Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

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Lance
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Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

Post by Lance » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:30 pm

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... SX355_.jpg
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... SX355_.jpg

I've been waiting for RCA to release a "complete" Pennario package, and here it is! I hope that this spurs Warner to also issue a complete package of his EMI recordings inasmuch as Pennario recorded for both companies. I was honored to interview him long before he passed away from these quarters from where I type - and drove him to give a solo recital nearby. Quite the gentleman, very easy to talk with, and lots of good stories. He had been a family friend for many years. EMI/Warner has material in their vaults (I believe the music of Bach) that was never previously released. I still have a copy (signed) of his Capitol album, which contained an encore he played at that recital, "Midnight on the Cliffs" inspired by the ocean waves of Newport, Rhode island.
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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John F
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Re: Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

Post by John F » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:21 pm

When I was writing for Fanfare, Joel Flegler sent me Pennario's Angel LP of the Chopin polonaises. Rereading my review 25 years later, I see I panned it as loud and fast, missing the character of the music, and concluded, "Why the people at Capitol thought this record worth making is beyond me." Of course Pennario made many other records, some of them may be good, but I don't remember hearing any and certainly didn't seek them out. What I was seeking out at that time were as many reissues of Cortot, Friedman, and Godowsky as I could find.
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Re: Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

Post by Lance » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:05 pm

Somewhere I read a comment that Pennario sold more piano recordings in the early 1960s than any other pianist. He told me he was very honoured to be selected by Piatigorsky and Heifetz to participate in their famous series of recordings. His Liszt concertos with Leibowitz received rave reviews. And of course, your- and my ears were well attuned to those pianists you mention including Rubinstein when it came to Chopin. MSR Records also issued a remarkable set of Pennario's early recordings for Capitol that were not reissued, but would be if Warner got busy.
John F wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:21 pm
When I was writing for Fanfare, Joel Flegler sent me Pennario's Angel LP of the Chopin polonaises. Rereading my review 25 years later, I see I panned it as loud and fast, missing the character of the music, and concluded, "Why the people at Capitol thought this record worth making is beyond me." Of course Pennario made many other records, some of them may be good, but I don't remember hearing any and certainly didn't seek them out. What I was seeking out at that time were as many reissues of Cortot, Friedman, and Godowsky as I could find.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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John F
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Re: Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

Post by John F » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:10 pm

Lance wrote:Somewhere I read a comment that Pennario sold more piano recordings in the early 1960s than any other pianist.
That's hard to believe, considering who the other leading pianists of the time were, some of them also recording for RCA Victor and EMI, but maybe so. Wikipedia says that in 1958 he tied with Walter Gieseking for most records sold by a classical pianist that year.
Lance wrote:He told me he was very honoured to be selected by Piatigorsky and Heifetz to participate in their famous series of recordings.
Of course the most famous series of chamber music recordings by Heifetz also involved Artur Rubinstein and, originally, Emanuel Feuermann. That was truly an all-star trio, as no doubt RCA Victor required it to be not only for artistic but for marketing purposes. In general, however, Heifetz's choice of pianists was not as equal partners but as subordinate accompanists, such as Emanuel Bay and Brooks Smith. He and Rubinstein were known to have fights about interpretation; indeed, in a movie of them purportedly rehearsing with Piatigorsky, they stage a fight for the camera, after 7:00:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxpKz4CoLPc

As the newcomer and very much the junior partner, I expect Pennario wasn't as assertive as Rubinstein in such matters. He also lived in Los Angeles, as did Heifetz and Piatigorsky, which was convenient for rehearsing. Whether the recordings, mainly of secondary repertoire, turned out well, I don't know, as I haven't heard them.
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Re: Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

Post by Modernistfan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:07 am

I should get this. I also knew Pennario. He was a bridge player, and I played against him a number of times in tournaments in the Los Angeles area. He usually played with an expert player named Alfred Sheinwold, who wrote the bridge column for the Los Angeles Times.

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Re: Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

Post by Lance » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:03 pm

Interesting you would meet him this way. He was very good friends with Joan Fontaine, too. Did he ever bring her along to these tournaments? Last photos I saw of Pennario, he was in a wheel chair and I believe it was his brother who was looking after him.
Modernistfan wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:07 am
I should get this. I also knew Pennario. He was a bridge player, and I played against him a number of times in tournaments in the Los Angeles area. He usually played with an expert player named Alfred Sheinwold, who wrote the bridge column for the Los Angeles Times.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

Post by Lance » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:39 pm

The Pennario set arrived today! Very nice compilation with facsimile LP covers and booklet. Nice to have it all in one box!
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Rach3
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Re: Pianist Leonard Pennario's complete RCAs

Post by Rach3 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:58 pm

One of my earliest encounters with CM was my parents' Capitol Records ( remember their LA tower ? ) lp of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with Pennario and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under Felix Slatkin ( Leonard's father ). Side 2 was " American in Paris " if I recall. I suspect the lp was a huge seller at the time.

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