Alexis “Sigi” Weissenberg (1929-2012)

As I have said before in this space my favorite hobby is to study the work of classic pianists of the past.
The “somewhat” distant pianists of the past I have looked at encompass Cortot, Lipatti, Rubinstein, Horowitz, Schnabel, Rachmaninoff, Godowsky, Hofmann, etc.
The more recent past include Gould, Ashkenazy, and “Sigi”.
Born in Bulgaria and migrating to America during WW2 Europe’s troubled waters to eventually study in New York, his story is a harrowing one.
He even befriended the great American pianist William Kapell, who died tragically young in a plane crash in 1953, but who left a great legacy which has been preserved in a great box set by RCA.
At any rate, “Sigi” has all of the attributes I value highly in a musician. He displayed great clarity, articulation, precision, and passion.
His recording of the Rachmaninoff Preludes are to “die for.” And I never use a term like that lightly.