Jonatthan Woolf's review today has cleared up a 30-year-old mystery for me. Back in March 1987, in the Italian magazine Musica, Piero Rattalino, a leading Italian wirter on pianists, began a review of Eric Parkin's Chandos recording of the Ireland concerto by saying.
"Ireland's concerto is not exactly a popular piece but many years ago it was played in Italy a lot by a very highly connected lady pianist who made it her flagship piece. It may be because of the embarrassing impression those long-distant performances made on me ..."
Ever since then, I have periodically wondered who the "highly connected lady pianist" might have been. It looks as if I now know the answer.
Jonathan mentions that the BBC did not broadcast this, though it broadcast the rest of the concert. From a search of the Italian Radio Corriere site, it seems that Italian Radio did not broadcast it either.
Rattalino would not have named her back in 1987 because she was still alive and might have sued.
Another dark horse among Ireland concerto recordings is that by Sondra Bianca, issued by MGM, maybe only in America. It might be said that Bianca was also a highly connected lady pianist, since her father was Paul Lazare, whose Hamburg outfit made a large number of budget recordings in the 1950s, many with Bianca, but she was actually a rather good pianist. Quite a few of her recordings have circulated on the Internet but not, so far , the Ireland.
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