Text Box: PIANIST AUTOGRAPHS

Price: $175.00

VERY GOOD CONDITION

Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

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

Phone: 212-860-5541 

 

Autographed and inscribed matte, double-weight, sepia photograph, Chicago, January 12, 1921.

 

Fannie Bloomfield (Blumenfeld) Zeisler (1863-1927) at the end of the 19th Century was considered to be America’s most important pianist.  She was known as “The Sarah Bernhardt of the Piano”.  Born to a Jewish merchant family, the family left Austria in 1867 immigrating to America and settling in Chicago in 1868.  Her father set up a successful dry goods business and changed the family name from Blumenfeld to Bloomfield.  She was curious about the piano and exhibited some natural ability and therefore the family found the best available teachers in Chicago, Carl Wolfsohn and Bernard Zeihn. She made her public debut in Chicago on February 26, 1875.  In 1877 she was auditioned by Annette Essipova on her 1876-1877 American tour, who suggested she go study with her teacher and future husband Theodor Leschetiszky.  The young pianist and her mother travelled to Vienna in 1878 where Bloomfield Zeisler spent five years with the pedagogue.  Leschetiszky told his pupil Ethel Newcomb, Study like Fannie Bloomfield Zeidler, who when she has something like that to learn, extracts everything out of it -  like juice from a lemon.  She misses nothing. She came back to her teacher for a year from 1888-1889.

 

As a female concert pianist before the public in America at a time that was rife with anti-Semitism, Henry Taylor Parker, the feared critic of the “Boston Transcript” who was known to say racially problematic things in his reviews wrote, Some young artist, quick with memories of Rembrandt’s pictures of Jewish women, ought to paint Mme. Bloomfield-Zeisler playing the piano…..As she sat yesterday afternoon in Jordan Hall, bent intently on the keyboard, she was pictorial indeed and rather in fashion in which Rembrandt chose to limn and color his Jews.  The sharp and strong Semitic profile; the deep-set and bright Semitic eyes; the full hunched shoulders; the sinewy body; the dress rich in color and large flow of line; the whole impression of a vivid personality in vibrant play…. Don’t be shocked, he also wrote such things about male Jewish classical instrumentalists, though not to the level of personal detail.

 

The pianist made American tours from 1883 to 1893.  She went to Germany and Austria on a concert tour in 1893 to rave reviews for her tone as well as her technical abilities.  That tour cemented her reputation as one of the great female pianists in the world at that time.  In 1906, she was found wandering the streets of Chicago in a trance like state due to her over-work.  In between having 3 sons, she also made European tours 1894-1895, 1898, 1902-1903, 1911-1912 and 1914.  She retired with a final program on February 25th, 1925 at a Golden Jubilee Concert where she performed the Schumann piano concerto and the Chopin 2nd piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as solo works. 

 

She was not a fan of making acoustic recordings, but she did make several Welte-Mignon piano rolls.

 

A small tear at the top center and crease at bottom left corner, else fine.

FANNIE BLOOMFIELD ZEISLER - PIANIST