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Isaac Albéniz

Thaddeus Kozuch performed the music of several Spanish and Latin American
composers.  The music of Albéniz was a particular favorite.

El Puerto
( book one )

Iberia is a suite of 12 peices for piano composed by the Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz between 1905 and 1909, arranged in four books of three pieces each.

Iberia is considered one of the most challenging works for the piano.  From a New York Times article in 1988:

  "There is really nothing in Isaac Albeniz's Iberia that a good three-handed pianist could not master, given unlimited years of practice and permission to play at half tempo. But there are few pianists thus endowed."

VIDEO:  Isaac Albéniz - El Puerto

El Puerto from Iberia Book One is performed here by pianist Thaddeus Kozuch in his home studio on March 25th, 1989 when he was 76 years old.

Evocación
( book one)

Without missing a note, Mr. Kozuch is joined later (3:52) by his Siamese cat "Smokey", who adds a few meows to the music (it was indeed April Fools' Day).  Afterwards, Kozuch asks "isn't this a beautiful work, this last one?" and comments that the work is "rarely done". 

VIDEO:  Isaac Albéniz - Evocación

Evocación from Iberia Book One was one of Thaddeus Kozuch's favorite works, performed in his home studio on April 1st, 1989 when he was 76 years old

Our website also has two concert recital AUDIO recordings of the Evocación, including a performance given at Thaddeus Kozuch's final faculty recital at DePaul University in 1979 and another given earlier at Cullen Hall, University of St. Thomas in Houston (see below).

Some recordings of the same music are provided to show differences in musical interpretation over the years, or when several recordings are available but it was just too difficult to pick only one.

Evocación
( two recitals )

Triana
( book two )

Listening to Triana reminds us:
Iberia is considered one of the most challenging works for the piano.  From a New York Times article in 1988: 
 "There is really nothing in Isaac Albeniz's Iberia that a good three-handed pianist could not master, given unlimited years of practice and permission to play at half tempo. But there are few pianists thus endowed."

VIDEO:  Isaac Albéniz - Triana

Triana from Iberia Book Two is performed here by pianist Thaddeus Kozuch in his home studio on April 1st, 1989 when he was 76 years old. 

( Video note:  A minor VCR tape source glitch has been repaired )

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Béla Bartók

Thaddeus Kozuch performed the music of a number of 20th century composers including this favorite, the challenging 1926 Bartók Piano Sonata.  This 1969 powerful performance is preserved as a testament to Thaddeus Kozuch's musicality and brilliant technique.

AUDIO NOTE: Unfortunately, the only recording we have was made by a DePaul University music school student technician who did not know how to manage the volume control.  As such, this exceptional 1969 Thaddeus Kozuch faculty recital performance was captured entirely with too much tape distortion.  We have edited the audio quality as best we can. 

Sonata (1926)

Thaddeus Kozuch
would jokingly say the 1926
Bartók Sonata is a "knuckle buster"

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Although Thaddeus Kozuch often performed Beethoven's music, we have a limited number of his recordings.

This is a 1980 recital performance on behalf of the Chicago's Copernicus Foundation, made in the DePaul University Lincoln Park campus old auditorium - of Beethoven's Sonata #18 Opus 31 No. 3.

Sonata #18

Here are two 1970 Thaddeus Kozuch studio recordings of Beethoven's Variations in C minor of 1806.

C minor
Variations

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The Brahms Paganini Variations are a fundamental staple of the piano repertoire, and another "knuckle buster" as Thaddeus Kozuch would jokingly say.

Johannes Brahms

This familiar music is preserved as another testament to Thaddeus Kozuch's graceful musicianship and brilliant technique.

This is Thaddeus Kozuch's 1978 DePaul University Faculty Recital performance of the Brahms Variations on a Theme by Paganini

Paganini
Variations

The Paganini Variations, individually ...

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The Brahms Variations on a Theme of Paganini of 1863 are described as "a legend in the piano literature", "fiendish", and "one of the most subtly difficult works in the literature."   Clara Schumann called it Hexenvariationen ("Witch's Variations") because of its difficulty.

This is a Thaddeus Kozuch's "tour de force" performance.  This playlist presents the original theme followed by each of the individual variations.

Paganini Variations,
individually

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Brahms Waltzes

"Ted" and "Jackie" Kozuch performed two-piano recitals ever since they met at the Chicago Musical College in the early 1930's.  Our mother, Jacqueline (Frye) Kozuch, was a fine pianist, organist, music teacher, and choral director.  Here are 78 RPM disc recordings of Brahms waltzes made in 1947.

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The 1947 "Concert Miniature"

(78 RPM recordings)

( go to Concert Miniature )

Concert Miniature was commercially released in 1947.

It is an album collection of short works recorded directly to disc (without any editing), a common practice back then.

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