Rosenthal, Moriz



Celebrated pianist; born at Lemberg; the son of a school-teacher, and was so precocious musically that Mikuli began to teach him at the age of eight; and two years later the boy appeared in public for the first time, when he played a rondo for two pianos by Chopin with his teacher. The same year he walked to Vienna to interview Joseffy, who, on hearing him play, accepted him as a pupil. At fourteen he gave a concert in Vienna, at which he met Liszt, who predicted that he would become a great pianist. In 1886 he closed a ten years' period of study under Liszt, at whose concerts over Europe he was also a constant attendant. At one time he was Court pianist in Roumania, receiving the appointment on one of the many concert tours which he has given ever since 1876. His first tour to America was in 1888, after traveling in Germany and England. The enthusiasm aroused here was reflected in Europe, where he had previously been the subject of much comment and some severe criticism. His technique is dazzling; he tosses off the double thirds in place of single notes with ease in the most rapid movements, and his arrangement of Chopin's wellknown waltz in D flat, that has been aptly likened to a kitten chasing its tail, shows off his ability in this line to advantage. His second tour to America, in 1896, was interrupted by a severe illness in Chicago. Rosenthal's tone is uniquely clear and brilliant, and the notes in his softest passages sound like tiny bells. His powers of interpretation are suited to works of grandeur and intellectual force, but in the emotional and poetic he is not considered equal to several other pianists of the first rank. He is a cousin of another famous pianist, Mrs. Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler. He possesses a wonderful memory in literature as well as in music, and is a ready and able writer on musical subjects. In collaboration with L. Schytte, he has published a work, entitled technical Studies for the Highest Degree of Development. Lahee, in his Famous Pianists, has given an illuminating estimate of Rosenthal's characteristics; and Huneker says of him: "He is the epitome of the orchestra, and in a tonal duel with the orchestra has never been worsted." His tonal pictures stand out clearly against the orchestral background, rather than blend with the instrumental colors.