HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Turnabout) Robert Schumann – Carnaval, Op. 9 / Fantasia, Op. 17 (Abbey Simon)

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Abbey Simon has enjoyed a lengthy career as both concert pianist and teacher; although less well-known by the general public than more widely publicized performers, he has made a strong showing on recordings, especially for the Vox label. He has specialized in works of the Romantic and early twentieth-century periods, notably those by Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninov, and Ravel. In addition to an active performing career, Simon has distinguished himself as a pedagogue at several institutions and is the founder of a prestigious international piano competition. After private studies, Simon was awarded a scholarship to the Curtis Institute by the legendary pianist Josef Hofmann; he trained there from 1932 to 1940

Composer: Robert Schumann
Performer: Abbey Simon
Vinyl 1970
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Turnabout
DR-Analysis: DR13
Size: 1.17 GB
Scan: yes

Among his teachers were David Saperton (son-in-law of another legendary pianist Leopold Godowsky), Harold Bauer (an Englishman rooted in the Romantic tradition, but modern in his approach to questing after the essence of the printed score), and Dora Zaslavsky. In 1940, he won the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Award, an honor that led to his New York recital debut at Town Hall. Simon played several Carnegie Hall recitals before undertaking his first European tour in 1949. There, as he himself put it, he “found himself” and initiated the process of refining his own approach to the works he performed. Subsequent tours took him to many parts of the world, including South Africa, South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

A variety of honors followed, among them the National Orchestral Award, the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Award, and the Harriet Cohen Medal. Critics were approving of his virtuosity and conscientious musicianship. The New York press routinely offered such comments as “Phenomenal! Control of near miraculous order” and “One of the finest, most hypnotic virtuoso techniques of the day.” Since 1960, Simon has held several academic posts and has proven himself an effective and sensitive teacher.

From 1960 to 1974, he was a faculty member at Indiana University and, since 1977, he has held dual positions at Juilliard School of Music and at the University of Houston where he is a Cullen Distinguished Professor at the University’s Moores School of Music. Simon established the International Piano Festival at the school, an event that offers recitals by prominent pianists, including Simon himself, master classes, and conversation lunches. Simon’s performances reflect to a considerable degree the balance between force and clarity learned under Harold Bauer. While his is a generous, virtuosic technique, a thoughtful side keeps in check any impulse toward excess or bombast.

Reviewing Simon’s all-Chopin Carnegie Hall recital in 1999, critic Allan Kozinn noted that the event served as a reminder that “there is also a coolly rational side to his pianism.” An extensive discography, including such labels as EMI, Philips, Turnabout, and especially Vox, has kept Simon’s name before those of the public who may not have heard him in concert. The complete piano works of Ravel, complete recordings of works for piano and orchestra by Chopin and Rachmaninov, as well as numerous solo works by Schumann and Chopin exist beside other miscellaneous works by Saint-Saëns, Brahms, and Paganini. 


A1 Carnaval, Op. 9 29:10
  Fantasia, Op. 17 (32:38)
B1 Sempre Fantasticamente Ed Appassionatamente 14:15
B2 Moderato Sempre Energico 13:29
B3 Lento Sostenuto E Sempre Piano 4:46

 Analyzed folder: /96k Schumann – Carnaval, Fantasia – Simon
 DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
 DR13        -1.36 dB     -18.29 dB     A1 Carnaval, Op. 9.aif
 DR13        -1.50 dB     -20.25 dB     B1 Fantasia, Op. 17 – Sempre Fantasticamente Ed Appassionatamente.aif
 DR13        -1.67 dB     -19.19 dB     B2 Fantasia, Op. 17 – Moderato Sempre Energico.aif
 DR13        -1.55 dB     -20.76 dB     B3 Fantasia, Op. 17 – Lento Sostenuto E Sempre Piano.aif
 Number of files:    4
 Official DR value:    DR13


Ripping Info


  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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14 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Turnabout) Robert Schumann – Carnaval, Op. 9 / Fantasia, Op. 17 (Abbey Simon)

    • Thank you Bob, I saw 1981 too, but I’m not sure, it is really from 81. But until someone correct me, I take this 😀

  1. Abbey Simon was an exellent Pianist and played also in Germany in the 70th. My sister in Hamburg who organized a Chamber music cycle in those days had won him for a Recital. The Recital was a big success.
    By the way, the recording Date is 1970 not 1981. Trottar

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