Yara Bernette · Piano Recitals in Germany 1961-1971


This release pays tribute to the centenary of Yara Bernette‘s birth (1920-2002). In 1969, she entered into an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, marking her first and only commercial recording featuring Rachmaninoff’s Preludes, opus 23 and 32. Bernette’s narrative serves as a poignant example of the misguided lack of foresight exhibited by certain individuals in positions of authority within the realms of musical commerce and politics, as she was overlooked by prominent record labels. Fortunately, she had previously recorded several pieces for German radio, which are now presented on this album for the first time, allowing listeners to experience the refined artistry of a pianist who has largely faded from collective memory.

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YARA BERNETTE Piano Recitals in Germany 1961-1971

BACH: Partita No 2 in C Minor, BWV 826
Recorded ∙ 04 January 1961 ∙ Hamburg ∙ Studio ∙ NDR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

MOZART: Fantasia in C Minor, KV 396/385f
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No 31 in A-flat Major, Op 110

Recorded ∙ 24 January 1962 ∙ Hamburg ∙ Studio ∙ NDR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

SCHUMANN: Papillons, Op 2
VILLA-LOBOS: Chôros No 5
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinello
VILLA-LOBOS: A Lenda do caboclo
GUÀRNIERI: Dança negra

Recorded ∙ 25 February 1964 ∙ Stuttgart ∙ Villa K ∙ SDR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

PROKOFIEV: Piano Sonata No 3 in A Minor, Op 28
Recorded ∙ 06 October 1971 ∙ Frankfurt ∙ Studio 3 ∙ HR ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Article number: MC 1057
UPC barcode: 791154050699
Release date: 14 September 2020
Booklet: 8 Pages
Total timing: 79:02
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2020 Meloclassic

October 2021 ∙ French Diapason ∙ Laurent Muraro ∙ Yara Bernette ∙ Piano Recitals in Germany 1961-1971
Autre portrait bien troussé, celui de la Brésilienne Yara Bernette (1920-2002), qui séduit avec une 31e de Beethoven coulant de source (1962). Son sens du rythme et des accents fait merveille chez Villa-Lobos, Guarnieri et dans les Papillons de Schumann.
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February 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Yara Bernette ∙ Piano Recitals in Germany 1961-1971
I’m pleased that Bernette opted for the Partita No 2 in C minor, which together with No. 6 are the finest in my view. On the evidence of this 1961 performance from Hamburg, she had an instinctive feel and grasp of Bach’s keyboard works. Immaculate finger work, tasteful ornamentation and beautiful touch and tone all combine to project the sublime richness of this music. Mozart’s Fantasia in C minor, K396/K385f was left unfinished at the composer’s death and was completed by Maximilian Stadler (1748–1833). Bernette etches a dark landscape, and adds turbulence to the ascending arpeggio. There’s much pathos and grief in the reading, expressed by the many chromatic episodes and tortuous harmonic shifts. In a recital, also from Hamburg the following year, she performed Beethoven’s penultimate Piano Sonata in A flat, Op 110. The opening chords are poised and impeccably voiced and create a magical atmosphere. She keeps tight rhythmical control in the Allegro molto. The Adagio is wondrous, brooding and imbued with sombre despair. Confident abandon is how I would describe the Fuga, with all the contrapuntal strands expertly teased out. The twelve short dance movements which comprise Robert Schumann’s Papillon date from 1831, and were inspired by Jean Paul’s novel Flegeljahre. The author was a German Romantic writer, best known for his humorous novels and stories. The pieces are festive, playful, light-hearted and witty, and Bernette encapsulates the character of each, wonderfully capturing their moods and wide dynamic contrasts. The performance of Prokofiev’s brief one-movement Third Sonata dates from October 1971. Bernette pulls all the stops out and gives her all in this truly pianist score, keeping the forward momentum up throughout. The performance is nothing short of breathtaking in its energetic outbursts of violence. The Villa-Lobos and Guàrnieri pieces are delightful, benefiting from the suave nuance and rubato Bernette instils into them. This welcome release captures the refined artistry of a pianist largely forgotten. Meloclassic’s notes are excellent as usual, supplemented by some interesting photographic material. I wonder if there’s more live material in the archives?
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