Victor Borge

Terry Teachout remembers Victor Borge:

I doubt that many people under the age of forty remember Victor Borge, the comedian-pianist who died in 2000 at the miraculous age of ninety-one. He was a star for a very long time, first on radio, then TV, and Comedy in Music, his 1953 one-man show, ran for 849 consecutive performances on Broadway, a record which so far as I know remains unbroken. From there he went on the road and stayed there, giving sixty-odd concerts in the season before his death.
. . .
He usually made a point of playing a piece from start to finish toward the end of every concert, and I remember how delighted I was each time I heard him ripple through one of Ignaz Friedman’s bittersweet Viennese-waltz arrangements, which he played with a deceptively nonchalant old-world panache that never failed to leave me longing for an encore. Alas, he never obliged, and in later years I found myself wondering whether he’d really been quite so fine as my memory told me.
. . .
Borge, it turns out, could play with the utmost stylishness and sensitivity whenever it suited him to do so. You’ll never hear a more elegant piece of piano playing—not even from Ignaz Friedman himself.

Unsullied,” by Terry Teachout, About Last Night, November 29, 2005 (there are links to audio recordings in the original post)

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