This Naxos Great Pianists album featuring Alfred Cortot performing the following Chopin works were recorded during the period between 1923 and 1947:
* Grande Polonaise, Op. 22 (1923)
Cortot plays this Polonaise faster than most do today, and it felt rushed.
* Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35 (1928)
Stunning performance of great feeling. A ton of tape hiss and distortion.
* Polonaise No. 6 in A-flat major, Op. 53 (1933)
Stunning performance with no schmaltz but much feeling. Cortot is in total command. Amazing.
* Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58 (1933)
This sonata lacked the flow of Sonata 2 in the beginning of the 1st movement. There is less tape hiss and distortion than in the earlier sonata. The 2nd movement is fast as lightning. The 3rd movement. The final movement sounds punchy but is likely the recordings hardness of tone. A superb performance with great feeling.
* 3 Chants Polonais, Op. 74 (transcribed by Liszt) (1939)
These are wonderful performances, played delicately and sweetly.
* Polonaise No. 7 in A-flat major, Op. 61 (1947)
Nondescript performance. Little hiss and less distortion. Piano tone is less hardened.
Needless to say, there is a great amount of tape hiss and distortion of the piano that precludes any detailed commentary because of the hiss, distortion, and hard tone. Cortot was the best. I just wish we could hear him like he actually played. Highly Recommended to get a glimpse of what magical piano playing was like. Today we have Rubinstein (Waltzes), Freire (Nocturnes), Perez (Impromptus), Luisada (Mazurkas) and Moravec (Preludes) to carry on the tradition. Amen.