Music Favorites V - Josef Hofmann's The Sanctuary (from Impressions)
Josef Hofmann belonged to a category of pianists that can only be classified as super-virtuosi. But how good was he? Sergei Rachmaninov himself admit to practicing 15 hours per day to get to his level. (Rachmaninov's hands were immense, and Hofmann's were slightly below average.) Hofmann also flawlessly played works in concert that he hadn't as much as seen for nearly three years.
His immense talent at the piano - especially in his ability to play rapidly repeating notes - served to overshadow his excellent compositions (sometimes published under the pseudonym "Michel Dvorsky"). "The Sanctuary" is the third of three movements from his collection "Impressions," which I think is a certainly apt title - some of the left-hand passages put Ravel to shame. It's an étude and a half and I could never play it, but that doesn't make it any less glorious to listen to.