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26.9.09

Alicia de Larrocha, 86

available at Amazon
The Art of Alicia de Larrocha: Box set of Mozart, Bach, Haydn, de Falla, Granados, Mompou, Turina (inter alia)
The beloved Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha died last night, at the age of 86, in a hospital in her native Barcelona. She was admitted to the hospital some days ago, suffering from cardio-respiratory problems; her health has reportedly been bad since she broke her hip two years ago. Born in 1923, de Larrocha was a child prodigy, giving her first solo concert and first concerto appearance before her teens, and she continued to perform until 2003. She is survived by a son and daughter, children from her marriage to pianist Juan Torra.

I first came to love de Larrocha's playing as a teenager, when my piano teacher assigned me my first Mozart piano concerto to start practicing. My teacher loaned me an LP recording of Alicia de Larrocha playing that same concerto, and for a while her interpretations of the Mozart concerti -- elegant, patrician, controlled, lusciously beautiful -- were the only ones I thought of as valid. Of diminutive stature, just under five feet tall and with very small hands, she accomplished miraculous things, especially with Mozart and the Spanish composers she championed. Lovers of piano music everywhere have much to thank her for: may she rest in peace.


Alicia de Larrocha plays "Evocacion" from Iberia by Albeniz

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I never had a chance to hear her live, but knew her from her recordings. She was a marvelous pianist. RIP.