|Country Of origin:||Germany|
Moszkowski was a German pianist and composer of Polish descent whose light compositions were extremely popular at the turn of the previous century. Today he is probably best known as the teacher of the great piano prodigy Josef Hoffmann. The great majority of Moszkowski's pieces are short instructional or picturesque piano works, written in a light and ingratiating style. Played sympathetically, they could still be successful, but have fallen into utter obscurity. The best known of these, the Spanish Dances, Opus 12, were originally for piano duet. Moszkowski attempted several larger-scale works including the symphonic orchestral suite Aus aller Herren Ländern, Opus 23, which attempts to imitate the musical styles of a number of countries, and the opera Boabdil, the Last Moorish King. Although the latter was produced in Berlin, New York and Prague, it quickly fell out of the repertory. The excerpted dance music, similar in style to the Spanish Dances, was more successful, though, and appeared in programs for many years after. Moszkowski also produced a violin concerto, a piano concerto, several other large symphonic works, as well as a handful of chamber pieces. None of these has remained in the repertory.
Moszkowski studied in Dresden and later in Berlin with Kullak, where he settled to teach for many years at Kullak's academy. During these years (until 1897), Moszkowski also toured as pianist and conductor, particularly in England. In 1897, he retired to Paris. Moszkowski's lighter works are highly effective and well written, and at least at one time had a legitimate place in the repertory. His more serious and larger works, though, as professionally done as they are, lack originality and power, and are hard to justify the resources required to perform them. ~ Steven Coburn~ Rovi