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Alfred Cortot Discoveries and Rarities

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Initial post: 28 Sep 2011 19:12:12 BDT
Edgar Self says:
Starting over because I mangled his name so badly on his birthday thread.

One of the things that makes life interesting is the unexpected discovery of additions to musicians' discographies longer after their deaths and the lists were considered complete and closed.

In the case of Alfred Cortot, these have included a Beethoven first concerto from Lausanne Swiss Radio with Desarzens from 1947, and a 1944 live Chopin second concerto with Paris Radio and Willem Mengelberg, complete with announcements, commentary, and thunderous applause. It may have been the last time Mengelberg conducted an orchestra. The sound is satisfactory on both, and better than that in the Chopin.

Other Cortot incunabulae are Chopin's polonaise-fantaisie. second and third Scherzos, a later F-minor Fantasy, Andante spianato et grande polonaise, and complete mazurkas; Schumann's Arabesque, second sonata, and 1953 Kreisleriana and Carnaval; Franck Prelude Aria and Finale.

All the more tantalising are records he made that are still unissued ... all Chopin's polonaises for Voix de son Maitre during the war, for example, although his wartime waltzes and etudes are published, and the very late complete Beethoven sonatas, excerpts of which sometimes turn up on YouTube.

Such things make the collector's life interesting: "to seek, to find, and not to yield", as the Laureate had Ulysses say.
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Initial post:  28 Sep 2011
Latest post:  28 Sep 2011

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