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Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
León (February 6, 1903 – June 9, 1991) was a Chilean pianist known for his interpretations of a vast repertoire spanning the baroque to 20th-century composers, especially Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt
Liszt
and Brahms. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.[1] Arrau was a pupil of Martin Krause, who was a student of Franz Liszt.

Contents

1 Life 2 Tone and approach to music 3 Contributions 4 Critics 5 Quotes 6 Awards and recognitions 7 Album prizes 8 References 9 External links

Life[edit] Arrau was born in Chillán, Chile, the son of Carlos Arrau, an ophthalmologist who died when Claudio was only a year old, and Lucrecia León Bravo de Villalba, a piano teacher. He belonged to an old, prominent family of Southern Chile. His ancestor Lorenzo de Arrau, a Spanish engineer, was sent to Chile
Chile
by King Carlos III of Spain. Through his great-grandmother, María del Carmen Daroch del Solar, Arrau was a descendant of the Campbells of Glenorchy, a Scottish noble family.[2] Arrau was raised as a Catholic, but gave it up in his late teens.[3]

Claudio Arrau, 1929

Arrau was a child prodigy and he could read music before he could read words, but unlike many virtuosos, there had never been a professional musician in his family. His mother was an amateur pianist and introduced him to the instrument. At the age of 4 he was reading Beethoven
Beethoven
sonatas, and he gave his first concert a year later.[4] When Arrau was 6 he auditioned in front of several congressmen and President Pedro Montt, who was so impressed that he began arrangements for Arrau's future education. At age 8 Arrau was sent on a ten-year-long grant from the Chilean government to study in Germany, travelling with his mother and sister Lucrecia. He was admitted to the Stern Conservatory
Stern Conservatory
of Berlin where he eventually became a pupil of Martin Krause, who had studied under Franz Liszt. At the age of 11 Arrau could play Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, one of the most difficult works for piano, as well as Brahms's Paganini Variations. Arrau's first recordings were made on Aeolian Duo-Art player piano music rolls. Krause died in his fifth year of teaching Arrau, leaving the 15-year-old student devastated by the loss of his mentor; Arrau did not continue formal study after that point.[4] In 1935, Arrau gave a celebrated rendition of the entire keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach
over 12 recitals. In 1936, Arrau gave a complete Mozart
Mozart
keyboard works over 5 recitals, and followed with the complete Schubert and Weber cycles. In 1938, for the first time, Arrau gave the complete Beethoven
Beethoven
piano sonatas and concertos in Mexico City. Arrau repeated this several times in his lifetime, including in New York and London. He became one of the leading authorities on Beethoven
Beethoven
in the 20th century.[4][1] In 1929, Arrau married lyric soprano Erika Burkewitch (1909-1997), a Latvian national. They had one child: Klaudio (1929-1949). In 1935 they separated. In 1937, Arrau married mezzo-soprano Ruth Schneider (1908–1989), a German national. They had three children: Carmen (1938–2006), Mario (1940–1988) and Christopher (1959). In 1941 the Arrau family emigrated from Germany
Germany
to the United States, eventually settling in Douglaston, Queens, New York, where Arrau spent his remaining years. He became a dual U.S.-Chilean citizen in 1979.[5] Arrau died on June 9, 1991, at the age of 88, in Mürzzuschlag, Austria, from complications of emergency surgery performed on June 8 to correct an intestinal blockage.[6] His remains were interred in his native city of Chillán, Chile. Tone and approach to music[edit] Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim
said that Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
had a particular sound with two aspects: first a thickness, full-bodied and orchestral, and second an utterly disembodied timbre, quite spellbinding.[7] Sir Colin Davis said: "His sound is amazing, and it is entirely his own... no one else has it exactly that way. His devotion to Liszt
Liszt
is extraordinary. He ennobles that music in a way no one else in the world can."[7] According to American critic Harold C. Schonberg, Arrau always put "a decidedly romantic piano tone in his interpretations".[8] Arrau was an intellectual and a deeply reflective interpreter. He read widely while travelling, and he learned English, Italian, German, and French in addition to his native Spanish. He became familiar with Jung's psychology in his twenties.[9] Arrau's attitude toward music was very serious. He preached fidelity to the score, but also the use of imagination. Although he often played with slower and more deliberate tempi from his middle age onward, he had a reputation as a fabulous virtuoso earlier in his career, a reputation supported by recordings he made at this time, such as Balakirev's Islamey
Islamey
and Liszt's Paganini études. However, even late in his career, he often tended to play with less restraint in live concerts than in studio recordings. Arrau was a man of remarkable fortitude; even towards the end of his life he invariably programmed very large, demanding concerts, including works such as Beethoven's Emperor Concerto and Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1.[1] Contributions[edit] Numerous pianists studied with Arrau, including Karlrobert Kreiten, Garrick Ohlsson, fr:Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri, Roberto Szidon, Stephen Drury and Roberto Eyzaguirre among others. He was a frequent recital performer: from age 40 to 60 he averaged 120 concerts a season, with a very large repertoire. At one time or another, he performed the complete keyboard works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven
Beethoven
and Chopin; but also programmed such off-the-beaten-path composers as Alkan and Busoni
Busoni
and illuminated obscure corners of the Liszt
Liszt
repertoire. It has been estimated that Arrau's total repertoire would carry him through 76 recital evenings, not counting the 60-odd works with orchestra which he also knew.[4] Arrau recorded a considerable part of the piano music of Schumann, Chopin
Chopin
and Liszt. He edited the complete Beethoven
Beethoven
piano sonatas for the Peters Urtext edition and recorded all of them on the Philips label in 1962–1966. He recorded almost all of them once again after 1984 along with Mozart's complete piano sonatas. He is also famous for his recordings of Schubert, Brahms and Debussy. Notable recordings:

Bach: Goldberg Variations (recorded in 1942), partitas 1,2,3 and 5 (recorded in 1991) Beethoven: complete piano concertos (he recorded them three times) and piano sonatas Brahms: complete piano concertos, piano sonatas 2 and 3 Chopin: complete Études, nocturnes, preludes and piano concertos Debussy: complete preludes & images, Suite Bergamasque Liszt: piano sonata in B minor, complete Transcendental Études Mozart: complete piano sonatas Schoenberg: piano pieces, Op. 11 Schubert: late piano sonatas, Impromptus, Klavierstücke, D. 946 Schumann: piano sonata in #F minor, Carnaval, Fantasia in C major, piano concerto in A minor (he recorded it four times) Weber: piano sonata in C major, Konzertstück, Op. 79

At the time of his death at age 88 in the midst of a European concert tour, Arrau was working on a recording of the complete works of Bach for keyboard, and was also preparing some pieces of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Reger and Busoni, and Boulez's third piano sonata. The Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Society established the Arrau Medal in 1991. It has been awarded to András Schiff, Martha Argerich
Martha Argerich
and Murray Perahia. Critics[edit]

Olin Downes, reviewing a recital of Mozart, Schumann, Ravel and Debussy works in The New York Times, described Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
as "a pianist of most exceptional equipment, imagination and unfailing taste."[1] In 1963, according to various critics, he was a man with "no equal at the present time in point of technical stature and depth of musical imagination," "the No. 1 pianist of our time," a "pianistic titan," a "lion of the piano," or, if you like, a "neo- Liszt
Liszt
from the Tropic of Capricorn".[4] "Is it not Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
who is the most musical and deeply serious piano phenomenon of our time?" – Karl Schumann, Germany's leading music critic, in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on June 2, 1986.[10] According to Joseph Horowitz
Joseph Horowitz
in his book Conversations With Arrau (1982)[page needed], some critics felt that Arrau's overall approach became less spontaneous and more reserved and introspective after the death of his mother in 1959, to whom he was extremely close. Arrau isolated himself for two weeks after his mother's death, refusing to perform or to receive comfort from friends. John von Rhein wrote in 1991 in the Chicago Tribune: "He was among the least flamboyant of pianists, avoiding virtuosic display as rigorously as some pianists seek it out; yet there was never any doubt of his virtuoso technique. He commanded a rich sonority, each chord superbly weighted, the fingerwork a model of finely chiseled clarity, the shape of each phrase deeply considered. Sometimes Mr. Arrau`s penchant for slow tempos and emphasis on inner detail could seem fussy, depriving his performances of spontaneity and momentum. At his considerable best, however, he was among the most deeply satisfying interpreters of Mozart, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt, Chopin
Chopin
and particularly Beethoven, whose works held a position in his repertoire comparable to that of his great colleague, pianist Rudolf Serkin.[11]

Quotes[edit]

"All I wanted was music," Mr. Arrau once said of his early years. "I was even fed at the piano. Otherwise, it seems, I wouldn't eat. I used to play with my mouth open, and my mother put food in it."[1] Describing his work in a 1975 interview, Mr. Arrau said: "I try to play the way a cat jumps. It must be completely natural. I have promised myself that whenever I feel a kind of routine creeping into my playing, I will stop. Now when I play I am almost in ecstasy, a creative ecstasy, which I wouldn't miss for anything. This is what I live for."[1]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

2012: Voted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame[12] 1990: Gold Medal of The Royal Philharmonic Society 1988: La Medalla Teresa Carreño of Venezuela; Honorary Member of The Royal Philharmonic Society 1984: The Highest Distinction Award from the Inter-American Music Council and the Organization of American States; Doctor Honoris Causa of Universidad de Concepción; Professor Honoris Causa of Universidad de Bío-Bío 1983: The International UNESCO Music Prize; National de la Légion d'honneur of France; National Prize of Art of Chile; First Honorary Member of The Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Society; Doctor Honoris Causa of University of Oxford; Commandatore da Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; Knighthood from the Order of Malta; Beethoven
Beethoven
Medal of New York; Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Bowl of Philadelphia 1982: La Orden del Águila Azteca of Mexico 1980: Hans von Bülow Medal of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 1970: Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz
Bundesverdienstkreuz
of the Federal Republic of Germany 1965: Chevalier of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
of France; Presented with 'The Mask of Chopin' & Chopin's manuscripts 1959: Santiago's Honorary Citizen; Concepción's Honorary Citizen and City Gold Medal; Hijo Benemérito de Chillán; Chillán's hitherto Lumaco Street was named after Claudio Arrau 1958: The Medal of The Royal Philharmonic Society 1949: Hijo Predilecto de México; Doctor Honoris Causa of University of Chile 1941: Hijo Ilustre de Chillán 1927: Winner of the Grand Prix of the Concours International des Pianistes Geneva. The jury was composed by Arthur Rubinstein, Joseph Pembauer, Ernest Schelling, Alfred Cortot
Alfred Cortot
and José Vianna da Motta.[13] Cortot exclaimed: "Cela c'est un pianiste. C'est merveilleux" 1925: Honour Prize of the Stern Conservatory, becoming Professor 1919 & 1920: Liszt
Liszt
Prize (after 45 years without a first place winner) 1918: Schulhoff Prize; End of studies at the Stern Conservatory, receiving an "Exceptional Diploma" 1917: Sachsen-Gothaische Medaille 1916: Grant of the Stern Conservatory 1915: First Prize in the Rudolph Ibach Competition (he was the only participating boy) 1915: Gustav Holländer Medal for young artists 1911: Grant of the Chilean Congress
Chilean Congress
for musical studies in Berlin

Album prizes[edit]

Deutscher Schallplattenpreis:

Brahms 2 Piano Concertos with Carlo Maria Giulini and Philharmonia Orchestra [EMI Recorded in 1960 & 1962] Beethoven
Beethoven
5 Piano Concertos with Bernard Haitink and Concertgebouw Orchestra [Philips Recorded in 1964] Schumann Sonate Op.11, Fantasiestücke Op.111 [Philips Recorded in 1967 & 1968] Brahms 2 Piano Concertos with Bernard Haitink and Concertgebouw Orchestra [Philips Recorded in 1969]

Liszt
Liszt
Record Grand Prix:

Liszt
Liszt
Complete Concert Paraphrases on Operas by Verdi [Philips Recorded in 1971] Liszt
Liszt
12 Etudes d'exécution Transcendente [Philips Recorded in 1974 & 1976] Liszt
Liszt
2 Piano Concertos with Sir Colin Davis
Sir Colin Davis
and London Symphony Orchestra [Philips Recorded in 1979]

Diapason d'Or:

Chopin
Chopin
Complete Nocturnes [Philips Recorded in 1977 & 1978] Chopin
Chopin
Complete Etudes [EMI Recorded in 1956, Remastered in 1987]

Grand Prix du Disque:

Chopin
Chopin
Complete Etudes [EMI Recorded in 1956, Remastered in 1987] Schumann Piano Concerto, Carnaval & Beethoven
Beethoven
Sonata Op.111 [EMI Filmed in 1963, 1961 & 1970]

Edison Award:

Liszt
Liszt
Solo Piano Works: Ballade No.2, Jeux d'eaux à la villa d'Este, Vallée d'Obermann…… [Philips Recorded in 1969]

Belgium Caecilia Award:

Schumann Comprehensive Solo Piano Works [Philips Recorded from 1966 to 1976]

Japan Record Academy Award:

Beethoven
Beethoven
5 Piano Concertos with Sir Colin Davis
Sir Colin Davis
and Staatskapelle Dresden [Philips Recorded in 1984 & 1987]

FFFF de Télérama:

Chopin
Chopin
Complete Etudes [EMI Recorded in 1956, Remastered in 1987]

Warsaw Chopin
Chopin
Society's Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin:

Chopin
Chopin
Complete Etudes [EMI Recorded in 1956, Remastered in 1987] References[edit]

^ a b c d e f "Claudio Arrau, Pianist, Is Dead at 88". The New York Times. June 10, 1991.  ^ Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
(Piano) full ancestry to Campbells as well as Hapsburgs given here. Accessed via Internet November 22, 2016 ^ Joseph Horowitz, Arrau on Music and Performance Page 182 "Arrau was raised as a Catholic, but gave it up around the age of fifteen. 'I confessed only once, and thought it was absolutely ridiculous...(I) am not religious in any confessional sense. I think I have some mystical sensations. But I have no image of God as a person.'" ^ a b c d e Thomas F. Johnson (1963). "ARRAU AT 60". Musical America.  ^ "Douglas Manor:Notable residents – Claudio Arrau, Pianist", The Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society, 2016, accessed June 5, 2017 ^ Joseph Horowitz, "Afterword" ^ a b Roma Randles (2013). A Life in Music: Ruth Nye and the Arrau Heritage. Grosvenor House Publishing. p. 1937. ISBN 9781781482001. Retrieved January 21, 2015.  ^ Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists from Mozart
Mozart
to the Present, Simon & Schuster, Second Edition (1987) ^ Horowitz, J. (1999), Arrau on music and performance. Courier Dover Publications. ^ "Claudio Arrau. The gift of constant self-renewal".  ^ John von Rhein (June 10, 1991). "World-renowned Pianist Claudio Arrau". Chicago Tribune.  ^ " Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
(pianist)". Gramophone. Retrieved 11 April 2012.  ^ Sachs, H., & Manildi, D.: Rubinstein: a life, page 379. Grove Press, 1995.

External links[edit]

Media related to Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
at Wikimedia Commons ArrauHouse. Comprehensive website on Claudio Arrau Biographical sketch for Claudio Arrau Remembering Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
on the tenth anniversary of his passing at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived September 23, 2006) from Unitel Decca & Philips' Biography and Discography of Claudio Arrau Marston Records' Biography of Claudio Arrau Biography of Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
from Answers.com Arrau's comprehensive discography (in French) Biography of Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived March 24, 2008) (in Spanish) Biography of Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
(in Spanish) Article of Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
from Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
Online Article of Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
from BBC Radio 3 Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
at Find a Grave Arrau's Museum " Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau
Introduces the Beethoven
Beethoven
Piano Concertos" on YouTube Piano Lessons with Claudio Arrau: A Guide to His Philosophy and Techniques by Victoria A. von Arx

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 61730908 LCCN: n81084040 ISNI: 0000 0001 2135 8851 GND: 118504428 SELIBR: 213526 SUDOC: 028011740 BNF: cb13890903b (data) MusicBrainz: 3905011f-ac59-4d50-9095-1545a9944de8 NDL: 00620285 BNE: XX850

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