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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

In Memoriam Jörg Demus (1928-2019)

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This week’s Once Upon the Internet playlist, like our last post on Paul Badura-Skoda, features assorted downloads (mainly from the old MP3.COM) of works featuring Jörg Demus, a fellow Austrian pianist oif the same generation who also passed away earlier this year. He has released over 350 LPs and over 200 CDs, focusing on German items such as Bach, Mozart and Schumann, and has received international acclaim.

He entered the Vienna Academy of Music at the age of 11, and received instruction from Walter Kelschbaumer, Hans Swarowsky, Josef Krips and Joseph Marx. After graduating in 1945, he studied with Yves Nat in Paris, Walter Gieseking at the Salzburg Conservatory, and master classes with Wilhelm Kempff, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Edwin Fischer, and other legendary masters. He won the Busoni International Competition in 1956, and has been active worldwide.

The opening paragraph of his Telegraph obituary is both telling and a bit snippy if you ask me: “Jörg Demus, who has died aged 90, was an old-school Austrian pianist best known for his sensitive accompaniment of singers such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elly Ameling and, above all, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; he made his name with the music of Vienna – Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven – and, according to one reviewer, often performed as if the 20th century had never happened.”

Like Badura-Skoda, Demus was featured on a good number of our past playlists and montages – in fact, some of this week’s tracks are re-used from at least two of our Friday montages – most notably nboth books of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier from 2013.


(All works featuring Jörg Demus, piano)

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Twelve Variations on“Ah, vous dirais-je, Maman” in C Major, K. 265
(Played on the Fortepiano)

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Nocturne in E Major, op. 62, no. 2

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903

Robert SCHUMANN (1810 –1856)

Blumenstück in D-flat Major, Op. 19

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 –1809)
Keyboard Concerto in G major, Hob.XVIII:4
(conducting the Tokyo Chamber Players)

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 —1828)
Ganymed, D. 544
(with Elly Ameling, soprano)

Wanderer-fantasie, D. 760

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