Sunday, January 1, 2017

Alfred Cortot - The Complete Victor Acoustic Recordings (1919-1929)

Although already established as one of the most important pianists in Europe, Cortot did not make his debut in the United States until 1918, at the age of 41. The following year he was in the studios of the Victor Talking Machine Company making his first solo records. Cortot’s acoustic Victors do not include any extended compositions, but there are two delightful scherzos by Mendelssohn, the brooding “Pathetic” Etude by Scriabin, Spanish dances by Albeniz, atmospheric miniatures by Debussy and Ravel, and, of course, much Chopin. Cortot’s virtuosity is extraordinary throughout, ranging from the lightning speed of Saint-Saëns’s Etude en forme de valse to the explosive thunder of Chopin’s “Winter Wind” Etude. Due to the time limitations of 78 rpm discs Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody was issued in two parts, but, remarkably, the second part had to wait three years to be released ! In addition to the recordings which were issued commercially (all of which are included in this 2-CD set), Cortot attempted the Finale of Chopin’s B minor Sonata, Rachmaninoff’ s ubiquitous C-sharp minor Prelude, Chabrier’s Scherzo-valse and Ravel’s Ondine. And he made no less than 21 takes of Liszt’s transcription of Paganini’s La Campanella ! Unfortunately none of these survives, but the four previously unissued sides featuring works by Chopin, Fauré and Albéniz which are included in this set provide a welcome addition to the recorded legacy of one of the greatest pianists of the century.   
Enoch Snow, from the booklet (1993)

Alfred Cortot
The Complete Victor
Acoustic Recordings
(1919-1929)

Tracks

Cd. 1

Isaac Albéniz
(1860-1909)

1 Seguidilla (Cantos de España, n° 5, Op. 232, B. 44)  2:39

Franz Liszt
(1811-1886)

2 La Leggierezza, in F minor (Grandes études de concert, n° 2) , S. 144, n° 2 (LW A118, n° 2)  4:01

Claude Debussy
(1862-1918)

3 La Fille aux cheveux de lin & Minstrels (Préludes, livre I, n° 14 & 18)  3:22

Camille Saint-Saëns
(1835-1921)

4 Etude en forme de valse (from Études, Op. 52)  4:15

Isaac Albéniz
(1860-1909)

5 Malagueña (España, Op. 165, B. 37)  3:18

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

6 Tarantelle in A-Flat major, Op. 43  2:58
7 Meine Freuden, transcription Liszt (after Chopin, Op. 74, n° 12, Chants polonais, n° 5), S. 480, n° 5, (LW A193, n° 5)  3:30
8 Berceuse in D-Flat major, Op. 57  4:35

Franz Liszt
(1811-1886)

9 Hungarian Rhapsody, n° 2 (the "original", n° 2) in C-Sharp minor (I & II), S. 244, n° 2 (LW A132, n° 2)  4:37
[First part]
10 Rigoletto,  paraphrase de concert (after Verdi), S. 434 (LW A187)  5:25

Maurice Ravel
(1875-1937)

11 Jeux d'eau  4:39

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

12 Tarantelle in A-Flat major, Op. 43  2:59
13 Etudes Op. 10, n° 5 & Op. 25, n° 9  2:35
14 Impromptu in A-Flat major, Op. 29  3:39
15 Etudes, Op. 25, n° 2 & 3  3:14

Gabriel Fauré
(1845-1924)

16 Romance sans paroles, Op. 17, n° 1 in A-Flat Major  2:04

Isaac Albéniz
(1860-1909)

17 Triana (Iberia, B. 47, Book 2, n° 6)  4:11

*

Cd. 2

Franz Liszt
(1811-1886)

1 Au bord d'une source I, (Album d'un Voyageur I, n° 2b), S. 156, n° 2b  3:03

Alexander Scriabin
(1872-1915)

2 Etude in D-Sharp minor, Op. 8, n° 12  2:30

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

3 Grande Polonaise in E-Flat major, Op. 22  4:48

Felix Mendelssohn
(1809-1847)

4 Scherzo in E minor ("Capriccio," "Fantasy"), Op. 16, n° 2  2:12
5 Rondo capriccioso, in E major, Op. 14  3:56

Carl Maria von Weber
(1786-1826)

6  Invitation to the Dance (Aufforderung zum Tanze), rondo brillant, J. 260 (Op. 65)  4:11
[Excerpt]

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

7 Tarantelle in A-Flat major, Op. 43  2:58

Franz Liszt
(1811-1886)

8 La Leggierezza, in F minor (Grandes études de concert, n° 2) , S. 144, n° 2 (LW A118, n° 2)  3:57

Isaac Albéniz
(1860-1909)

9 Seguidilla (Cantos de España, n° 5, Op. 232, B. 44)  2:38
10 Malagueña (España, Op. 165, B. 37)  3:06

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

11 Berceuse in D-Flat major, Op. 57  4:09
12 Etudes Op. 10, n° 5 & Op. 25, ° 9  2:33
13 Meine Freuden, transcription Liszt (after Chopin, Op. 74, n° 12, Chants polonais, n° 5), S. 480, n° 5, (LW A193, n° 5)  3:12

Franz Liszt
(1811-1886)

14 Hungarian Rhapsody, n° 2 (the "original", n° 2) in C-Sharp minor (I & II), S. 244, n° 2 (LW A132, n° 2)  4:37
[First part]
15 [Second  part]  4:40

Camille Saint-Saëns
(1835-1921)

16 Bourée in A minor  2:53

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

17 Etude, n° 23 in A minor, Op. 25, n° 11  3:36

Franz Liszt
(1811-1886)

18 Rigoletto, paraphrase de concert (after Verdi), for piano, S. 434 (LW A187)  4:45

Maurice Ravel
(1875-1937)

19 Jeux d'eau  4:32

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)

20 Berceuse (Dolly, suite), Op. 56, n° 1  2:17

*

Alfred Cortot - p

Recorded between Janary 7, 1919 & January 20, 1929

Se the complete artwork

3 comments:

Melanchthon said...

http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/NFKy0yCT/file.html
http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/X5GQY8C4/file.html
http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/PrGF5CjB/file.html
http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/0m8SJAll/file.html

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Hi,
HNY17, thank you very much
Pedro

Olde Edo said...

Cortot's technique at this period was exceptional, and of course, his interpretations are always fascinating even when his fingers were less nimble. Thanks for this excellent collection on the chic Biddulph label.