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Edith Farnadi was a child prodigy first receiving lessons from her mother, herself a pianist, before entering the Liszt Academy in Budapest at the age of nine. It was there that she studied under Arnold Székely, Leo Weiner, Béla Bartók and Ilona Deckers-Küszler. At twelve she played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 Op. 15, conducting the orchestra from the keyboard. During her years at the Liszt Academy she was awarded the Liszt Prize twice, and after gaining her diploma, Farnadi returned as a professor. After World War II she settled in Austria and joined the staff of the Music Academy of Graz where she remained until 1970, combining a teaching and performing career. Whilst still a student, Farnadi formed a partnership with the great Hungarian violinist Jenő Hubay, and later played with Bronisław Huberman and André Gertler. Farnadi performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw, and London Philharmonic Orchestras, with such conductors as Karl Böhm, Ernest Ansermet and Adrian Boult.
During the 1950s Farnadi made a series of LP recordings for Westminster. These include music by Liszt, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Bartók, Grieg and Franck; the latter two composers being represented by violin sonatas recorded with André Gertler. Farnadi's most important recordings are those of Liszt, and her complete series of the Hungarian Rhapsodies (Nos 1--19 plus the Rhapsodie Espagnole) from 1953 was reissued on compact disc by MCA in 1991. Farnadi has a sure technique and delivers the music without bombast, avoiding overblown performances. However, her other Liszt recordings still await reissue and among these are a complete recording of the Années de pèlerinage, the Piano Sonata in B minor, the first Mephisto-Waltz, the Grandes Études de Paganini, the Ungarische Bildnisse, a disc of opera transcriptions (including the overture to Wagner's Tannhäuser), the complete Soirées de Vienne, and the two piano concertos which she recorded with Hermann Scherchen (and later again with Adrian Boult). Farnadi recorded Bartók's Mikrokosmos on three LPs, and his Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 3, also with Scherchen. One of her lesser-known discs is one of her best. Recorded in London in June 1955, it is of paraphrases of works by Johann Strauss, including the famous three by Godowsky, and Farnadi has the style and technique to play these with charm and subtlety.
The Barylli Quartet was a celebrated Austrian string quartet classical musical ensemble. It was first brought together in Vienna during the War by Walter Barylli, Konzertmeister of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra from 1939, but was re-founded in 1945. The reformed quartet actually appeared in public performance only from 1951 to 1960. In that period it was the 'home' quartet of the Vienna Musikverein.
Walter Barylli (born in Vienna in 1921) studied at the Vienna Music Academy with the Philharmonic Konzertmeister Franz Mairecker, and in Munich with Florizel von Reuter. In 1936 Barylli gave his first public performance as a soloist in Munich, and made his first gramophone recordings in Berlin. Over the next two years he made an international career as a soloist: but realizing the difficulty of a career as a travelling soloist in the turmoil of the late 1930s he instead won a place at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he became Konzertmeister in 1939. The quartet was first formed from leading members of the Vienna Philharmonic, during the war. It was then reformed in 1945, but its work in public performance was mainly confined to the period 1951-1960.
Closely associated with the Vienna Musikverein, their work was principally with classic repertoire such as Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. They gave many concerts in Europe and overseas. Among their various recordings are a complete Beethoven cycle for Westminster and a near-complete Mozart cycle. They performed at the Salzburg Festival, from which at least two live concerts (from 1956, Mozart Quintet with Antoine de Bavier, and 1958, of Beethoven, Schubert and Hindemith), have also survived as recordings. Their principal collaborations in chamber music were with Antoine de Bavier, Edith Farnadi, Jörg Demus, Paul Badura-Skoda and the violist Wilhelm Hübner.
Emanuel Brabec, the group's cellist in 1958, taught at the Vienna Academy and was teacher of Nikolaus Harnoncourt.