As accolades go, being dubbed’a second Mozart’ is about as good as it can get, and it was with those very words that, a little over a century ago, the press heaped praise on a phenomenal five-year-old prodigy from Chile. In the excitement of the moment, one enthusiastic critic chose to describe the child’s playing as ‘earthshaking’, forgetting entirely that he was reporting from South America’s most seismically active region. The boy’s name was Claudio Arrau.
Through the support of the Chilean government, his mother was able to take the seven-year-old Claudio to study at the Stern Academy in Berlin, where he was taught by Martin Krause, one of Liszt’s pupils. Krause had a profound and long-lasting influence on his protégé, who later recalled : ‘’We would take walks together nearly every day, for half an hour. Krause would also take me to museums. And he decided what operas I should hear.’’ Under Krause’s tutelage Arrau acquired the technical expertise and psychological understanding needed to work with the great conductors of the day : Arthur Nikisch and Wilhelm Furtwängler, both of whom were renowned Beethoven interpreters.
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat Major, Op.73 ‘’Emperor’’
I.Allegro (42:14) ; (42:43)
II.Adagio un poco moto (1:03:30)
III.Rondo - Allegro (1:11:23)
The Symphony Orchestra of the University of Chile
Conductor : Victor Tevah
Live recording in Chile, May 1984