Sunday, November 20, 2016

Help the resuscitation of a lost genius

Writing a piece about the Golden Age of Pianists for Primephonic, I couldn't resist including one of the most startling, inspiring and terrifying musicians I have yet encountered on record: the Hungarian pianist Ervin Nyiregyházi. You may not have heard of him, but maybe it's time you did. All you can expect of him is the unexpected.

Kevin Bazzana's biography reveals the life of a man who lurched between genius and mental breakdown, from wild success to sleeping rough in the subway, from wife to wife - ten of them (eat your heart out, Henry VIII) - yet who was never anything less than his own true self.

The cover to be. Photo: Yoshimasa Hating
Tomoyuki Sawado of Sonnetto Classics is having a Kickstarter to raise funds to release Nyiregyházi's comeback recital of 1972 on CD. Please have a listen and consider contributing. He has 9 days left to raise the remaining 49 per cent. More details at the Kickstarter page here.

My Primephonic article explores what exactly the magic of those so-called Golden Age artists was about. It's not a comprehensive survey or a Top 300 list or similar, and is designed for general music lovers as well as serious pianophiles. I chose a selection of pianists from different places, with contrasting personalities and life stories, and wondered what brings them together under the same umbrella. It's a personal choice and assessment. There are probably 50 more who could have been included, yet the article is already double its intended length.

Anyway, hope you enjoy it. And do take a look at that Kickstarter.