Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ignaz Friedman - Complete Recordings, vol. 1

Volume 1 of Naxos’ projected complete recordings by Ignaz Friedman starts with his American and English Columbia discs dating from 1923-26. First, few allowances need to be made for the sound which has been superbly remastered by Ward Marston ; second, the performances are fascinating and provocative, telling us much about the taste and fashion of the time, both in repertoire and style.
True, when you consider Friedman’s teeming repertoire you are left gasping for more substantial fare, even when volume 1 includes Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Chopin’s Third Ballade. Yet for all their intermittent dazzle these hardly show Friedman at his best. The Beethoven is romantic and impressionistic in a manner later superseded by artists of, say, Solomon’s distinction, and includes a sadly limping alternative to Beethoven’s second movement allegretto marking. The Chopin is also lavishly personalised, a virtuoso free-for-all with, as elsewhere, a playful tendency to tamper with the text (why not alter the rhythm here, or fill out the harmony there, if you feel like it?) deriving from a philosophy that placed the pianist first and the composer second. Vladimir Ashkenazy’s praise for a time when the pianist was a composer’s servant rather than his master seems an all-too-distant possibility.
But, of course, there are many delectable wonders and delights. Friedman’s flight through Chopin’s Etude Op. 10 n° 7 is a scarcely credible feat of virtuosity ; a performance which understandably prompted the curiosity of Horowitz, always on the qui vivre when he sensed possible technical rivalry. I wouldn’t describe Friedman’s salonish and affected rubato in the A minor Waltz as of ‘a beautiful simplicity and poetry’ (Naxos’ sleeve) but, per contra, his way with the Mazurkas (three down and nine to go) is boldly and refreshingly idiomatic in a style far removed from Rubinstein’s early elegance and urbanity.
Mozart’s Rondo alla turca and Scarlatti’s Pastorale are made doubly exotic when accompanied by what sounds like a tambourine (apparently strips of wood placed over the strings) and a riveting if wildly indulgent performance of Liszt’s La Campanella is cut off before the coda. The recital ends with Friedman’s own Elle Danse, a charming piece of mock-Viennese fluff. Volume 2 is awaited with a mix of eagerness and apprehension.
Bryce Morrison

Source :

Ignaz Friedman
Complete Recordings, vol. 1


American Columbia

Franz Schubert

1 Hark, Hark, the Lark  3:07
(arr. Liszt)

Frédéric Chopin

2 Mazurka in C-Sharp Major, Op. 63 n° 3  2:09
3 Waltz n° 6 in D flat major, Op. 64 n° 1 'Minute Waltz'  1:25
4 Mazurka in D Maor, Op. 33 n° 2  2:27
5 Prelude in E-Flat Major, Op. 28 n° 19  1:18
6 Etude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 25 n° 6  1:56

Eduard Gärtner

7 Viennese Dance n° 1  4:02
(arr. Friedman)

Johann Nepomuk Hummel

8 Hummel - Rondo in E-Flat Major, "Favori", Op. 11  3:47

W. A. Mozart

9 Rondo Alla Turca (from Sonata in A Major, K 331)  2:52

Domenico Scarlatti

10 Sonata in D minor, K. 9 (L. 413), "Pastorale"  2:54

Frédéric Chopin

11 Ballade n° 3 in A-Flat Major, Op. 47  6:55
12 Mazurka in D major, Op. 33 n° 2  2:19
13 Etude n° 12 in C minor ("Revolutionary"), Op. 10 n° 12  2:22
14 Etude n° 7 in C major, Op. 10 n° 7  1:22
15 Waltz n° 3 in A minor, Op. 34 n° 2  4:25

Moritz Moszkowski

16 Serenade in D major, Op. 15 n° 1  2:17

English Columbia

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

17 Scherzo in E minor "Capriccio," "Fantasy", Op. 16 n° 2  2:12

Frédéric Chopin

18 Prelude n° 15 in D-Flat major, Op. 28 n° 15  4:02
19 Mazurka n° 25 in B minor, Op. 33 n° 4  3:21

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata n° 14 in C-Sharp minor "Moonlight", Op. 27 n° 2
20 I. Adagio sostenuto  6:42
21 II. Allegretto  2:18
22 III. Presto agitato  5:17

Franz Liszt

23 La Campanella  4:09
Etude in G-Sharp minor S 141 n° 3
(Grandes Etudes de Paganini). Allegretto
(arr. Busoni)

Ignaz Friedman

24 Elle danse, Op. 10  2:30


Ignaz Friedman - p

Recorded between December 29, 1923 & September 6, 1926

See the complete artwork


Melanchthon said...

daniel genovese said...

Thank you.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much (2)!!!

rubingould said...

Thank you, Mel!

Anonymous said...

Grrrrrrreat! Frrrrrrrrrriedman! Hardly gets better! Thanks so much, MM!

crispi said...

Hi Mel,

3rd file unfortunately not available anymore...