Près du berceau
Emir Gamsız, piano
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ABOUT THE WORK:
Op. 58 - Près de Berceau, is a piece from Moszkowski's collection of pieces named "Tristesses et Sourires" (Sadness and Smiles), published in 1896. The other pieces in the collection are Effusion, Consolation, Vieux souvenir, Historiette d'enfants, Mélancolie, Rêve étrange and Résignation. They are perfect examples of his lighter "salon" music. Près de Berceau is a type of music a child would rather enjoy before getting ready to sleep than listen to it as a source material to fall a sleep.
Moszkowski was German-born, but always claimed Polish nationality. He was a great virtuoso and his piano etudes are still played by today's virtuosos to establish their technical capacities. As a child prodigy, Moszkowski entered the Dresden conservatory at age 11, and from there moved on to Berlin where he studied piano. His teacher Theodore Kullak was so impressed by Moszkowski that he made him an instructor at the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst when he was only 17 years of age, and he remained in this position until 1896. By the mid-1880s, Moszkowski was suffering from nerves and began to curtail his recital activity in favor of composing, conducting and teaching. His many published compositions proved very popular in the era of salon pianism, and netted the composer a handsome income. After leaving Neue Akademie der Tonkunst in 1896, Moszkowski settled in Paris and began composing works such as Op.58 - Près de Berceau, where he concentrated on different aspects of music more than pianistic virtuosity.
Paderewski once said: "After Chopin, Moszkowski best understands how to write for the piano". Perhaps this comment may seem today to be rather excessive, but during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Moritz Moszkowski was one of the most respected and admired musicians of his time, and his piano music was immensely popular.