Byron Janis, pianist - "On Tour" (Live)

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Byron Janis, pianist - "On Tour" (Live)

Post by Lance » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:00 pm

BYRON JANIS, pianist "ON TOUR"
Janis Eleven Enterprises, Ltd. (Label) 55687 (though this issue doesn't have a real catalogue number).

The great Byron Janis [real last name: Yanks] is no spring chicken these days (born 1928, McKeesport PA), aged 91 as I write this, yet his name among piano aficionados is still very much in mind. He made many recordings for RCA and Mercury Records that have always done well in sales. RCA/Sony Classical issued an 11-CD set of those recordings he made [48440] that is very much worth having. Now, on his own label, Janis Eleven Enterprises, he has given us a generous collection of 16 tracks recorded in France, Cuba, Poland, Brussels, New York, Knoxville, Madrid and Connecticut. Brilliant Records has also issued a set of his "legendary concerto recordings," licensed from Universal/Mercury.

Having studied with Vladimir Horowitz, it seems he inherited much from that master in virtuoso piano performance. He is married to Maria Cooper (since 1965), daughter of the celebrated actor Gary Cooper. They had a son, Stefan, who passed away vacationing in France on February 1, 2017, the result of a heart attack (Maria adopted him; he was the son with his first wife, June Dickson Wright.

In 1973, Janis developed severe psoriatic arthritis in both hands and wrists. In 1985, he talked about his difficulties in public for the first time and became the First Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation. In June 2012, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Arthritis Advocacy.

In any event, this will surely be a collectors' item as time goes by. My copy, incidentally, was an autographed one in gold! Music included is Haydn's Piano Sonata No. 49, variety of pieces by Chopin, Liszt (including Rigoletto Paraphrase), and pieces by Janis: You are More, David's Star - A Song for Israel, Like Any Man, and By and Cy - More Paganini Variations with Janis and Cy Coleman, pianists.
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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: Byron Janis, pianist - "On Tour" (Live)

Post by John F » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:49 am

Having been Horowitz's pupil, and the most important one at that, he was thought by many to be a second Horowitz, or they thought he ought to be. Since he wasn't really that kind of pianist, he probably disappointed people with such expectations, including me. Eventually I realized my mistake and began to listen to Janis for his own qualities rather than Horowitz's, For example, his Rachmaninoff 3rd is faster, straighter, and lighter than Horowitz's and Rachmaninoff's - less idiomatic, perhaps, but possibly more American.
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Rach3
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Re: Byron Janis, pianist - "On Tour" (Live)

Post by Rach3 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:47 am

John F wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:49 am
Having been Horowitz's pupil, and the most important one at that, he was thought by many to be a second Horowitz, or they thought he ought to be. Since he wasn't really that kind of pianist, he probably disappointed people with such expectations, including me. Eventually I realized my mistake and began to listen to Janis for his own qualities rather than Horowitz's, For example, his Rachmaninoff 3rd is faster, straighter, and lighter than Horowitz's and Rachmaninoff's - less idiomatic, perhaps, but possibly more American.
Agreed. Here is Janis' K.488 to compare with Horowitz' K.488 with Giulini ( at YT,too ):
Pianist Byron Janis with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein perform Mozart's Concerto No. 23 for Piano and Orchestra in A Major, K. 488. From Carnegie Hall, January 30, 1960. This recording was released on a cd I have, part of a commemorative set of NYPO broadcasts issued by NYPO itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8y7w7OdpHg

From the YT : An interesting quote from Byron Janis: "How did I feel listening to the Mozart Concerto, all these forty years later? I'm pleased with it, I really am. And what I also like is that I was known as a big, virtuoso pianist; yes, for Chopin, but mostly through my recordings of Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Liszt. Well, now here's Mozart and, for me, this is a Mozartian performance. People are funny -- they love to identify you with something, and even if you do something else equally well, it's hard for them to accept it. It's exactly like typecasting in the movies, and I hope this recording helps to break that. Actually, I used to play a lot of Mozart and I'd like to record some more, so I'm delighted to have this performance out there."

Here is a link to a profile of Janis and his struggle with arthritis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVT7f...

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Re: Byron Janis, pianist - "On Tour" (Live)

Post by Rach3 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:53 am

Rach3 wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:47 am
Here is a link to a profile of Janis and his struggle with arthritis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVT7f...

Sorry, YT now says arthritis video no longer available. But Janis' K.488 is !

Rach3
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Re: Byron Janis, pianist - "On Tour" (Live)

Post by Rach3 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:50 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:53 am
Sorry, YT now says arthritis video no longer available. But Janis' K.488 is !

A YT that does work : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVT7fp_wLg8

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