Monica Gutman & Max von Pauer ...

... an exciting encounter with pace

In 2012, I had the pleasure of listening to Monica Gutman at my Ibach grand piano from 1912, "Harmonies du soir" from the "Etudes d’ exécution transcendante" by Franz Liszt. I was impressed by the piece and by Monica's playing.

In the Welte catalog, I found the "Harmonies du soir" as a roll with the number 844, played by Max von Pauer. The recording took place on November 21, 1905 in the Freiburg Welte recording studio. A short time later, the roll came into my possession. I also received Monica Gutman's CD "THE OCEAN ART HOUSE CONCERT", recorded in April 2011 on a Steinway concert grand piano D-274 in the large hall of the University of Music and Performing Arts, Frankfurt am Main.

I was surprised when I compared the recordings: the interpretations by Monica Gutman and Max von Pauer both run for exactly 08:13 min. By comparison, in a recording by EMI Classics dated 1989, Tzimon Barto plays the same piece in 12:24 min.

We simply bring both artists together after 106 years – you listen to Monica Gutman and Max von Pauer:

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Clicking the relevant image opens the biographies of Monica Gutman and Max von Pauer.

Monica Gutman about the interpretation by Max von Pauer

You definitely hear out the artist!

While listening, you completely forget that it is a reproduction by a mechanical instrument. The focus is on the music and you definitely hear out the artist.

The "Harmonies du soir" are also played very differently by today's pianists. The piece that contains a variety of atmospheric moods really requires a free interpretation. In my concerts I play it differently depending on my mood. In this respect I would probably not have heard any difference to a contemporary performance, if Pauer had played the piece on a concert grand piano today.

Monica Gutman in August 2013

Max von Pauer and the Welte-Mignon

Max von Pauer played eight rolls for Welte-Mignon They were recorded on November 21, 1905 in Freiburg i. Br.

On December 1, 1905, he wrote for Welte's autograph book :

The "Mignon" apparatus has so exceeded my expectations that I can only say that you have to have heard the marvel to believe it. It is inconceivable to me that an apparatus could have a "soul", and yet I have been converted. Much has already been written about "Mignon". All I will say is that this ingenious invention has turned the apparently impossible into an brilliant reality. 1


A statement by Pauers about the experience of listening to the reproduction of his playing is extremely interesting:

"The remarkable apparatus for recording virtuosos playing and the reproduction using a mechanical device is a type of revelation to the pianist who tries it for the first time. In the recording of artists playing, with whose interpretations I was entirely familiar, there remains undisputed characteristics of individuality. Sometimes these characteristics are slight flaws, which are so negligible, however, that they do nothing more than to convey character. (…)

When I listened to the first recording of my playing I heard things that appeared incredible to me. After years of public performances, was I making mistakes that I would be the first to condemn in any of my students? I could not believe my ears, and yet the implacable machine demonstrated that I had neglected to play together with both hands at certain points, and I had committed other no less atrocious errors, because they were insignificant. By listening to my own playing, as it was reproduced, I learned that I unintentionally stressed certain nuances, stressed various pitches and created special accents without knowing it. All this combined was an extremely interesting observation for me, and it became very clear that an artist's personality has to penetrate through what he is doing. If their technique is good enough, it will enable them to speak with fluency and self-expression and enhance the value of their work a thousand fold. 2

  1. Welte, Autogramme berühmter Meister der Tonkunst. Originalausgabe Welte o. O. o. J.
  2. James Francis Cooke, Great Pianists on Piano Playing. Study Talks With Formost Virtuosos. Philadelphia 2. Auflage 1917. S. 201. (Translation from English: Martin Breuninger.)

Biografie Monica Gutman


Monica Gutman was born in Romania and was already giving performances in concerts and on television as a ten-year-old child.

She studied in Bucharest, Detmold, Hanover and London. Her most influential teachers were Louis Kentner, on the great Liszt interpreters of the 20th century and Vladimir Krajnev, who alongside Emil Gilels, Swjatoslaw Richter and Radu Lupu, formed part of the school of Russian teacher Heinrich Neuhaus. Further mentors were the pianist György Sebök and the violinist Bruno Giuranna, with whom she played chamber music together.

Monica Gutman appeared on podia of the Alten Oper in Frankfurt, Berlin's Schauspielhaus, the Munich Philharmonium im Gasteig and St. Martin in the Fields in London. She appeared as a guest at the the Ludwigsburg castle festivals, Bad Kissinger summer music festival and the Schleswig-Holstein music festival. She is a regular guest at the series of concerts "Concert at Ca'n Bonico" on Majorca. She has gone on tour in Switzerland and the USA, Holland, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Monica Gutman's diverse repertoire extends from the classics and romantics right through to many new- and rediscoveries of the 20th century and is documented on several CDs. She has played works of Reger-Pupil Johanna Senfter and Erwin Schulhoff, and also by Franz Liszt, George Enescu and Dinu Lipati. She also made recordings at numerous public-service broadcasting organizations in Germany.

Monica Gutman lectures at the University of Music and the Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main.

Max von Pauer – Werktreuer Individualist


Max von Pauer was an internationally acclaimed pianist and music teacher. He was born in London on October 31, 1866. His parents were the German singer Ernestine Melinka Andreae (born September 27, 1831 in Frankfurt am Main; died August, 17 1913 in Jugenheim) and the Austrian pianist/composer and music teacher Ernst Pauer (* December 21, 1826 in Vienna; † May 5, 1905 in Jugenheim).

He received his first piano lesson from his father. Under him he studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London until 1881. His father sent him in this year to the composer Vincenz Lachner in Karlsruhe. Lachner was initially a private teacher there and then worked at the Grand Duchy of Baden Conservatory from 1884.

Pauer gave his first public appearances in Germany, England and the Netherlands while he was studying in Karlsruhe.

He pursued his career as a music teacher hand in hand with his career as a pianist. Pauer taught at the conservatory in Cologne between 1887 and 1897. In 1897, he transferred to the royal conservatory for music in Stuttgart, the leadership of which he took over in 1908. King Wilhelm II of Württemberg granted him a peerage for his merits.

Under Pauer's direction the conservatory was given the status of a modern music university in 1921, which included a separation of artists and dilettantes as well as the holding of half-yearly statutory audits.

Pauer took over management of the Leipzig state conservatory for music from 1924 to 1932 and was director of the city university of music in Mannheim between 1933 and 1934.

Several short piano compositions from Power are retained. He also brought out adaptations of works from other composers with publishers such as Schott, Breitkopf & Härtel and Peters.

Pauer dedicated himself to the music of the German classics and romantics and placed considerable importance on faithfulness to the original. At the same time, he demanded individuality in the interpretation:

Everyone of us has arms, fingers, muscles and nerves, but what we have to say at the keyboard, should be an expression of our own thoughts and feelings, not a simulation of a stereotypical model. 1

The composer and music author Walter Niemann, who also played for Welte, characterized Pauer as an academic, though in the best sense of the word: this term, he felt, did not stand for an out-of-touch, dry or dried-up artist but a great academic in the sense and styles of major classicists of piano playing2

Pauer died on May 12, 1945 in Jugenheim, near Darmstadt, the place to which his parents had also retired.

  1. James Francis Cooke, Great Pianists on Piano Playing. Study Talks With Formost Virtuosos. Philadelphia 2. Auflage 1917. S. 201. (Translation from English: Martin Breuninger.)
  2. Walter Niemann, Meister des Klaviers. Die Pianisten der Gegenwart und letzten Vergangenheit. Berlin 1919. S. 43.