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Evident from this retrospect of studio, broadcast and live recordings, the Danish pianist Victor Schiøler (1899-1967), a schooled ‘Leschetizky’ man who studied with Friedman and Schnabel, was one of the leading Nordic voices of his day. The on-the- sleeve post-Lisztian clichés and arch-romantic climaxes of Palmgren’s River Concerto (Helsinki 1962) – a Friedman favourite Schiøler played with Wood at the 1925 Proms – are winning. Nielsen’s Violin Sonata Op 9 with Emil Telmányi (the composer’s son-in- law), without being a primary source, also has value (1954).

In Chopin (a driven A-flat Polonaise and symphonic Third Scherzo, 1942/50), Schiøler is closer to Rubinstein than Horowitz, clarity and heroic pulse at a premium. Like some later Soviet readings, a curious Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (1941, pre-Earl Wild/Benny Goodman) is largely a comment on how Europeans used to ‘un-bend’ jazz idioms. Teasing out tone, nuance and declamation colours his Magyar Liszt and Brahms (1942/59).

A Beethoven Emperor with Carl von Garaguly (1947) proves modernist in outlook. Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy, from a 1966 television broadcast aired weeks before Schiøler’s death, enlightens. Seek out the footage and you’ll find a jowelled, unfussy player structuring the music to speak in its own harmonic space and time. Classically temperate posture, energy conserved, fingers stroking the keys, his lightly oiled octaves, cushioned chords, purling runs, ‘orchestration’ and registral changes are kept to a minimum. An interesting masterclass – less sombre than Arrau, more human than Richter.

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