Monday, November 28, 2016

Moura Lympany Plays Rachmaninov

Listeners curious about Moura Lympany’s 1951 Rachmaninov Preludes cycle for Decca (expertly refurbished by Testament) should not expect the kind of thunder, thrust, or surface flash often associated with pianists who tackle this repertoire (“tackle” being the operative word !). She’s essentially a lyrical artist who commands a liquid legato and ravishing portfolio of colors. Never does she make an ugly sound. Listen to how gorgeously Lympany shades the composer’s trademark whirling arpeggios in the Op. 23, n° 2, 7, and 8 preludes, arching rather than hammering out the long-limbed melodies, juggling these textural components with unforced ease. Passages requiring drive and stamina, such as Op. 23, n° 2’s massive chords or Op. 32, n° 3’s unrelenting toccata-like patterns, don’t measure up to today’s super-virtuoso norm. On the other hand, Lympany makes a convincing case for playing the introspective Op. 23, n° 4, Op. 32, n° 2 and 10, as well as the volatile Op. 32, n° 1 pieces with as little rubato as possible.
The sonics haven’t dated well, and louder moments occasionally overload the source tape. While Vladimir Ashkenazy’s integral 1972 cycle for Decca remains the most artistcally and pianistically consistent version (not to mention its attractive mid-price), Lympany’s best work still deserves the ear of any card-carrying pianophile. Perhaps we can prevail upon Pearl or Dutton to remaster Lympany’s early-1940s shellac Rachmaninov Preludes, or hope that Warner Classics might reissue her stereo Erato remakes.
Jed Distler

Source :

Moura Lympany


1 Prelude in C-Sharp minor, Op. 32, n° 2  4:17

10 Preludes, Op. 23
2 N° 1 in F-Sharp minor. Largo  3:26
3 N° 2 in B-Flat major. Maestoso  3:41
4 N° 3 in D minor. Tempo di minuetto  3:29
5 N° 4 in D major. Andante cantabile  4:51
6 N° 5 in G minor. Alla marcia  3:57
7 N° 6 in E-Flat major. Andante  3:03
8 N° 7 in C minor. Allegro  2:26
9 N° 8 in A-Flat major. Allegro vivace  2:51
10 N° 9 in E-Flat minor. Presto  1:48
11 N° 10 in G-Flat major. Largo  3:23

13 Preludes, Op. 32
12 N° 1 in C major. Allegro vivace  1:07
13 N° 2 in B-Flat minor. Allegretto  3:50
14 N° 3 in E major. Allegro vivace  2:29
15 N° 4 in E minor. Allegro con brio  4:57
16 N° 5 in G major. Moderato  2:56
17 N° 6 in F minor. Allegro appassionato  1:19
18 N° 7 in F major. Moderato  2:19
19 N° 8 in A minor. Vivo  1:40
20 N° 9 in A major. Allegro moderato  3:15
21 N° 10 in B minor. Lento  4:57
22 N° 11 in B major. Allegretto  2:24
23 N° 12 in G-Sharp minor. Allegro  2:19
24 N° 13 in D-Flat major. Grave  4:35


Moura Lympany - p

Recorded at Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, London ; January 9 & 11, 1951


Melanchthon said...

musician3 said...

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

zoot said...

superb artist many thanks.

zoot said...

just checked and one link for the last 1993 versions is still live Odeon.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Very nice post! Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much MM! Wonderful, wonderful share!

BachRocks44 said...

Thank you. It is always such a pleasure to find the classical treasures tucked in here and there.

Olde Edo said...

Lympany's performances are so beautiful...thanks for this!