(Born; 1852; Died; 1924). Despite having been largely ignored by the twentieth century, Alfred Grünfeld is slowly beginning to find his way back into the repertoire by virtue of recordings and performances by some of the more adventurous and fun-loving pianists of our time. In his day, Grünfeld was a much sought-after teacher and concert pianist who charmed packed halls with virtuosic displays of Viennese charm, grace, elegance and musical intelligence. A measure of his fame towards the end of the nineteenth century is that he remains the earliest pianist of any real note to have made records, laying down tracks as early as 1899. As a teacher he presided over the careers of many, giving solid advice to, among others, the young Rudolf Serkin.
Grünfeld composed music both for the salon and the concert hall, in most cases, initially at least, for his own use in performance. He followed many of the virtuosi of the day by producing charming arrangements of Schubert songs, bravura paraphrases based on excerpts from the hugely popular operettas of the time as well as the odd Romance, Serenade or Hungarian fantasy of his own devising.
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