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Chopin and Ravel [CD]

Stephen Kovacevich Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £9.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Mar 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000EAVA82
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. No. 13 in D flat major Op 70 No. 3
2. No. 10 in B minor Op. 69/2
3. No. 14 in E minor, Op. posth
4. No. 1 in E flat Op. 18
5. No. 3 in A minor Op. 34 No. 2
6. No. 11 in G flat major Op. 70 No. 1
7. No. 9 in A flat major Op. 69 No. 1
8. No. 2 in A flat major Op. 34 No. 1 ('Valse brillante')
9. No. 4 in F major Op. 34 No. 3 ('Valse brillante')
10. No. 5 in A flat major Op. 42 ('Grande Valse')
11. No. 12 in F minor Op. 70 No. 2
12. No. 7 in C sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2
13. No. 6 in D flat major Op. 64 No. 1
14. No. 8 in A flat major Op. 64 No. 3
15. I. Modéré, très franc
16. II. Assez lent, avec une expression intense
17. III. Modéré
18. IV. Assez animé
19. V. Presque lent, dans un sentiment intime
20. VI. Vif
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

CD W/Stephen Kovacevich

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical genius gives Chopin a facelift 26 Feb 2009
A strikingly fresh set of Chopin Waltzes played with great taste and wit by one of the greatest artists of our age. Kovacevich brings classical sensibilities to these fantastic dance miniatures dispatching them a slight emotional coolness, you might say giving them a classical botox, but never lets go of the 3/4 pulse. This disc has garnered rave reviews from most people who have heard it and forces you to hear this great music afresh! The Ravel is elegant and suave, delivered with poise and panache. On of the best piano discs of the decade and one that people will keep returning to.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good 12 Aug 2011
By Elpenor
I have to disagree only slightly with the other review - I think Kovacevich's Chopin is very good indeed but doesn't quite match the best performers of the Waltzes. I say this as a Kovacevich fan - I think he's one of the greatest pianists around and I expected great things from this set. It does indeed achieve greatness in some pieces: No. 13, played here first, is a beautiful lyrical introduction and the valedictory No. 8 is very moving.

I love Kovacevich's exuberance and energy in the more outgoing pieces - the posthumous E Minor, No. 2 and No. 4. However, he falls short of the spontaneity and effortless expression that Ashkenazy and Rubinstein bring to the minor-key Waltzes - his rubato in the great B Minor feels a bit obtrusive and 'applied' compared to Ashekanzy's wonderfully spontaneous rendition. It beats most other recordings of the Waltzes, but falls short of the greatness Hough, Ashkenazy, Rubinstein and Alexandre Tharaud achieve.

Kovacevich saves his best for last - the Ravel Valses Nobles et Sentimentales are almost worth the CD price on their own. The playing here is consistently excellent and trumps all other versions I've heard.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Elegant Performances Of Chopin's & Ravel's waltzes from Kovacevich 28 May 2007
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Distinguished American pianist Stephen Kovacevich is best known for his brilliant interpretations of Beethoven's and Brahms' works for solo piano and piano and orchestra (For example, his early 1970s Philips recordings of the Beethoven Piano Concertos are still highly regarded by fans and music critics alike.). He is known not only for his intense technical brilliance, but also for his cantabile-like phrasing, at the keyboard. Much to my surprise he hasn't honed these traits by offering some elegant Chopin recordings for most of his career. However, now Kovacevich has turned his attention once more to Chopin's scores, offering a fine set of Chopin waltzes which are arranged chronologically by their probable dates of composition, not by their published opus numbers. He offers some finely nuanced, refined interpretations of these waltzes; interpretations which can be compared favorably with those of the great Artur Rubinstein, whom Kovacevich acknowledges in the liner notes as an important source of inspiration in his interpretations of both Chopin's and Ravel's scores. Indeed, he acknowledges Rubinstein's great love and affinity for these two sets of waltzes; a sterling acknowledgement that comes across musically in Kovacevich's own elegant performances of these works. Hopefully this is merely the first of a long-awaited series of new Chopin recordings from one of our finest contemporary pianists.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only topped by Lipatti & Rubinstein 17 Mar 2009
By J. Grant - Published on Amazon.com
This is a truly brilliant and splendidly played set of Chopin's Waltzes, bettered only by those of Lipatti and Rubinstein. However, the sound on this set is much better if that's your thing. I must admit that until recently the only Kovacevich material I owned was his Beethoven concertos. I have since discovered that he has a wealth of very fine recordings, from Grieg and Schumann's concertos to the Diabelli Variations (1968) and Beethoven's sonatas. So, thanks to this disc and the above mentioned, I'll be checking more into his recordings from the 60's and 70's especially.
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