December 14, 1914
- Today is Rosalyn Tureck's 88th birthday. She was born on December 14, 1914.
On Thursday morning, I visited Rosalyn, who has been a friend and mentor for 33 years. She is now living in Riverdale, Bronx, NY, in a sunny 14th floor apartment (the "Bach Number" floor, of course!) with spectacular views down and across the Hudson River. I found her in fine fettle and hard at work on her autobiography, of which she so far has written 16 chapters. We spent more that two hours talking and reminiscing about her long and distinguished career which began in the 1920s, and I hope to have turned the transcript of that conversation into an article before too many weeks have passed.
Needless to say, Rosalyn is both exhilarated and gratified by the appearance on commercial recordings of the recording of Book One of The Well-Tempered Clavier that she made for BBC broadcasts in 1975 and 1976. She is particularly pleased with the design of the album and the photos in it, and she told me that Book Two is to be released by the BBC in February, 2003. I, for one, eagerly await the release of Book Two, because the recording of Book One is one of the most spectacular recordings of all time, preserving interpretations even more insightful and compelling than those preserved in her 1953 Decca recordings, which are currently available on DGG.
Just before I left her apartment, I reminded Rosalyn that she has lived one year for each key on a standard piano keyboard, and that she is now at work on one year for each key on a piano with "Russian extensions". Rosalyn laughed and replied that she was also working on one year for each key on a Bosendorfer Imperial.
I know that I am by no means alone in wishing Rosalyn Tureck a happy birthday and many, many healthy and happy returns of the day!
God bless her always!