Halina Czerny-Stefanska

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The Independent Online

In his obituary of the great Polish pianist Halina Czerny-Stefanska [6 July], Martin Anderson did not make it clear that she continued to make outstanding Chopin recordings well into the CD era, especially in Japan, writes Tully Potter.

In 1985-87 she recorded two recital programmes and a complete set of the Nocturnes for Japanese RCA and, in 1989-90, a complete set of the Mazurkas for Canyon Classics. The latter was made freely available in the West. I have had an enormous amount of enjoyment from these recordings, in which the pianist consistently put the music first and her own ego second. It was interesting that you published a photograph of Czerny-Stefanska in the company of Witold Malcuzynski, as these two pianists were, I believe, the finest players of the Mazurkas in the latter half of the 20th century.

The picture was wrongly captioned, however – Malcuzynski was on the left and Kabalevsky in the centre.

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