Marian Filar · Piano Recitals in Germany 1949-1952


The Polish pianist Marian Filar (1917–2012) was imprisoned during World War II in seven different Nazi concentration camps. After being liberated by the Polish Army he returned to the piano and went to Wiesbaden where he studied with Walter Gieseking for five years and toured all over Europe playing recitals and concerts. During this period (1945–52) he also performed very frequently on German radio programs. Our rare CD release contains major radio recordings from this period.

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MARIAN FILAR plays Chopin and Brahms

Chopin: Ballade No 1 in G minor, Op 23
Chopin: Ballade No 2 in F Major, Op 38
Chopin: Polonaise in B-flat Major, Op 71, No 2
Chopin: Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op 60

Recorded ∙ 19 September 1949 ∙ Stuttgart ∙ Altes Funkhaus ∙ Studio VI ∙ Süddeutscher Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Chopin: Scherzo No 2 in B-flat minor, Op 31
Chopin: Impromptu No 1 in A flat Major, Op 29

Recorded ∙ 08 July 1952 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Altes Funkhaus Eschersheimer Landstraße ∙ Hessischer Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Chopin: 12 Préludes, Op 28
Recorded ∙ 10 July 1952 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Altes Funkhaus Eschersheimer Landstraße ∙ Hessischer Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Brahms: Intermezzo in B Major, Op 76/4
Brahms: Intermezzo in A Major, Op 118/2
Brahms: Intermezzo in C Major, Op 119/3

Recorded ∙ 09 July 1952 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Altes Funkhaus Eschersheimer Landstraße ∙ Hessischer Rundfunk ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Article number: MC 1026
UPC barcode: 791154054024
Recording dates: 1949-1952
Release date: March 2015
Total timing: 67:51
Booklet: 8 Pages
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2015 Meloclassic

June 2015 ∙ Audiophile Audition ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ Marian Filar plays Chopin and Brahms
Polish piano virtuoso Milan Filar (1917-2012) has a tale to be told much in the manner of the film The Pianist – about his fellow countryman Wladyslaw Szpilman – a powerful combination of talent, oppression, courage, and human will. The assembled recital, from studio venues 1949-1952, illuminates us as to exactly why Walter Gieseking had become thoroughly enchanted with this young refugee who had suffered incredible losses from Nazism and had sought life-crisis advice from the master German pianist. Not only does the Chopin under Filar enjoy a native sensibility without “accent,” but the facility of transition between Chopin’s sectionalized dance and dramatic forms occurs without any loss of dynamic pulse. The Brahms B Major Intermezzo exudes a natural pathos and haunted melancholy that speaks volumes of what Gieseking may have bequeathed Filar. Filar (9 July 1952) eschews the tendency to make the A Major, Op. 118 Intermezzo over-ripe and cloying. Instead, he carries the progression of falling figures to what Rachmaninov deemed “the point,” so as to maintain the nobility of line. The rhythmically guileful C Major Intermezzo from Op. 119, a perennial encore for Gieseking and Rubinstein, certifies a natural Romantic pianist in Filar for whom music – just as for Nietzsche – life had not been condemned as a mistake. Again, the MeloClassic production proves first-rate, the excellent liner notes’ having a last-page photo of Filar seated with conductor Hermann Abendroth.
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September 2016 ∙ Classical Source ∙ Colin Anderson ∙ Marian Filar plays Chopin and Brahms
Another Polish pianist, Marian Filar (1917-2012), also abounds in Chopin, taped in 1949 and 1952. He embraces the first two Ballades, the B-flat Polonaise, Barcarolle, Scherzo No.2, First Impromptu and the first twelve Preludes from the 24 that are Opus 28. Shape, soul and volatility informs Filar’s playing, yet there is something a little ‘unfinished’ (for want of a better word) about his interpretations, a curious feeling for the listener to have, a need for a more-probing response from the musician yet recognising the sincerity of everything he does, although Prelude No.1 is oddly divided between the hands, the fingers deliberately unsynchronised. Three Intermezzos by Brahms (from Opuses 76, 118 & 119) are included and, conversely, these are altogether special, especially the one in A-major from Opus 118, which is chillingly touching and immediately an encore; it is also three minutes longer than stated.
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