Text Box: PIANIST autographs
Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247

 

Price: $150.00

FINE CONDITION

RUDOLF FIRKUŠNÝ - PIANIST

Historic autographed 8.25” x 11.5” handbill for the great Czech-American pianist’s May 30th, 1946 recital.  His first and only recital since he left Czechoslovakia as a conscientious objector in 1939.

Firkušný (1912-1994) left Prague in 1939 rather than play for the Nazi’s in Germany and Austria as a Czech puppet performer.  He spent 8 months working on a plan to escape to Paris and then on to the United States.  As soon as the War was over, plans were put in place for the first Prague Festival.  At that point, Firkušný was considered the greatest Czech pianist and he agreed to return.  Bohuslav Martinu, also now residing in the United States provided the pianist with his 2nd piano concerto, he had completed on December 31, 1934 in Paris and was yet to be performed.  He was welcomed back by an eager Czech crowd and on November 13, 1935, he performed the World Premiere of the concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and Vaclav Talich on the podium. He then toured Europe and returned in May for one recital during the Festival, we offer the handbill for that program which the Maestro autographed contemporarily to the performance in fountain pen.  Interestingly after the B minor Chopin Sonata, he played three Czech composers, Smetana, his teacher Janacek, his friend Martinu and then his American friend Samuel Barber’s “Three Excersizes”.  He finished with an arrangement of Stravinsky’s “Petruschka”.

Firkušný had always planned to live in Prague, but due to the rise of the Communists and his friendship with the then late former President Tomas Masaryk and his family, he would have been persona non grata with the government, so he left and returned to America and did not return to his homeland until after the Velvet Revolution in 1990 for the Spring Festival.

Martinu would go on to write his 3rd and 4th piano concertos for Firkušný, who gave the world premieres of both.