Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Frédéric Chopin - Waltzes; Impromptus; Boléro (Arthur Rubinstein)


Composer: Frédéric Chopin
  1. Waltz No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 18 "Grande valse brillante"
  2. 3 Waltzes, Op. 34 "Valses brillantes": No. 1 in A flat major
  3. 3 Waltzes, Op. 34 "Valses brillantes": No. 2 in A minor
  4. 3 Waltzes, Op. 34 "Valses brillantes": No. 3 in F major
  5. Waltz No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 42 "Two-four"
  6. 3 Waltzes, Op. 64: No. 1 in D flat major "Minute"
  7. 3 Waltzes, Op. 64: No. 2 in C sharp minor
  8. 3 Waltzes, Op. 64: No. 3 in A flat major
  9. 2 Waltzes, Op. 69: No. 1 in A flat major "L'adieu"
  10. 2 Waltzes, Op. 69: No. 2 in B minor
  11. 3 Waltzes, Op. 70: No. 1 in G flat major
  12. 3 Waltzes, Op. 70: No. 2 in F minor
  13. 3 Waltzes, Op. 70: No. 3 in D flat major
  14. Waltz No. 14 in E minor, Op. posth.
  15. Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29
  16. Impromptu No. 2 in F sharp major, Op. 36
  17. Impromptu No. 3 in G flat major, Op. 51
  18. Fantasie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66
  19. Boléro in A major, Op. 19

Arthur Rubinstein, piano
Date: 1962 (19), 1963 (1-14), 1964 (15-18)
Label: RCA




Arthur Rubinstein’s 1963 recording of Chopin waltzes (he included the “traditional” 14 but not the five posthumous ones) is the stereo reference version for these works, and it’s likely to remain so for a long time. The performances embody the quintessential Rubinstein in his Indian-summer glory: directness, red-blooded tone, joie de vivre, impeccable taste, and more technique than he often was given credit for. True, his mono cycle of the Waltzes offers quicker tempos and fanciful phrasing at times, but the stereo remakes are more centered, thoughtful, and cleanly played. Rubinstein’s liberal caesuras and luftpauses in the Impromptus (nowhere close, however, to Arrau’s rhetorical extremes) underscore the composer’s bel canto affinity and stand in contrast to the feathery fleetness that distinguishes his earlier mono traversals and Earl Wild’s aforementioned Ivory Classics reference version. Rubinstein’s stereo Waltzes and Impromptus previously appeared on Volume 47 of RCA’s Complete Rubinstein Edition, along with the pianist’s only recording of Chopin’s rarely-played Bolero. This reissue excludes the Bolero yet offers ever-so-slightly brighter transfers of the Waltzes and Impromptus. If you’re looking for the Chopin Waltzes, this is it. [5/14/2004]

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday
reviewing RCA RED SEAL 82876 59422 2

More reviews:


Frédéric Chopin (22 February or 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as one of the leading musicians of his era, whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation". Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his association (if only indirect) with political insurrection, his love life and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era in the public consciousness. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying degrees of historical accuracy.


Arthur Rubinstein (January 28, 1887 – December 20, 1982) was a Polish American classical pianist. He received international acclaim for his performances of the music written by a variety of composers and many regard him as the greatest Chopin interpreter of his time. He was described by The New York Times as one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. He played in public for eight decades. All of his RCA recordings have been released on compact disc and amount to about 107 hours of music. Since his death, several labels have issued live recordings taken from radio broadcasts.


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