Grinberg, Maria (1908–1979)

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Grinberg, Maria (1908–1979)

Soviet pianist who recorded Beethoven's 32 sonatas and was famous for her interpretation of Romantic works. Born in Odessa, Crimea, on September 6, 1908; died in 1979.

One of the most respected pianists of the Soviet era, Maria Grinberg was born in Odessa, Crimea, in 1908, and studied with Konstantin Igumnov and Felix Blumenfeld. She was a powerful pianist who was able to rein in her energies when necessary. Essentially a Romantic performer, she was equally at ease in the rhetoric of César Franck's Symphonic Variations or the acerbic modernity of Dmitry Shostakovich's First Piano Concerto. She presented Brahms with warmth, the French school (particularly Ravel) with elegance and flair, and the high Romanticism of Schumann with passion and Innigkeit ("intimacy"). A celebrated Beethoven performer, Grinberg fortunately recorded for posterity all of his 32 sonatas. Her Beethoven style was unadorned, spiky and sincere.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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