Reportedly, the well-known German pianist Carl (Karl) Friedberg was born in 1872. The incredible pianist had, in his youth, played an all-Brahms recital, unaware that the composer was in the audience. He was given the opportunity (after some initial resistance) to be coached by the composer in how he wished his works to be played.
Mark Ainley, another pianist and composer from Germany, recognised his encounter with some of Friedberg’s readings and shared his experience.
While recounting the details of this encounter and sharing several of the artist’s recordings of works by several composers – plus audio of him teaching Bruce Hungerford about some works by Brahms – in a tribute, Mark Ainley also posted on his official website on Pianist Friedberg’s 150th Birthday last year.
Pianist Mark Aniley has made public today another well-worth recording hearing: a recording said to be from WNYC Radio in the late 1930s of the Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor Op.34 that is attributed to Friedberg with the Perolé Quartet, an ensemble that consisted of Joseph Coleman, Max Hollander (father of pianist Lorin), Lillian Fuchs (sister of violinist Joseph), and Ernst Silverstein.
Because there is no spoken radio announcement on the only existing copy of this broadcast, there has been no way to fully confirm the identity of the artists: the source is an open reel tape containing a dub from the original acetates, which offers no further information, and it has not been possible to find more details about the broadcast.
While there is nothing that causes actual doubt that this recording features Friedberg with the Perolé Quartet, there has been no means to confirm that this is the case.
As a result, although this recording was published in the IPAM (International Piano Archives at Maryland) 2-LP set The Art of Carl Friedberg, it was not included in Ward Marston’s later set devoted to the artist.
Further, Pianist Mark also shared that It is certainly a superb performance, the pianism very consistent with what we hear in Friedberg’s other live and studio recordings.
With sumptuous tonal colours, remarkable voicing, and marvellous rhythm and timing, the pianist and his colleagues play incredibly cohesively in a genuinely superb reading of this masterpiece.
He added that Friedberg has become increasingly enamoured by his playing in recent years, and there is much to enjoy about his supreme artistry.