Text Box: PIANIST autographs


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Price: $185.00



Rare E. Wasow of Munich autographed 3” x 5” matte, double-weight photograph of the Russian born, German, later Norwegian concert pianist and pedagogue a year after her divorce, Munich, 1919.

Droucker (1875-1944) is one of those great pianists who has been lost to time due to her small recorded output.  However, that does not diminish her importance in the pantheon of pianists.  Her pedigree is interesting, her father a wealthy German-Jewish merchant, her mother a Russian Countess.  She was a prodigy and was taught by Anton Rubinstein at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.  Her family moved to Berlin by the late 1880’s.  She made her recital debut in Berlin in 1896 with excellent reviews.  In 1898 she recorded for Julius Block on his cylinder records two pieces over a series of months, an Arensky etude and the Chopin prelude in F sharp minor, which can be heard on Ward Marston’s set “The Dawn of Recording, The Julius Block Cylinders”.  Her next years were spent concertizing throughout Europe.  Her career as a teacher began teaching young women at both the Stern Conservatory and Peterson’s Academy of Music in Berlin from 1904 -1906.  In 1905 she was appointed piano teacher to Kaiser Wilhelm II’s daughter Victoria Louise, a distinct honor at the time.  In 1904 she also published one of the best books on Anton Rubinstein as a teacher and human being entitled, Memories of Anton Rubinstein; Comments, Suggestions and Discussions with Musical Examples in his Class at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Baretholf-Senff Publishers, Leipzig. 

In 1910 Droucker married pianist her Stern Conservatory colleague Gottfried Galston, hyphenating her name Droucker-Galston, as she was still busy on the concert platform.  Galston was Viennese and a pupil of Jadassohn and Leschetiszky.  They moved to Munich and both taught and continued to concertize.  His philandering ended their marriage in 1918, the year before this photograph was signed.  She remained in Munich and lived for a time in Vienna as well.  In her sorrow she poured herself into the musical theory of Henrich Schenker who had a group of loyal followers who were known as Schenkerians.  She studied with two of the Master’s theorist disciples Oswald Jonas and the Otto Vrieslander, both who were much younger than she.  Schenker also took a personal interest in her career as well.  In 1926 she moved back to Berlin where she continued to teach and perform, leaving in 1933 due to the new German racial purity laws and settled in Norway which was to become her home for the rest of her life.  She became a Norwegian citizen in 1938.  In Norway she gave concerts, lectured on musicology and even wrote a book on the history of classical music composition in Norway.

In addition to her cylinder recordings for Block in 1898, she allegedly made other recordings, a Beethoven Piano Concerto #4 with the Berlin Philharmonic on tour in Oslo, March 27, 1913, Three Debussy pieces in concert in Norway, January 9, 1927, Brahms Piano Concerto #2 with Wilhelm Furtwängler in Hamburg, March 13, 1914.  There apparently are other concert recordings broadcast on the radio in Germany and Norway which are yet to be released.  She also recorded for Welte Mignon in 1905 in Germany creating piano roles including; Chopin’s G major Nocturne op. 37 and Scherzo in C sharp minor op. 39, Schumann’s Arabesque in C major op. 18 and Liszt’s Gnomenreigen. James Hunecker, the music critic and Chopin biographer wrote of her recording of the Scherzo, “I confess to see no littleness in the polished phrases….there is fever in its’ glance, a glance full of enigmatic and leering scorn.”

A scarce pianist autograph and one of the very earliest to record!