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Edouard Risler (1873 - 1929)

Son of an Alsatian father and German mother, Edouard Risler studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Théodore Dubois and Louis Diémer gaining his premier prix in 1887, the premier prix in Diémer’s class in 1889 and a premier prix for accompaniment. He continued his studies in Germany with d’Albert, Stavenhagen and Klindworth, all of whom had studied with Liszt. He then toured Europe playing in London in 1894. During the 1896–1897 season at Bayreuth he was répétiteur for Felix Mottl and prepared Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the Paris Opera assisted by Alfred Cortot, upon whom he had a considerable influence. He was appointed a member of the Conseil Supérieur of the Paris Conservatoire in 1906 and was a professor of piano there until 1909. By this time he had already given many recitals in Europe and Russia and in 1906 played all thirty-two sonatas of Beethoven in London, gaining himself the reputation of a Beethoven player comparable to Hans von Bülow. A critic of the time wrote, ‘In the evening in the Aeolian Hall, M. Edouard Risler brought to an end his recitals of the piano sonatas of Beethoven with a performance of the last four of the immortal “thirty-two” Opp. 106, 109, 110, and 111. Here his excellent technique was of great value, for the difficulties of the sonatas seemed as nothing in his hands; his habit of forcing the tone of his instrument and overemphasizing the




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