Born in Australia Bruce Hungerford (1922-1977) studied with the legendary Ignaz Friedman in Sidney. His move to the USA brought him in contact with Myra Hess, who gave him valuable coaching, and later with Carl Friedberg. His prodigious qualities caught the attention of the Solomon brothers of the American Vanguard Classics label who contracted him for a complete Beethoven cycle recording. Sadly Hungerford died in a car accident halfway the project. Piano Classics is happy to issue his 'Beethoven Legacy' for the first time in one CD box set. Hungerford’s Beethoven is powerful, full of dramatic contrasts and effects, but also of great tenderness and wit, the full spectrum of Beethoven’s genius and humanity. Apart from his superb pianism and musicianship, Hungerford is also remembered as a professional palaeontologist and Egyptologist.
“These performances certainly stand the test of time. They are challenging even now, in their combination of outsize Beethovenian vehemence and disinclination to emote. Those who want to be stirred, and sometimes shaken, will enjoy the challenge they pose.”
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