Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bach: Chromatic Fantasy (Liselotte Selbiger)

Liselotte Selbiger
Born in 1906 as the only child in a well-to-do German family of Jewish lineage, harpsichordist Liselotte Selbiger had to escape the Nazis not once but twice - first in 1935, when she relocated to Denmark, then again in 1943, when she escaped to Sweden in the bottom of a fishing boat, carrying poison with her in case of capture.  We are fortunate that she survived, because on the evidence of her all-too-few recordings (the first of which was made after the war), she was a very fine musician.  She actually trained as a cellist, then switched to piano, then, just before leaving Germany for good, acquired a Neupert harpsichord, with which she became the first person to give a full-length harpsichord recital in Denmark.  Danacord, that indefatigable purveyor of historical Danish recordings, has issued several CD's of her extant commercial and broadcast recordings, but this earlier version of the Bach Chromatic Fantasy is not among them:

Bach: Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903 and
Bach: Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825 - Gigue
Liselotte Selbiger, harpsichord
Recorded December 13, 1949
Danish Columbia LDX 7014 and 7015, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 35.28 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 16.07 MB)

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