20 April 2018
20 April 2018
Eileen Joyce

‘In every way the most transcendentally gifted young piano student I have heard in the last 25 years’ was Percy Grainger’s pronouncement of the young EILEEN JOYCE (1908–1991) when he first heard her play in 1926. From the goldfields in Western Australia, whose capital city is the most remote in the world, Joyce defied incongruous and humble beginnings to forge a career that took her to the international pinnacle of twentieth-century pianism. Now, for the first time, her complete studio recordings, made between 1933 and 1959, are issued collectively as a 10CD box with a lavishly illustrated and annotated booklet.


The Tasmanian-born pianist Eileen Joyce was still a student of the legendary pedagogue Tobias Matthay at the Royal Academy of Music in London when she made her first recording, at her own expense, in June 1933. This was of Liszt’s concert study ‘La leggierezza’, and the Parlophone Company was sufficiently impressed by the recording to purchase it from her and request a side B. So began a 27-year-long recording career, stretching almost to her retirement in 1960. The many short pieces she recorded for Parlophone, documented on CDs 1-4 of this box, were not salon trifles but compact classics of piano literature, by Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Rachmaninov, among others. They are distinguished by a precision and clarity of articulation which became known as the hallmark of her playing, as well as the flamboyance, strength and stamina that gave her so durable a career in concert.


More substantial works from those early years include piano trios by Arensky and then Haydn, recorded for Columbia once EMI had absorbed the Parlophone label. In 1942 she made her first complete concerto recordings, of the fine concerto by John Ireland and the First Concerto by the youthful Shostakovich. After the war she became a Decca artist, and continued to record a remarkably wide range of repertoire, from classics and rarely heard miniatures to contemporary music. In fact her first recording for the label was never issued: Tchaikovsky’s Second Concerto, rarely encountered then as now. Shelved for mysterious ‘technical reasons’ it has been specially remastered for this set and shows Joyce at her best: a fearless performance, ‘one of the finest I have heard,’ according to the pianist Philip Fowke, ‘a performance of sparkle, passion and bravura’.


The set’s editorial content includes a personal memoir of the pianist from Bryce Morrison; a thoroughly researched and documented history of her early years by David Tunley; an account of her career by another Australian academic and historian of performing arts, Victoria Rogers; and the story of her career as a recording artist, by Cyrus Meher-Homji. For any pianophile, piano historian, or simply lover of superbly crafted piano playing, this box promises a treasure-trove of exciting discoveries.


‘She played Mozart with real devotion. Even I could recognize that, though I couldn’t figure out whence it came. It’s funny, too, because I heard her very old recording […] of KV 576 just a few weeks ago on the radio, for the first time in perhaps twenty years, and it made me think again what an extraordinary pianist she really was.’ Glenn Gould on Eileen Joyce (in conversation with Bruno Monsaingeon)


‘Those of you on the look-out for a good piano recording … should most certainly get the Parlophone E11237 on which Eileen Joyce plays two Etudes, one by Liszt and the other by Schlözer … Never before have we heard such clarity and detail and absence of piano “twang” on a record … The result is certainly one of outstanding merit.’ Gramophone, October 1933 (Joyce’s first recording)


‘extraordinary technical dexterity … a fine musical intelligence, subtle feeling for nuance… An inspired Press agent might christen her “The Feminine Horowitz” or “Menuhin of the Piano”.’ The Broadcaster, September 1936


‘Listening to Eileen Joyce in the D major Sonata (No. 17) we learn how much subtler the Mozart rubato is than the Chopin. Miss Joyce is one of the few pianists who have its secret, and that is one of the reasons why her playing of this sonata feels so full of life beneath its calm exterior.’ Musical Times, September 1941 (Mozart Sonata KV 576)


‘Her Mendelssohn is the most outstanding performance here. She certainly tears into the first movement con fuoco, as marked, but equally striking is the crystalline delicacy she brings to other passages, and thee finale is a joy.’ Gramophone, July 1998 (Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1)


Universal Music Australia acknowledges the generous support of piano music connoisseur, Duncan Peppercorn, in the creation of this unique boxed set.

CD 1
The Parlophone Recordings
1 J.S. BACH Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV 944
2 PARADIES Toccata in A major (from Sonata No. 6)
MOZART Rondo in A major, KV 386
Orchestra conducted by Clarence Raybould


4–5 MOZART Suite, KV 399 (excerpts)
6–8 MOZART Piano Sonata in C major, KV 545
9 SCHUBERT Andante in A major, D.604
10 SCHUBERT Impromptu in E flat major, D.899 No. 2
11 SCHUBERT Impromptu in A flat major, D.899 No. 4
12 CHOPIN Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2
13 CHOPIN Nocturne in B major, Op. 32 No. 1
14 CHOPIN Fantasie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66
15 CHOPIN Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57
16 SCHUMANN Novelette in D major, Op. 21 No. 2
17 SCHUMANN Novelette in A major, Op. 21 No. 6
18 SCHUMANN Stücklein 1 (No. 1 of Bunte Blätter, Op. 99)


CD 2
The Parlophone Recordings (continued)1 LISZT Liebesträume No. 3, S.541 No. 3
2 LISZT Waldesrauschen (Étude de Concert, S.145 No. 1)
3 LISZT Valse oubliée No. 1, S.215 No. 1
4 LISZT Au bord d’une source, S.160 No. 4 (Années de pèlerinage I: Suisse)
5 LISZT La leggierezza (Étude de concert, S.144 No. 2)
6 LISZT Gnomenreigen (Étude de concert, S.145 No. 2)
7 J.S. BACH (arr. LISZT) Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543 / S.462 No. 1
8 SCHUMANN (arr. LISZT) Widmung, S.566
SCHUMANN (arr. LISZT) Frühlingsnacht, S.568
10 WAGNER (arr. LISZT) Spinning Chorus, S.440 (Der fliegende Holländer)
11 GOUNOD (arr. LISZT) Faust Waltz, S.407 (abridged)
12 BRAHMS Romance in F major, Op. 118 No. 5
13 BRAHMS Intermezzo in C major, Op. 119 No. 3
14 BRAHMS Capriccio in D minor, Op. 116 No. 7
15 BRAHMS Intermezzo in A major, Op. 76 No. 6


CD 3
The Parlophone Recordings (continued)
1 HUMMEL Rondo favori in E flat major, Op. 11
2 HENSELT Si oiseau j’étais (Were I a Bird) (Douze Études caractéristiques, Op. 2 No. 6)
3 SCHLÖZER Étude in A flat major, Op. 1 No. 2
4 MOSZKOWSKI Waltz in E major, Op. 34 No. 1
5 MOSZKOWSKI Caprice espagnole, Op. 37 (abridged)
6 ALBÉNIZ (arr. GODOWSKY) Tango in D major (No. 2 of España, Op. 165)
7 GRANADOS The Maiden and the Nightingale (from Goyescas)
8 SINDING Rustle of Spring, Op. 32 No. 3
9 GRIEG Scherzo-Impromptu (No. 2 of Moods, Op. 73)
10 GRIEG Butterfly (No. 1 of Lyric Pieces, Op. 43)
11 GRIEG Melody (No. 3 of Lyric Pieces, Op. 47)
12 GRIEG Solitary Traveller (No. 2 of Lyric Pieces, Op. 43)
13 GRIEG Brooklet (No. 4 of Lyric Pieces, Op. 62)
14 GRIEG To the Spring (No. 6 of Lyric Pieces, Op. 43)
15 GRIEG Summer’s Eve (No. 2 of Lyric Pieces, Op. 71)
16 SIBELIUS Romance in D flat major, Op. 24 No. 9
17 STAVENHAGEN Menuetto scherzando, Op. 5 No. 3
18 PALMGREN En route, Op. 9
19 FRIEDMAN (after EDUARD GÄRTNER) Viennese Dance No. 2
20 FAURÉ Impromptu No. 2 in F minor, Op. 31
21 DEBUSSY Reflets dans l’eau (No. 1 of Images, Book I)
22 DEBUSSY Toccata (No. 3 of Pour le piano)
23 TURINA Rapsodia Sinfónica, Op. 66

Orchestra conducted by Clarence Raybould


CD 4
The Parlophone Recordings (continued)
1–4 ARENSKY Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 32
Henri Temianka, violin · Antoni Sala, cello


RACHMANINOV Prelude in G minor, Op. 23 No. 5
6 RACHMANINOV Prelude in E flat major, Op. 23 No. 6
7  RACHMANINOV Prelude in C minor, Op. 23 No. 7
8 RACHMANINOV Prelude in A flat major, Op. 23 No. 8
RACHMANINOV Prelude in A minor, Op. 32 No. 8
10 RACHMANINOV Prelude in D flat major, Op. 32 No. 13
11 D’ALBERT Scherzo in F sharp major, Op. 16 No. 2
12 R. STRAUSS (arr. GIESEKING) Ständchen, Op. 17 No. 2
13 DOHNÁNYI Rhapsody in C major, Op. 11 No. 3
14 BERGMAN Polka Caprice, Op. 1 No. 3
15 BERGMAN Himmelgesang, Op. 2 No. 1
16 SCOTT Lotus Land, Op. 47 No. 1
17 SCOTT Danse nègre, Op. 58 No. 5
18 PICK-MANGIAGALLI Le Danse d’Olaf (Deux Lunaires, Op. 33 No. 2)
19 FARJEON Tarantella
20 SHOSTAKOVICH Three Fantastic Dances, Op. 5


CD 5
The Columbia Recordings
1–3 HAYDN Piano Trio No. 39 in G major, Hob.XV.25
Henry Holst, violin · Anthony Pini, cello


4–6 MOZART Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, KV 332
7–9 MOZART Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major, KV 576
10 MOZART Romance in A flat major, KV Anh.205 (attribution)
11 MOZART Gigue in G major, KV 574
12 MOZART Minuet in D major, KV 355
13 BEETHOVEN Bagatelle in C major, Op. 33 No. 2
14 BEETHOVEN Bagatelle in A minor, WoO 59 ‘Für Elise’
15 CHOPIN Étude in E major, Op. 10 No. 3
16 CHOPIN Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23
17 CHOPIN Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47


CD 6
The Columbia Recordings (continued)
1 MENDELSSOHN Rondo capriccioso, Op. 14
2 GRIEG Ballade in G minor, Op. 24
3 SCRIABIN Prelude in E major, Op. 11 No. 9
4 SCRIABIN Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 11 No. 10
5 RAVEL Jeux d’eau


6–8 IRELAND Piano Concerto in E flat major
Hallé Orchestra / Leslie Heward


9–12 SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35
Arthur Lockwood, trumpet · Hallé Orchestra / Leslie Heward


CD 7
The Decca Recordings
1–3 MOZART Piano Sonata No. 7 in C major, KV 309
4–6 BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 ‘Pathétique’
7 BEETHOVEN Bagatelle in E flat major, Op. 33 No. 1
8 SCHUMANN Papillons, Op. 2
9 CHOPIN Waltz in B minor, Op. 69 No. 2
10 CHOPIN Waltz in E minor, Op. posth.*
11 FRANCK Variations symphoniques
Paris Conservatoire Orchestra / Charles Munch




CD 8
The Decca Recordings (continued)
1–3 TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44 (ed. Siloti)*
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Grzegorz Fitelberg


4–6 RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Erich Leinsdorf


7 RACHMANINOV Humoresque in G major, Op. 10 No. 5
8 BLISS Baraza (from Men of Two Worlds)
National Symphony Orchestra and men’s chorus / Muir Mathieson


CD 9
The Decca Recordings (continued)
1–3 MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Eileen Joyce, piano · London Symphony Orchestra / Anatole Fistoulari


The HMV Recordings
4–6 J.S. BACH Concerto for Three Harpsichords in C major, BWV 1064
Eileen Joyce, George Malcolm, Thurston Dart, harpsichords
Denis Vaughan, continuo · Pro Arte Orchestra / Boris Ord


7–9 VIVALDI (arr. BACH) Concerto for Four Harpsichords in A minor, BWV 1065
Eileen Joyce, George Malcolm, Thurston Dart, Denis Vaughan, harpsichords
Pro Arte Orchestra / Boris Ord


10–13 VIVALDI (arr. DART) Concerto for Four Harpsichords in D minor
Eileen Joyce, George Malcolm, Thurston Dart, Denis Vaughan, harpsichords
Pro Arte Orchestra / Boris Ord


14 MALCOLM Variations on a theme of Mozart for Four Harpsichords
Eileen Joyce, George Malcolm, Thurston Dart, Denis Vaughan, harpsichords


The Saga Recordings
15 BEETHOVEN Bagatelle in A minor, WoO 59 ‘Für Elise’
16 SCHUMANN Romance in F sharp major, Op. 28 No. 2
17 SCHUMANN (arr. LISZT) Widmung, S.566


CD 10
The Saga Recordings (continued)
1 LISZT Gnomenreigen (Étude de concert, S.145 No. 2)
2 LISZT Un sospiro (Étude de concert, S.144 No. 3)
3 FAURÉ Impromptu No. 2 in F minor, Op. 31
4 DEBUSSY Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque)
5 DEBUSSY La Cathédrale engloutie (Préludes, Book I No. 10)
6 GRANADOS The Maiden and the Nightingale (from Goyescas)
7 GRANADOS Allegro di concierto
8 DOHNÁNYI Rhapsody in C major, Op. 11 No. 1
GRIEG Notturno (No. 4 Lyric Pieces, Op. 54)
10 GRIEG Melody (No. 3 of Lyric Pieces, Op. 47)
11–13 GRIEG Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Royal Danish Orchestra / John Frandsen


Eileen Joyce, piano


STEREO: CD10: 11–13