A pianist dies in Cairo

The Georgian pianist Elena Dzamashvili has died in Cairo.

She had lived and taught in Egypt since 1991 and was buried in Cairo’s Orthodox church today.

 

 

 

 

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  • Each death diminishes us, though I did not know her or her 30 years in Egypt, where musical ws is of interest since Suez, Aida and the elephants. Her name looks Georgian. Egypt” once stood for all Africa and is mentioned in “Parsifal” by Guernemanz.

    Ignaz Tiegermann, “The Tiger of Cairo” friend of Ignaz Friedmann, lived and taught there most of his life. Memorial CDs catch him playing Saint-Saens’s “Egytian” concerto, what else?, with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra. Richter played it, though not on location, No 5 with a catchy, whistlable tune in the finale.

    Another of Tiegermann’s records is very rare: Anton Rubinstein’s final work, Polonaise in E-flat ninor, key of Chopin’s darkest polonaise played by Paderewski, whose death in 1942 is on the ubiquitous periphery of my earliest memories whose centre is everywhere. Rubinstein dedicated it to his last pupil,Jo sef Hofmann.

    Wael Farouk, an Egyptian pianist living near me, plays in Egypt, and last year played Beethoven’s five concerti twice in 24 hours, with his small, congenitally malformed hands. I’ve seen him play Balakirev’s oriental phantasy “Islamey” as well as Pltnev, Pogorelich, Horowitz, or Simon Barere. I asked if he were kin to the late king. He laughed and said Farouk is a common Egyptian name. One of tiegermann’s pupilf was an gyptian prince who lived quietly until just a few years ago, as did the actor and bridgr xpert Omar Shariff, who died in a hotel there.

    Furtwaengler’s father Adolf was an Egyptologist who took his goung son there and to Greece in youth. Adult and conductorial, he returned with the BPO in 1951 to play Bruckner’s seventh and Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” in Alexandria and Cairo; they were recorded in fair sound, the Brukner again in Rome on the same tour. Furtwaengler was photographed with fez atop a camel, the giza pyramids behind.

    “Joseph and his Brothers”, including “Joseph the Provider” based on FDR and the New Deal, fill out my picture of the early psychotherapist and dream-interpreter, administrator, seduction decliner, and pharoahnic protege. “Only the exhaustive is truly ineresting”, its author maintained, also “Speech is civilisation itself. Any word, even the most contradictious, maintains contact. IIt is silence that isolates.”

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