27/09/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Maryla Jonas remembered



Sony brings together Polish pianist’s complete recordings for the first time


It’s hard to know what’s more extraordinary about Maryla Jonas: her life or her music-making? Born in 1911, she entered the Warsaw Conservatoire at just 11 years of age. In her twenties she took lessons from both Ignaz Paderewski and then Emil von Sauer: two great inheritors from Liszt of the Romantic piano tradition.

Her concert career in Poland was caught short by the Nazi occupation of Poland. Her family was killed and she was imprisoned for seven months and interrogated by the Gestapo before being freed by a music-loving Nazi officer, who advised her to flee to the Brazilian Embassy in Berlin. This she did – by walking the 400 miles and sleeping in barns along the way – and escaped to Rio de Janeiro. At the urging of Arthur Rubinstein she resumed her career and became a sensation in postwar America before her early death in 1950: she was 48 years old but had suffered from ill health for some years, partly as a result of her wartime tribulations.

Her slim recorded legacy dates from this brief window of fame and opportunity. Portions of it have previously appeared on various historical labels, but Sony has now gathered together all the studio recordings she made in the US, given them new remasterings and issued them in a 4CD box which will attract the attention of pianophiles everywhere.

The focus is trained – understandably given her heritage – on Chopin, including the Mazurka recordings that first brought her name to wider international attention when they were issued on a Columbia LP after her death. Salon-like charm characterises several waltzes and the Berceuse, but she also had a rapturous command of an authentic Chopin rubato: these recordings really sing. The last disc on the set features non-Chopin repertoire including Kinderszenen: an outstanding interpretation which has been favourably compared to some of the finest versions on disc by Lupu, Haskil, Cortot and Horowitz.


You can listen to Maryla Jonas playing Chopin's Berceuse as a free bonus track inside the new issue of Pianist, out on Friday 29th September. The track is taken from ‘The Maryla Jonas Story’ (88985391782), now available on Sony



Back to News

27/09/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Mindfulness in Music: Notes on finding life’s rhythm

Pianist masterclass contributor Mark Tanner gives us an insight into his latest release, 'Mindfulness in ...

5 tips on how to stay focused during practice

Struggling with procrastination? Here's our professional advice on how to stay focused during practise. ...

Yamaha CFX goes centre stage at 2018 Ribble Valley International Piano Week

Ribble Valley is offering all budding concert pianists the rare chance to perform on a Yamaha CFX in a ...

French pianist Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch returns with her stunning new release, 'Époques'

Following a break of almost three years, the London-based, award-winning French pianist and composer returns ...

Other News

Dominic Ferris: "Me And My Piano" LIVE AT ZÉDEL on 2nd August 2018

Acclaimed Steinway pianist and singer Dominic Ferris returns to Soho, London, with top record producer Nick ...

Pianists at the Proms

A strong line-up of piano stars bring concerto classics from Mozart to Shostakovich to the Royal Albert Hall. ...

REVIEW: Rachmaninoff by Ching-Yun Hu

Donald Hunt gives 5 star praise to pianist Ching-Yun Hu ...

The Piano, The Pianists, The Proms

Classical pianist & columnist Daniel Johnson highlights a selection of remarkable BBC Proms programmes from ...