Received today my copy of the last Hofmann volume from Marston.
Haven’t listened to it yet but, in general, the contents are not remarkable and to an extent “filler” for other material they were not able to find/include.
The Block 1895-96 cylinders were released before; 4 Brunswick and Columbia alt takes; a better-sound-source 1936 Cadillac Hour, and the Bell 1945 Emperor last movement.
The musical portion of f the 2-CD set comprises roughly 75% of the first disc, the rest are interviews about Hofmann; all of the second disc are also interviews. While for me it’ll be interesting to hear what Charles Rosen, Ganz, Bolet, and Gould have to say about Hofmann, clearly they really had to stretch at Marston to make up the last volume.
Ward also included a list of broadcasts still not found yet—including a 1936 Buenos Aires recital lost broadcast which, for me, is of huge interest given he didn’t record any of the repertoire commercially nor does the program duplicate the pieces he often did in the broadcasts that have survived.
I thought the whole reason we had to wait so long for this volume was in the hope that broadcast would turn up.
The fact that it hasn’t leads me to believe it probably never will.
As such, this set is just for completists, which I was at one point (bought both versions of volume 1) but am not anymore.
Isn’t the only info they have on that Argentinian broadcast the fact that Hofmann heard it himself th next day?
IIRC, Gregor Benko mentioned he went looking for this broadcast in South America but nothing turned up.
That BA recital would have been awesome—notes indicate:
Bach/D’Albert-P and F in DM
Beethoven PS op 110
plus 8 encores.
In addition to the story of Hofmann hearing the recital the next day on the local BA radio station, that around 1972 IPA et al planned an “expedition” to BA (including offer of a reward for the acetates) but that “the venture had to be cancelled because of unsettled political conditions in Argentina.” From this, I infer that no other/material pursuit has been undertaken in the intervening 40 years.
The general conclusion seems to be that the acetates had “vanished during the era of Juan Peron”.
Would have been a very material addition to the JH recordings—while the program would have been unduplicated, presumably the encores would have included things like Capriccio Espagnol or the Ruins March, etc.
Per previous post, here are the scans of the latest Marston Hofmann (vol 9):
There are a couple new items (alt takes) and some improvements in sound of some items previously issued. Of the 2 discs, one and a portion of the other are comprised of interviews–somewhat interesting but for those looking for a 2-CD all music, there might be some disappointment.
For completists, the above won’t matter. For others who are looking for a broader Hofmann experience, there are the earlier volumes.
Out of respect Marston’s work and support for his commercial sales, I will not be posting the audio files of the release.
he had a remarkably light finger technique, master of the non-legato touch, and many interesting percussive effects.
Maybe da ultimate PROK pianist who harshly never played any prom (except for a random March dat he recorded)
I really appreciate his pianism - the earlier recordings especially, some absolutely stunning and ultra-modern things.
He sounds like Yuja Wang on those, which is quite a feat for 1916
His live recs are past his prime, the decline came after 1935 tru.
His decline was due to booze and lack of interest.
After his youth, he doesn’t seem to have been laser focused like Richter for example, who dedicated his whole life to piano even though he had enough all round talent to pursue any number of paths.