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Josef Casimir Hofmann (originally Józef Kazimierz Hofmann; January 20, 1876 – February 16, 1957) was a Polish-American virtuoso pianist, composer, music teacher, and inventor.
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Quotes about Hofmann
- His playing is stunning, with absolutely no smudging.
- His style on it was one of the phenomena of twentieth-century pianism. Above all he had tone: a magical tone, never hard even at moments of greatest stress; a shimmering, tinted, pellucid tone. His playing had a degree of spontaneity, of "lift," of dash, daring and subtle rhythm, that was unparalleled. Perhaps only his close friend Rachmaninoff was titan enough to stand by his side as an equal. But even Rachmaninoff never had Hofmann's poetry, color and vitality. Nobody so made the piano sing.
When he played, there was the feeling of a tremendous and original musical personality. His rubato was carefully measured, yet it flowed freely and naturally. His playing always had breathing space, and his basses exceptional clarity. (Hofmann used to despise what he scornfully called "right-hand pianists.") Never did the playing sag, never were there dead spots, never did the tensile quality slacken. A strong classic element was represented in the purity of his pianistic approach. And his interpretations, romantic but not exaggerated, had a measure of classicism.
- Harold Schonberg, The Great Pianists (1987)