Erik Then-Bergh (1916–1982) is almost forgotten today, content as he was to confine his career, the last twenty years of which were devoted to teaching, to Germany. But to hear this favourite of Furtwängler in his early recordings is to hear playing of the highest order – his combination of superlative technique at the service of deeply profound interpretation can only be compared with the very greatest of artists.
We present here his almost complete 78rpm recordings (only a Schumann Kinderszenen on Telefunken is missing) which were mostly made in Germany during the war and hence had little international circulation. Then-Bergh was renowned as a Reger player and in this centenary year of Reger’s death, which is also the centenary of Then Bergh’s birth, we include his stereo LP recording of the Reger Piano Concerto from 1958 which completes his Reger recordings.
Perhaps this quote from ‘The Record Book’ (USA 1948) reviewing Beethoven’s Op101 still sums up Then-Bergh’s 78 recordings today:
The performance by a pianist of whom we know nothing, Erik Then-Bergh, is spectacularly fine, and is backed by some of the best reproduction of piano tone we have ever heard.
The complete Electrola & Deutsche Grammophon recordings 1938-1958