Fanny Davies (1861–1934)

Fanny Davies, photograph by Elliot & Fry, London

Fanny Davies, photograph by Elliot & Fry, London
(UB Frankfurt, Sammlung Manskopf:
https://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/manskopf/)

Fanny Davies was one of the most famous pupils of Clara Schumann. After she left her home town of Birmingham in 1882 to study with Carl Reinecke in Leipzig, she went to Frankfurt (by the river Main) in the autumn of 1883 and studied with Clara Schumann until 1885. When she returned to Britain, she was introduced to the local audience by Clara herself. The British critics immediately recognised in Fanny Davies a worthy successor to Clara Schumann.

After her debut at the Crystal Palace venue in London with Beethoven’s Concerto in E-flat major, her career took her to Spain, Hungary, Germany, Austria, France, and Italy. Like Clara Schumann, Fanny Davies considered a perfect technique as subordinate to interpretation. Her playing seems to have been a perfect reflection of that of her teacher. Between 1928 and 1930, she recorded Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Scenes from Childhood and the Dances of the League of David; the National Sound Archive in London also holds unreleased recordings of other works by Schumann. Apart from Schumann and Brahms, Fanny Davies also promoted contemporary piano music from her home country, Spain and the Czech Republic.

(J.M.N., translated by Th. H.)

On Fanny Davies, cf. also the corresponding page at MUGI
Fanny Davies plays Schumann’s Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, 1928
m.youtube.com/

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