Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Eileen Joyce - Pearl Gemm 9022

An aura of romance surrounded the life of Eileen Joyce, and it was there right from the start — whenever that may have been. Since her birth took place in a leaking tent at Zeehan, in the outback of Tasmania, under the most primitive of conditions, it is hardly surprising that her impoverished parents told her they had lost count of time — so the actual date of her entry into the world cannot be vouched for with any accuracy ; 21 November 1912 is, however, that which is most generally accepted. Equally open to question are the details of her early years, for the two main sources of biographical data (Lady Abrahall's Prelude and a chapter in Donald Brook's Masters of the Keyboard) are at some variance. This is probably because Joyce's memory changed over a period of time. When we learn however that Lady Abrahall, as she herself stated, had found it necessary to invent a few fictitious characters with whom to surround her subject, it becomes apparent that we are in a rather grey — or perhaps one should say purple — area.
All sources however seem to agree that she was born to a father of Irish origin and a mother of Spanish descent. As to where her musical aptitude came from there are few clues apart from references to her parents singing to themselves. Lady Abrahall's narrative says that Eileen was introduced to the harmonica in a splendidly romantic fashion ! When she was a small girl her pet was a tame kangaroo which her father had found. The latter soon departed for Western Australia, in the hope of finding gold and making his fortune; Eileen and her mother were to follow when he sent the money for the journey. One day she wandered off with her kangaroo, and in the process was nearly bitten by a lethal snake. Just as the snake was about to strike a kookaburra attacked the snake and Eileen was safe, but petrified. At this point a hermit found her and carried her back to his hut where he talked and then played his harmonica, whilst the kangaroo sat quietly with them. Seeing she was interested he handed her a second harmonica and told her to imitate him. To his surprise the child followed his instruction and copied him in John Peel, almost exactly. Eileen was not satisfied, and insisted on getting it absolutely right. This is very revealing in view of later events ; her musical interest had been awoken...
Alan Vicat, 1992, from the booklet

Eileen Joyce
Pearl Gemm 9022


Johann Sebastian Bach

1 Prelude & Fugue in A minor, BWV 543  8:25
(arr. Liszt)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Sonata n° 12 in F Major, K. 332
2 I. Allegro  4:46
3 II. Adagio  4:31
4 III. Allegro assai  4:42

Frédéric Chopin

5 Berceuse in D-Flat Major, Op. 57  4:17
6 Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66  4:41

Robert Schumann

7 Novelette in D Major, Op. 21, n° 2  4:34
Ausserst rasch und mit Bravour

Franz Liszt

8 Etude de Concert in F Minor "La Leggierezza", G. 57, n° 2  4:17

Johannes Brahms

9 Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 76, n° 6  4:42
10 Intermezzo in B-Flat Minor, Op. 117, n° 2  4:23

Edvard Grieg

11 Melody in A Minor, Op. 47, n° 3  2:47

Claude Debussy

12 Toccata (Pour le piano, n° 3)  4:02

Richard Strauss

13 Ständchen, Op. 17, n° 2  2:56
(arr. Gieseking)

Eugen d'Albert

14 Scherzo, Op. 16, n° 2  3:54

Serge Rachmaninov

15 Prelude in E-Flat Major, Op. 23, n° 6  2:21

Dmitri Shostakovich

16 Three Fantastic Dances, Op. 5  3:51

Cyrill Scott

17 Danse nègre, Op. 58, n° 5  1:28


Eileen Joyce - p

Recorded between 1933 & 1940

See the complete artwork


Melanchthon said...


Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Big thanks Mel

zoot said...

many thanks