Marston-New Hofmann (v9)

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.

Still, for completists…

Oh wow…

Any chance of posting a scan of the linear notes?
I wonder what other broadcasts he did in the late 30’s.

Volume 9 was announced actually because Marston felt that at least one more broadcast would surely surface…

Maybe in another 10 years? :blush:

On the other hand, compared to Friedman, Hofmann was very well documented

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.

In ten years Marston better have moved to digital downloads or I’ll never be able to buy another thing from him. :stop:

Well, the reissue of the first volume was a pretty huge improvement in sound quality…

The holy grail would have been the 1936 Buenos Aires recital, oh well…
We do have some Live Hofmann 1936-1938 where he was still in good shape.

I was hoping that there would possibly be that rejected take of the HR12 from 1918. Alas, no test pressings

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.

Yeah, Hofmann mentioned hearing it in a letter.

The radio station probably threw it out in a few years

That BA recital would have been awesome—notes indicate:

Bach/D’Albert-P and F in DM
Beethoven PS op 110
Chopin PS2
Liszt- HR#12
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.

Plus the fabled Godowsky Fledermaus…
Yeah, radio stations routinely threw out acetates, this probably won’t surface…

That program from Buenos Aires is something awesome.

After reading a comment by Cherkassky, I think that there is another Holy Grail from Hofmann: the Wagner-Liszt Tannhauser Overture.

Luckily he recorded that on rolls, we can hear all the simplifications which allow him to play it basically DOUBLE speed. Hence, rezpek

I did not know that, in general I am not fond of piano roll recordings. I wonder how it could sound on a “true” piano, if he recorded it in the same period as the Golden Jubilee recital…

if it sounded anything like diz live, DAYUM

I love the simplification towards da end, randomly diz sounds better and more secure den struggling to play da broken octaves and…sl*wing down 8)

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.

Many thanks Ron,

Imho the most interesting here would be to see the linear notes which you’ve posted.

And tru, don’t post the flacs, we need companies like marston to make ends meet, they’re not making a profit anyway

To be honest I don’t think it matters, the people who are interested would’ve bought it.
Given the contents, I’m comfortable in my decision to cancel my preorder from 10 years ago.

most of his playing isn’t my cup of tea anymore, to be honest.

His studio recs are always worth listening to for the incredible tech.
I still love all his stuff actually, just wish there was more of it.

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 8)

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.