Compact Disc 1: Acoustic Recordings (71.53) Recorded early 1920s
CHOPIN: Waltz in A-Flat, Op.69 No.1; Waltz in B Minor, Op.69 No.2; Waltz in C-Sharp Minor, Op.64 No.2; Nocturne in B, Op.32 No.1; Etude in F Minor, Op.25 No.2; Etude in G-Flat, Op.25 No.9; Etude in A-Flat, Op.25 No.1 Waltz in D-Flat, Op.64 No.1;
LISZT Consolations Nos.1, 2, 3 & 5; RAFF La Fileuse, Op.157 No.2;
SGAMBATI Prelude in E-Flat Minor, Op.6; SCARLATTI/TAUSIG Pastorale (Sonata, K.478);
PERGOLESI/ZADORA Arietta, Se tu m'ami, se sospiri; BEETHOVEN/BUSONI Ecossaises;
CHOPIN Preludes Op.28 Nos.6, 7, 13 & 23; CHOPIN Mazurka in A Minor, Op.67 No.4;
RUBINSTEIN Romance in E-Flat, Op.44 No.1; BRAHMS Intermezzo in B-Flat Minor, Op.117 No.2;
FIELD Nocturne No.5 in B-Flat; AMADIS The Prima Ballerina; AMADIS Vienna Waltz;
Compact Disc 2: Electrical Recordings (66.51) Recorded 1929 - 1938
CHOPIN Waltz in D-Flat, Op.64 No.1; CHOPIN Waltz in C-Sharp Minor, Op.64 No.2;
PROKOFIEV Prelude in C, Op.12 No.7; LAMARE La Passion;
DELIBES/ZADORA Valse lente, from Sylvia; JENSEN/ZADORA Murmuring Zephyrs Op.21 No.4;
BACH (attrib.) Sarabande e Partita in C, BWV 990 (abridged);
DEBUSSY Prelude & Toccata from Pour le piano; BUSONI Sonatina No.6, after Bizet's Carmen;
OFFENBACH/ZADORA Barcarolle, from Tales of Hoffmann; AMADIS Meine Puppe Tanzt;
HENSELT/ZADORA Larghetto, from Concerto in F Minor, Op.16; HUMMEL Rondo in E-Flat, Op.11;
DELIBES/ZADORA Valse lente, from Coppélia; DELIBES/ZADORA Pizzicati, from Sylvia;
BUSONI Sonatina No.3 "Ad usum infantis"; BUSONI: Sonatina No.5 "In diem nativitatis Christi"
Michael Zadora is one of the most obscure pianists to have recorded prolifically in the 78rpm era. Only a handful of 78s have ever been reissued, and no LP or CD has ever been devoted to him. It would appear that his concert career was also not particularly high profile, yet from these recordings it seems he was a very significant artist. Perhaps the answer lies in his background. He was born in New York of aristocratic Polish parents but returned to Europe to study and was a pupil of Leshetizky and Barth (who also taught Rubinstein). After the First World War he became a disciple of Busoni and indeed played for the great artist on his deathbed. Zadora seems to have been a rather reserved character, much more an intellectual than someone who enjoyed public performance and it is likely that family wealth allowed him the luxury of not having to pursue his career too aggressively. On the other hand, studio recording suited him very well indeed, and he seems equally at home in the standard repertoire, such as Chopin, and in more rarefied material, such as the Busoni Sonatinas, where we are undoubtedly hearing an interpretation very close to that of the composer himself. Of particular interest are Zadora's own unusual transcriptions and also the works of 'Pietro Amadis' who was actually a pseudonym of the pianist.
These very rare recordings should be of particular interest to all lovers of historic piano playing.