Newsletter: Lavry in Two Keyboards


Newsletter from december 22, 2013:

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Today, December 22, is Marc Lavry’s 110th birthday. Happy birthday!

Efrat, Lavry’s daughter, shares:
“In 1965 Dad and I visited Los Angeles and passed by a music store. From the street Dad recognized a two-keyboard piano, the Bechstein-Moor, and pulled me inside. He sat down and started playing his Piano Concerto, Opus 10 that he wrote earlier in his career specifically for this instrument. Within minutes people from the store and outside gathered around, and were amazed by his technical ability to play such an unusual instrument. The piano was in the store merely as a curiosity and it was the first time someone actually played it. Dad, who was a virtuoso, went on to play compositions by Bach, Liszt and others on two keyboards.

Lavry and the Bechstein-Moor grand pianoI’ve remembered stories about dad, in 1933, leaving behind two Bechstein pianos in his Berlin apartment; a regular grand piano and a two-keyboard one. But this was the first (and only) time I saw him play an instrument like this.”

By a perfect coincidence, as if it was for Lavry’s birthday, Prof. Dr. Jascha Nemtsov, Chair for History of Jewish Music at the Liszt School of Music in Weimar, Germany published his book ‘Doubly Expelled’ (Doppelt vertrieben.) The author discusses four Eastern European composers who worked in Germany before 1933, including Marc Lavry. In his research Nemtsov found that Lavry developed the notation method for the new Bechstein-Moor grand piano.
“I was surprised to learn that the Concerto Opus 10 was the first composition ever written for a two-keyboard piano” adds Efrat about Nemtsov’s book. More details can be found on the Concerto page.

Unfortunately, there is no recording of the Piano Concerto, Opus 10, written by Lavry for a two-keyboard piano. Instead we share with you the Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 201 that Lavry wrote in 1946 for his friend, pianist Pnina Salzman.

Efrat and Orie

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