Guiomar Novaes (1895 - 1979), "a musician by the grace of God"


She was a Brazilian pianist noted for individuality of tone and phrasing, singing line, and a subtle and nuanced approach to her interpretations. She is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.

Whatever she played, she played with an aristocratic approach, a perpetually singing line and complete spontaneity.

Because of her relaxed, effortless nature at the keyboard, she was one of the few pianists about whom it seemed the instrument was a welded extension of her arms and fingers. The subtlety of her tone recalled the great Romantic pianists of previous generations. Her technique was supple, with no striving for effect.

At all times her playing was intensely poetic. Harold C. Schonberg recalls in his book The Great Pianists that her performance of the Schumann concerto in the late 1950s "was strikingly reminiscent of Josef Hofmann's. Like Hofmann, she never played a piece quite the same way twice. Each time she brought to it a slightly different point of view; each time, the new approach seemed inevitable and perfectly natural.

David Dubal writes in The Art of the Piano that her playing was "first and always personalized. She delighted in details, leaving one wondering why others never saw or savored them. Even at capricious moments, she had that marvelous and indispensable trait of a great interpreter -- the power to convince. In whatever she touched there was a feeling of intimacy, and it was Chopin she touched most."

(From Wkipedia