Ruth Slenczynska in Concert

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Slenczynska, a child prodigy born in 1925, was cruelly exploited by her father, who pocketed the money from her recitals, the sad story of which was told in her autobiography, Forbidden Childhood. After retiring in her teens, Slenczynska rebuilt her career in the 1950s. This 1984 live recital reveals a pianist with a keen mind and a solid technique. Brahms’ Rhapsody in B minor and Chopin’s Sonata No. 3 are stormy and vibrant, while Copland’s “Midsummer Nocturne” is downy and reflective. But it’s a collection of Rachmaninov preludes that shows her to best advantage.

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