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Hidden Treasures

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Mozart Coronation Concerto

In October of 1983, Leonard Pennario played the Coronation Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Orchestra, David Miller conducting. In 2005 we were able to get the CBC to make us a CD from the master tape. This CD now has a treasured place in our collection since there are no other examples of Leonard playing any Mozart concerto.

Here is a brief sample from the second movement.

Bach-Busoni

In August of 2004, we learned that many many years ago, Leonard had completed the recording of several pieces of Bach-Busoni for Capitol records. The studio work had all been done, but the material was never released. Through some friends we were able to contact Capitol and they generously gave us a CD of these pieces made direct from the master tape. There are no other examples of Leonard playing Bach in existence that we are aware of.

Busoni was a pianist who was very well known for his virtuoso transcriptions and adaptations. His transcriptions of Bach, make full use of the resources of the piano.

The pieces we have recordings of are:

C major Toccata and Fugue (16:27)

D minor Toccata and Fugue (8:54)

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (3:29)

Here is a sample from the last track.

Sparky's Magic Piano

Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing this animated film as a child has loved it. In 1987, the film was redone, with Leonard Pennario playing the piano parts, and Lalo Schifrin conducting the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra. Luminaries such as Tony Curtis, Vincent Price, and Cloris Leachman did the voices. It has been released in both video tape and DVD formats.

BYU The Story of Chamber Music

In 1954 the Music Department at Bringham Young University, in Utah, produced a 16mm film called, "A Story of Chamber Music". It was intended as a teaching aid, and was for sale, in 1954 dollars, for $125.00 in black and white, and $250.00 in color. The film was reviewed by the Educational Screen magazine. A copy of the review is here.

The artists were: Narrator and violin: Henri Temianka, piano: Leonard Pennario, viola: Milton Thomas and cello: William Van den Burg.

In 2002 I found a 16mm tape of the pilot at Leonard's appartment in Beverly Hills. I arranged for the tape to be transferred to DVD.

BYU DVD front cover BYU DVD Back Cover

The result of the translation to DVD did not do justice to the original sound track. The audio tracks involving piano are:

  • A movement from one of Beethoven's Violin and Piano sonatas (Kreutzer).
  • A movement from Mendelshonn's Trio in G minor.
  • A movement from the Brahms piano quartet.

Here are a couple of screenshots from the video.

A September Affair.

Leonard also played the piano parts for this movie about a star concert pianist (Joan Fontaine) and an American business man (Joseph Cotton). Sadly for Pennario fans, the sound track takes a back seat to the demands of the story, and there are few occasions to hear the music unblemished by dialog and background noise.

Leonard and Joseph Cotton became lifelong friends.