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Myra Hess: The Complete Solo and Concerto Studio Recordings [5 CDs]

Notes & Reviews:

Dame Myra Hess was undoubtedly the most important of Matthay's pupils. She became a household name on both sides of the Atlantic. In her youth, she played a wide repertoire including much contemporary music, but in her later years she became best known for her playing of the great classics of the Germanic repertoire, particularly Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Schumann. During World War II, she established the National Gallery Concerts which became central to London's cultural life. This set contains, for the first time, all the studio recordings she made from her first visit to the studio in 1928 to her final LP in 1957. Though Hess professed to hate recording (much preferring to play live), she did set down many wonderful performances, none greater than those of Beethoven's late sonatas Op.109 and Op.110 - truly classics of the gramophone.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
Myra Hess was essentially a lyric artist, a "poet", to use the language of her day. She is wonderful in small-scale works - Bach and Scarlatti, Mozart and Schubert. She was gloriously feminine in her artistic character. She remained admirable as "Dame Myra"; one can hardly hear the 1957 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' without tearing up. It was her signature work, and she began her recording career with it three decades earlier. APR has found clean originals and applied skillful restoration, notably in the Mozart Piano Concerto 21 made with Leslie Heward in 1942.



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