variation 14 - Book 2: Variations 1-8
Book 2: Variation 9
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Allegro appassionato
3. Andante - Più adagio
4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto
1. Allegro
2. Larghetto
3. Allegro


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