Monday, May 11, 2009

Collectors' edition

I love it when people collect music. For instance I collect recordings of Schubert's "Die Schoene Muellerin." I am not organized, so I am not sure how many I have. They are scattered throughout the house and in my car and in my desk drawers at work.

You never know when you will feel the need to listen to "Die Schoene Muellerin" and you have to be prepared! That is my reasoning.

My big regret is that I had a "Schoene Muellerin" sung by Peter Schreier with a guitar, and I traded it in a moment of weakness to my friend Peter in exchange for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing the complete Schumann lieder, on vinyl. I love vinyl and I love Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. But I miss the Schreier-with-guitar CD and I will have to give in and buy it on Amazon.

I should not have let Peter bully me into that.

But that is a matter for another day. My point is, I collect "Schoene Muellerins." I have maybe 30 of them.

And every once in a while, I realize that is nothing.

The other day I heard from this medical doctor and professor, this stranger. He wrote to me because I am working on this book about Leonard Pennario. I get questions about Pennario all the time, big questions, small questions. I delight in them! Anyway, this man wrote:

I am a huge fan of Leonard Pennario and have many of his old LPs. I have since digitized them and put them on CD where they sound great.I am a collector of recordings of the Liszt sonata and currently have over 460 different recordings of this work. Leonard Pennario made two recordings of the Liszt sonata, one in 1951 which was recently re-issued on commercial CD and the other in 1959 (Capitol LP P8457). I have both recordings but my 1959 LP is not too good. While I can work wonders on the computer cleaning up old LPs, this one is difficult as there is a huge gouge in the LP. I have always been looking for a better copy of the 1959 recording and hope that...

The note continued but I heard a roaring in my ears.

This guy had 460 different recordings of the Liszt sonata!

I am wondering how many collectors like him there are out there. Organized, driven, passionate. God love 'em!

Here is Pennario's first recording of the Liszt Sonata which my friend Larry helpfully posted on YouTube. That is an alluring picture of Liszt at the top of this post. I could not resist running it, in honor of my new professor friend, the Lisztoholic.

And look! I just found a bit of that Schreier-with-guitar "Schoene Muellerin." The one my collection is missing. Here it is.

Neat, huh?


  1. It's amazing how much Liszt looks like a young Spike Milligan - or

  2. I know how it is. I needed Schreier's disc of folk songs "mit gitarre" - titled "Es flog ein kleins valdvogelein".

    No problem--available on (Deutschland). All I had to do was navigate the site pages in a language I only speak to the extent of the Brahms "Requiem", then log in (my US account was good there!) and guess that the words by the button meant "place order" or "add to cart" or something like it. The price was around $23, and the shipping $25--small enough when you gotta have it.

    And it was worth every Euro.

  3. Usually, I am rather unspoken here but I feel that it is time to say how much I enjoy the education I receive here.

    The Liszt collector is amazing to contemplate and I remember his contacting me when I uploaded the Pennario Sonata. He wanted to know whether it was the 1951 or the 1959 recording.

    Pennario does an outstanding job with this, as he does with everything. His Liszt is really something very special.