Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Alfred Cortot Plays Chopin

Alfred Cortot’s Chopin abounds with ecstasy, risk, idiosyncratic rubato, soaring melodic projection, and boundless nuance. A brilliant but erratic technician, Cortot was infamous for wrong notes but less celebrated for how he always nailed the perfect tempo for a particular piece. Like most pianists of his generation, Cortot pulls inner voices out of the woodwork, adds bass octaves at will, and doesn’t always synchronize his hands, yet he employs these devices toward specific coloristic and expressive ends.
EMI’s newly re-released 1991 six-disc Cortot/Chopin anthology stands out for the inclusion of otherwise hard-to-find rarities, such as the pianist’s 1943 French HMV Etudes, Preludes, and Waltzes. Generally these sets are inferior to their better-known 1933/34 counterparts, notwithstanding individual flights of fancy not replicated elsewhere (the Op. 10 n° 2 Etude’s highlighted tenor voice, the Op. 18 Waltz’s dynamic surges).
Cortot’s 1933/34 Etudes are reproduced intact, yet only four selections represent the 1934 Waltzes, together with a handful of Preludes from Cortot’s 1926 cycle and a previously unissued 1928 take of the 12th Prelude. As for other cycles, those in charge rightly opted for Cortot’s 1933 Ballades, 1931 B minor sonata, 1933 B-Flat minor sonata, and 1929 E-Flat Nocturne Op. 9 n° 2 over other Cortot versions, plus the classic, impassioned 1933 recordings of the Tarantella, the Barcarolle, and the F minor Fantasy. But I don’t share annotator Guthrie Luke’s justifications for omitting the 1933 Fantasie-Impromptu. True, it’s not Cortot at his best, but it’s far from his worst.
The thrice-familiar A-Flat Polonaise conveys sweeping élan, albeit without the poise and polish of other 78-era interpretations (Rubinstein, Lhevinne, and Horowitz, for example), but the F minor concerto’s classic stature needs no qualification. And Disc 1 offers a choice selection from Cortot’s acoustic and early electrical Chopin 78s.

*

Charles Levin’s transfers more than hold their own alongside competing restorations by Ward Marston and Seth Winner, although the 1949-51 Nocturnes, C-Sharp minor Prelude Op. 45, and Nouvelles Etudes boast less surface noise and more mid-range emphasis via APR’s late Cortot reissue series. Thanks to Arkivmusic.com’s on-demand reprint program for making this fascinating collection available again.
Jed Distler

Source : http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-15297/

Alfred Cortot
Plays
Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

Tracks

Cd. 1
[1920-1931] 

1 Berceuse in D-Flat major, Op. 57  4:28
 2 Chant Polonais n° 12 - 'Moja Piesczotka'  3:27
3 Etude in G-Flat Major, Op. 10 n° 5  1:32
4 Etude in G-Flat Major, Op. 25 n° 9  0:58
5 Etude in A Minor, Op. 25 n° 11  3:24
6 Impromptu n° 1 in A-Flat Major Op. 29  3:38
7 Impromptu n° 2 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 36  4:34
8 Etude in A-Flat Major, Op. 25 n° 1  2:03
9 Valse in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64 n° 2  2:59
10 Berceuse in D-Flat major, Op. 57  4:14
11 Ballade n° 1 in G Minor, Op. 23  8:23
12 Prelude in C major, Op. 28 n° 1. Agitato  0:35
13 Prelude in E minor, Op. 28 n° 4. Largo  1:54
14 Prelude in F-Sharp minor, Op. 28 n° 8. Molto agitato  1:38
15 Prelude in G-Sharp minor, Op. 28 n° 12. Presto  1:04
16 Prelude in A-Flat major, Op. 28 n° 17. Allegretto  2:47
17 Prelude in E-Flat major, Op. 28 n° 19. Vivace  1:08
18 Prelude in D minor, Op. 28 n° 24. Allegro appassionato  2:28

Piano Sonata n° 3 in B Minor, Op. 5
19 I. Allegro maestoso  8:28
20 II. Scherzo (molto vivace)  2:34
21 III. Largo  7:03
22 IV. Finale - Presto, ma non tanto  5:04

*

Cd. 2
[1928-1933]

1 Prelude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 28 n° 12  1:06
2 Nocturne in E-Flat Major, Op. 9 n° 2  4:14

Piano Sonata n° 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 35
3 I. Grave - Doppio movimento  4:52
4. II. Scherzo  4:27
5 III. Marche Funèbre (Lento)  6:25
6 IV. Finale (Presto)  1:25

7 Polonaise n° 6 in A-Flat, Op. 53  6:23

4 Ballades
8 N° 1 in G Minor, Op. 23  8:36
9 N° 2 in F Major, Op. 38  6:46
10 N° 3 in A-Flat Major, Op. 47  6:35
11 N° 4 in F Minor, Op. 52  9:23

12 Fantasie in F Minor, Op. 49  11:29
13 Tarentelle in A-Flat, Op. 43  3:00

*

Cd. 3
[1933-1934]

1 Barcarolle in F-Sharp Major,  Op. 60  7:52

12 Etudes, Op. 10
2 N° 1 in C Major  1:57
3 N° 2 in A Minor  1:22
4 N° 3 in E Major  3:54
5 N° 4 in C-Sharp Minor  2:00
6 N° 5 in G-Flat Major  1:54
7 N° 6 in E-Flat Minor  3:05
8 N° 7 in C Major  1:29
9 N° 8 in F Major  2:20
10 N° 9 in F Minor  2:17
11 N° 10 in A-Flat Major  1:54
12 N° 11 in E-Flat Major  1:47
13 N° 12 in C Minor  2:34

12 Etudes, Op. 25
14 N° 1 in A-Flat Major  2:06
15 N° 2 in F Minor  1:23
16 N° 3 in F Major  1:43
17 N° 4 in A Minor  1:37
18 N° 5 in E Minor  2:43
19 N° 6 in G-Sharp Minor  1:53
20 N° 7 in C-Sharp Minor  4:47
21 N° 8 in D-Flat Major  1:05
22 N° 9 in G-Flat Major  1:00
23 N° 10 in B Minor  3:05
24 N° 11 in A Minor  3:30
25 N° 12 in C Minor  2:39

26 Valse n° 1 in E-Flat, Op. 18  4:31
27 Valse n° 5 in A-Flat, Op. 42  3:38
28 Valse n° 10 in B Minor, Op. 69 n° 2  2:49
29 Valse n° 14 in E Minor, Op. posth.  2:14

*

Cd. 4
[1933-1943]

Piano Concerto n° 2 in F Minor, Op. 2
1 I. Allegro  13:37
2 II. Larghetto  8:50
3 III. Allegro Vivace  8:13

4 Impromptu n° 3 in G-Flat Major, Op. 51  4:22

14 Valses
5 N° 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 18 'Grande Valse brillante' 4:33
6 N° 2 in A-Flat Major, Op. 34 n° 1 ''Valse brillante'  4:28
7 N° 3 in A Minor, Op. 34 n° 2  4:04
8 N° 4 in F Major, Op. 34 n° 3  2:01
9 N° 5 in A-Flat Major, Grande Valse, Op. 42  3:37
10 N° 6 in D-Flat Major, Op. 64 n° 1  1:29
11 N° 7 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64 n° 2  3:01
12 N° 8 in A-Flat Major, Op. 64 n° 3  2:51
13 N° 9 in A-Flat Major, Op. 69 n° 1  3:13
14 N° 10 in B Minor, Op. 69 n° 2  2:50
15 N° 11 in G-Flat Major, Op. 70 n° 1  2:53
16 N° 12 in F Minor, Op. 70 n° 2  2:10
17 N° 13 in D-Flat Major, Op. 70 n° 3  1:51
18 N° 14 in E Minor, Op. posth.  2:36

*

Cd. 5
[1942]

24 Preludes, Op. 28
1 N° 1 in C major, Agitato  2:01
2 N° 2 in A minor, Lento  0:35
3 N° 3 in G major, Vivace  0:59
4 N° 4 in E minor, Largo  1:35
5 N° 5 in D major, Molto allegro  0:35
6 N° 6 in B minor, Lento assai  1:34
7 N° 7 in A major, Andantino  0:35
8 N° 8 in F-sharp minor, Molto agitato  1:41
9 N° 9 in E major, Largo  1:13
10 N° 10 in C-sharp minor, Molto allegro  0:31
11 N° 11 in B major, Vivace  0:35
12 N° 12 in G-sharp minor, Presto  1:10
13 N° 13 in F-sharp major, Lento  2:42
14 N° 14 in E-flat minor, Allegro  0:34
15 N° 15 in D-flat major ('Raindrop Prelude'), Sostenuto  4:35
16 N° 16 in B-flat minor, Presto con fuoco  1:08
17 N° 17 in A-flat major, Allegretto  2:46
18 N° 18 in F minor, Molto allegro  0:51
19 N° 19 in E-flat major, Vivace  1:16
20 N° 20 in C minor, Largo  1:25
21 N° 21 in B-flat major, Cantabile  1:35
22 N° 22 in G minor, Molto agitato  0:44
23 N° 23 in F major, Moderato  0:41
24 N° 24 in D minor, Allegro appassionato  2:24

12 Etudes, Op. 10
25 N° 1 in C Major  2:01
26 N° 2 in A Minor  1:24
27 N° 3 in E Major  3:56
28 N° 4 in C-Sharp Minor  2:04
29 N° 5 in G-Flat Major  1:36
30 N° 6 in E-Flat Minor  2:50
31 N° 7 in C Major  1:32
32 N° 8 in F Major  2:24
33 N° 9 in F Minor  2:07
34 N° 10 in A-Flat Major  1:55
35 N° 11 in E-Flat Major  1:46
36 N° 12 in C Minor  2:39

*

Cd. 6
[1939-1951]

12 Etudes, Op. 25
1 N° 1 in A-Flat Major  2:03
2 N° 2 in F Minor  1:24
3 N° 3 in F Major  1:44
4 N° 4 in A Minor  1:32
5 N° 5 in E Minor  2:46
6 N° 6 in G-Sharp Minor  1:58
7 N° 7 in C-Sharp Minor  4:29
8 N° 8 in D-Flat Major  1:04
9 N° 9 in G-Flat Major  1:00
10 N° 10 in B Minor  3:04
11 N° 11 in A Minor  3:34
12 N° 12 in C Minor  2:43

 13 Chant polonais, Op. 74 n° 1 - Printemps  2:22
14 Chant polonais, Op. 74 n° 2 - L'Anneau  1:59
15 Nocturne n° 4 in F major, Op. 15 n° 1  4:25
16 Nocturne n° 5 in F-Sharp major, Op. 15 n° 2  3:11
17 Nocturne n° 7 in C-Sharp minor, Op. 27 n° 1  4:33
18 Nocturne n° 15 in F minor, Op. 55 n° 2  4:23
19 Nocturne n° 16 in E-Flat major, Op. 55 n° 2  4:24

3 Nouvelle Etudes
20 N° 1 in F minor  1:49
21 N° 2 in D-Flat major  1:39
22 N° 3 in A-Flat major  1:47

23 Prelude Op. 45 in C-Sharp minor  4:01

*

Alfred Cortot - p
[anonymous orchestra], John Barbirolli - cond.

Recorded between January 27, 1920 & October 17, 1951

See the complete artwork

5 comments:

swamielmo said...

wow, this is great, i have most of rubenstein which is great, but this is magic. thanks melanchthon

Christopher said...

Truly magical playing. Thank you much

musician3 said...

AMAZING..............................THANK YOU FOR ALL

Melanchthon said...

Cd. 1 & 2 + artwork
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Cd. 3 & 4
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Cd. 5 & 6
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klf said...

Wow, thank you so much for fulfilling my request so quickly! I figured it might be a few weeks before you'd even consider it ... Anyway, thanks, as always, for the baroque/classical/romantic piano and the jazz guitar. You're one of a kind!