Text Box: PIANist autographs
Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Phone: 212-860-5541

 

Price: $125.00

FINE CONDITION

           LEFF POUISHNOFF - PIANIST

Autographed 3” x 5” matte doubleweight photograph of the Russian born, British pianist in his usual green ink.

Pouishnoff (1891-1959) arrived in England in 1920, making a splashy recital debut on February 2, 1921 at Wigmore Hall, followed up by two additional recitals in February and March due to popular demand and critical success.  A shameless self promoter, his Wikipedia biography is not to be taken seriously.  He was in fact born in Odessa to a Jewish family and not a Russian noble family as he proclaimed.  He made several highly promoted concerts at the age of five.  His Father passed away when he was eight and his mother moved the family to Kiev. At fourteen, he was hired as a repetiteur by the Kiev Opera, where he accompanied Feodor Chaliapin in rehearsal. The bass made it possible for the young pianist to attend the St. Petersburg Conservatory on scholarship under the tutelage of Anna Essipova.  He also studied composition harmony and theory with Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Liadov.  With sound training and ability he won the conservatory’s Gold Medal in 1910 his senior year.  In 1912 he toured as Leopold Auer’s accompanist and then was hired by the Tiflis Conservatory as a piano instructor.  Right before World War I he made his first European tour and then at the time of the Revolution he escaped Russia and found himself in Persia as the first pianist to tour that country.  He then went to Paris, where his old fashioned bravura style had been superseded by the impressionistic pianists of the day and then went to England where the 19th Century style was still appreciated.  He was known to be a ladies man and part of his mythology was that he was the second coming of Chopin. So he was never short of young and beautiful pupils throughout his life, as well as female fans, as many of his concerts were daytime fare.  

Pouishnoff would go on to have a storied career in England both as a recitalist and concerts with orchestra, where finally his bravura style fell off.  The 1940’s during and after the War were difficult times for Pouishnoff, though there was a comeback during the early 1950’s which faded fast as his performance level was not what it was years before.  He died of an accidental drug overdose, described as a “misadventure” at the inquest, not a suicide as sometimes reported.  His young wife, a former pupil several decades his junior died three weeks later of a drug “misadventure”.

Pouishnoff’s recordings run hot and cold, though there is at least one fake Pouishnoff recording on YouTube.  APR issued the complete Pouishnoff 78 RPM records in a 2 CD set, followed by 5 lp recordings on the Saga label which have always been suspect as to whether they are genuine.  That said, he is at his best in Chopin’s works and most are really lovely.