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ALFRED CORTOT

The son of a French father and Swiss mother, Alfred Cortot was born in Nyon, Switzerland in 1877. During his childhood the family moved to Paris and young Alfred joined the Paris Conservatoire at the age of nine where he studied piano first with Emile Descombes (1829–1912) and, from the age of fifteen, with Louis Diémer (1843–1919). Cortot made his début in 1897 with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, and gave piano duet recitals with Edouard Risler (1873–1929) playing arrangements for four hands of music by Wagner. His enthusiasm for the German composer led to his appointment as choral coach, then assistant conductor at Bayreuth working under Felix Mottl and Hans Richter. Cortot’s experiences in Bayreuth left him eager to introduce Wagner’s music to French audiences, and in 1902 he founded the Société de Festivals Lyriques, through which in May of the same year he conducted the Paris première of Götterdämmerung. The following year Cortot organised another society enabling him to give performances of major works such as Brahms’s Requiem, Liszt’s St Elisabeth, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Wagner’s Parsifal and not long after he became conductor of the Société Nationale, promoting works by contemporary French composers.

Cortot was a multi-faceted musician, a conductor and chamber music player as well as solo pianist. He formed a famous piano trio with Jacques Thibaud and Pablo Casals, but it was as a pianist for which he became renowned. He was appointed by Gabriel Fauré to a teaching post at the Paris Conservatoire, but was in such demand as a performer that he was invariably away on tour. In 1918 Cortot made his first tour of America, and during his second tour in 1920 he played all five of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos in two evenings and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30, with the composer present. Also at this time he founded the Ecole Normale de Musique for which he appointed a hand-picked staff. Cortot himself taught there until 1961; his most famous students included Magda Tagliaferro, Clara Haskil and Yvonne Lefébure.


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Classical Artist | Arranger | Conductor
Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
A TO Z OF PIANISTS Naxos Educational
8.558107-10
Instrumental
BACH, J.S.: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 1 (Great Pianists) (1925-1947) Naxos Historical
8.110658
Instrumental
BEETHOVEN: Archduke Trio (Thibaud / Casals / Cortot) (1926-1927) Naxos Historical
8.110195
Chamber Music
CHOPIN / SCHUMANN: Piano Concertos (Cortot) (1934-1935) Naxos Historical
8.110612
Concertos
CHOPIN, F.: Piano Sonata No. 2 / SCHUMANN, R.: Kinderszenen / Carnaval (Cortot) (1953) Naxos Historical
8.111327
Instrumental
CHOPIN: 24 Preludes / 3 Impromptus (Cortot, 78 rpm Recordings, Vol. 1) (1926-1950) Naxos Historical
8.111023
Instrumental
CHOPIN: Ballades Nos. 1-4 / Nocturnes (Cortot, 78 rpm Recordings, Vol. 5) (1929-1951) Naxos Historical
8.111245
Instrumental
CHOPIN: Etudes (Complete) (Cortot, 78 rpm Recordings, Vol. 3) (1933-1949) Naxos Historical
8.111052
Instrumental
CHOPIN: Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 / Polonaises (Cortot, 78 rpm Recordings, Vol. 4) (1923-1947) Naxos Historical
8.111065
Instrumental
CHOPIN: Waltzes Nos. 1-14 / Fantasie (Cortot, 78 rpm Recordings, Vol. 2) (1933-1949) Naxos Historical
8.111035
Instrumental
CORTOT, Alfred: Encores - 78 rpm Recordings (1925-26) Naxos Historical
8.111261
Instrumental
CORTOT, Alfred: Recordings (1929-1937) Naxos Historical
8.111381
Instrumental
FRANCK, C.: Piano, Chamber, Orchestral, Vocal and Organ Works (Historical Recordings, 1923-1942) Timpani
4D4217
Instrumental, Chamber Music
Great Pianists (1926-1945) Naxos Historical
8.110783-84
Concertos
GREAT VIOLINISTS Naxos Historical
8.110980-81
Chamber Music
HAYDN / BEETHOVEN / SCHUBERT: Piano Trios (Thibaud / Cortot / Casals) (1926-1927) Naxos Historical
8.110188
Chamber Music
MENDELSSOHN / SCHUMANN: Trios (Thibaud / Casals / Cortot) (1927-1928) Naxos Historical
8.110185
Chamber Music
SAINT-SAENS / RAVEL: Piano Concertos (Cortot) (1931, 1939) Naxos Historical
8.110613
Concertos, Instrumental, Orchestral, Concertos
TEYTE, Maggie: Vocal Portrait (A) (1932-1948) Naxos Historical
8.110757-58
Vocal
WEBER, C.M. von: Piano Sonata No. 2 / LISZT, F.: Piano Sonata / SCHUBERT, F.: 12 Deutsche (Landler) (Cortot) (1931-1948) Naxos Historical
8.112012
Instrumental

Role: Arranger 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Conductor 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 
A TO Z OF STRING PLAYERS Naxos Educational
8.558081-84
Concertos
DVORAK, A.: Cello Concerto / BRAHMS, J.: Double Concerto (Casals, Thibaud) (1929, 1937) Naxos Historical
8.110930
Concertos





 
 
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11:28:44 AM, 31 July 2014
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