Branka Musulin

8.99 €

As a celebrated pupil of Alfred Cortot and Yvonne Lefébure, Branka Musulin was a major performer from the 1950s to 1970s and beginning in 1956 embarked on an international career. Sadly, she recorded very little commercially and she is a largely forgotten name from the last century. Our discovery of rare recordings brings her artistry back into the present. These extremely rare German radio recordings have never been issued before.

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BRANKA MUSULIN plays Chopin and Ravel

1. CHOPIN: Ballade No.4 in F minor, Op.52 [10:38]
Recorded ∙ 17 July 1950 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Altes Funkhaus Eschersheimer Landstraße ∙ Hessischer Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

2. CHOPIN: Bolero, Op.19 [07:41]
3. CHOPIN: Mazurka in C Major, Op.24, No.2 [02:16]
4. CHOPIN: Mazurka in D Major, Op.33, No.2 [02:13]
5. CHOPIN: Mazurka in A minor, Op.67, No.4 [02:22]
6. CHOPIN: Waltz in A-flat Major, Op.34, No.1 [02:43]
7. CHOPIN: Waltz in D-flat Major, Op.70, No.3 [02:23]

Recorded ∙ 23 July 1954 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Sendesaal 1 ∙ Hessischer Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

8-11. CHOPIN: Piano Sonata No.2 in B-flat minor, Op.35 [19:52]
Recorded ∙ 01 October 1955 in Frankfurt ∙ Raum 3/B ∙ Hessischer Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

12-17. RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin [22:15]
Recorded ∙ 15 October 1952 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Altes Funkhaus Eschersheimer Landstraße ∙ Hessischer Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Additional Information

Article number: MC 1011
Release date: 02 May 2014
UPC barcode: 0791154050118
Total time: 72:27

Producer and Audio Restoration: Lynn Ludwig
Booklet Notes: Michael Waiblinger
Design: Alessia Issara
Photographs: Fritz Eschen
With special thanks to Peter Ziegler
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2014 Meloclassic

Branka Musulin was born in Zagreb in August 6, 1917. She studied at the age of 13 with the Croatian pianist and music pedagogue Svetislav Stančić in her home town. As a child, she already played in public. After her concert diploma and bachelor’s degree, she travelled to Paris to study with Alfred Cortot and Yvonne Lefébure. Then she studied with Max von Pauer in Stuttgart and Alfredo Casella in Rome.

Musulin

Before and since the World War II, Musulin established Germany as the centre of her extensive activities as a touring and recording pianist. After 1945, she lived with the patron Friedrich Bienert and received the German citizenship after her marriage with him in 1958. They settled in Bad Homburg and at the time she took over a piano class at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt.

She was a frequent performer in the United States and Canada.

The Montreal Gazette wrote on October 7, 1956 “Goethe Haus could not have chosen a finer artist than Branka Musulin to further the cause of musical education. Last night in the École Normale de Musique, the proceeds from this event are going towards a scholarship to study abroad. Madame Musulin gave her first recital in Montreal in March 1965, at Goethe Haus, one which showed her true exponent of the classical trend. Last night’s program stamped her a compelling performer with unlimited power who absorbs every detail in the work, thus projecting the composer’s wishes. German, French and Polish works were delivered with equal facility.”

She later married in 1955 the German psychologist Ernst-August Kreft. They had one daughter.

Musulin died at the age of 57 of a heart attack New Year’s Day 1970. She was stricken while swimming in a hotel pool in the German resort town of Meschede.

The New York Times’ Harold Schonberg said of her record of the Chopin concertos conducted by Hans Müller-Kray leading the SWR Stuttgart Orchestra: “Branka Musulin is perhaps best after Novaes. I have heard much worse Chopin from pianists of far greater reputation.”

© Michael Waiblinger 2014

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