Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another of the Musical Dynasties...

I've already written about great musical  dynasties, the most enduring   being, of course, the Bach family, which prevailed from the late sixteenth through the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.
And History gives us such musicians of world recognition  as Charles and Andre Previn;  Henri, Robert, Gaby and Jean  Casadesus; Rudolf and Peter Serkin.
How about the name Kipnis?
Alexander Kipnis was a Russian  vocalist, known for his legendary bass voice and his readings of nineteenth century Lieder, especially of Brahms and Wolf. His performances, let alone his wondrous instrument had been compared with the legendary Russian singer  Feodor Chaliapin, known as perhaps the supreme incarnation of Moussorgsky's  "Boris Godunov."  Kipnis, sadly, has been pretty much consigned to the dusty shelves of forgotten artists.
His son, Igor, was one of the top harpsichordists of the twentieth century, let alone a  brilliant pianist.
His reputation in mid-century was enhanced by his singular harpsichord  performances in not only the Baroque, but also by way of his forays into Jazz as applied to the harpsichord; playing not only Bach and his contemporaries but also works written by Dave Brubek, the legendary Jazz composer and pianist, who as a student, learned from  none other than Darius Milhaud, who was teaching on the West Coast at that particular time.
Why not look into the Kipnis Experience? There are recordings available.

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