Nikolai Orloff (1892-1964)
Nikolai Andreyevich Orloff (26 Feb.1892 - 31 Mar.1964 ), Pianist
Born in Russia, Nikolai Orloff studied piano at the Moscow Conservatory with Konstantin Igmunov and composition and counterpointing with Sergei Taneyev. Orloff made his debut as a pianist in 1912, and under the direction of the composer himself, successfully performed the first performance of Glazunov's "Piano Concerto".
Russian contemporaries such as H.Neihaus, K.Igmunov, A.Goridenweiser, etc., remained in their homeland and raised Soviet pianists, in contrast Orloff moved to Britain and continued to perform around the world.
He made recordings for the Ampico piano roll of Chopin, Scriabin, Schubert-Liszt, Scarlatti, Brahms, Raff and MacDowell around 1920, but only in the 1930s he started recording on UK Decca 78rpm. His delicate and gentle character is suitable for Chopin performances, recording Etude, Impromptu, Waltz, and Mazurka, as well as Tchaikovsky "Piano Concerto,Op.23 (Complete)”.
However, these records have been described as not conveying the charm of Orloff known in the concert. Certainly, Orloff's records of this period were quite eclectic and inflexible, and did not indicate Orloff's popularity at the time. On the contrary, the fragments of Schubert's "German Dance" and Chopin's "Berceuse" left on the radio broadcast shows something of his genius as an artist.
However, Orlov's recording heyday comes later in life. In the 1960s, suddenly began recording many records on an Italian minor label, Chopin's Sonata No. 3 and Two Ballads, Fantasie(SKRP33032), Mazurkas, Preludes, Waltzes, Nocturnes, etc released some LP albums.
These recordings successfully convey Orloff's aesthetic and subtle charm.
The other album (SKRP33031), a collection of works by Russian composers, is a Orloff’s masterpiece.
The beauty of Rachmaninoff's work played by Orloff describe the composer's own melancholy and intense performance and a different fantastic color.
In reverse side, the works of wonderful selection of Scriabin, Liadov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Kabarevsky are also famous gem performances with unprecedented delicate piano touch. He also recorded French music such as Franck and Ravel, and conveys the size of the repertoire. After completing these miraculous sessions, Orloff died in 1964 with little or no life expectancy, but his last record legacy will continue for a long time.