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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Moravec, 3 Feb 2008
Peter Bracken (France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ivan Moravec Plays Chopin (Audio CD)
Clive James once said that if the house was burning and he only had time to retrieve one CD, Moravec's recording of Debussy's Images etc would be it.

This release also includes works by Chopin, but the sense conveyed by James' remark remains intact: this is a recording of transcending brilliance and one that no lover of piano, of Debussy, indeed of music in general should miss.

The Debussy IS especially special. I have never before or since encountered the delicacy of Moravec's playing of Images (Book 1) and though I have several recordings of the piece, it is to this performance that I return again and again.

Remarkable, beautiful, uplifting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Distinguished Debussy and exquisite Chopin miniatures, 11 Aug 2013
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ivan Moravec Plays Chopin (Audio CD)
This pair of well recorded discs were made in 1982 and 1983 and have never been out of the catalogues since then. They contain a particularly fine set of the Debussy piano pieces plus an exquisite disc of Chopin miniatures that would normally be played as possible encores and which thus make an unusual single disc selection. The Debussy is still available as a single disc but the Chopin is only available in this coupling.

The Debussy pieces are three sets of triptychs , a seemingly favourite compositional grouping of the composer plus one prelude. The two sets of three Images (books 1 and 2) are of disparate pieces which have no obvious reason to be linked together as collections. The Estampes are similarly made up of three unrelated musical pictures. All these pieces suit Moravec's fastidious style of playing which employs an endlessly varied range of touch coupled with an inwardly communicative style that suggests an degree of an improvisatory thought. This is partly achieved through a flexible approach to strict tempo which nevertheless has a tightly controlled internal discipline. It is this apparently conflicting range of pianistic and interpretive skills that makes Moravec one of the most interesting and compelling pianists to listen to.

The recording of this disc is exemplary and presents piano sound of considerable fidelity.

The Chopin disc is cut at a slightly lower level and its generally more subdued content make it worth raising the replay volume level slightly compared to the Debussy disc. The content of this disc is typical of Moravec's Chopin discs in so far as it is made up of small groups of miniatures and with an emphasis on dance forms. In this case we hear 5 Mazurkas followed by 3 Waltzes then 2 Polonaises. What is unusual about this disc is the absence of any one major work such as a sonata etc. Nevertheless, it is also a feature of Moravec's playing to make even small pieces such as these seem far bigger and more eventful that they usually appear in the hands of other pianists. The final result is one of almost profound satisfaction.

I would therefore suggest that this pair of discs continue to be worthy of serious consideration as a potential purchase despite the almost inevitable problem of doubling recorded repertoire in many collections.
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Ivan Moravec Plays Chopin
Ivan Moravec Plays Chopin by Chopin/Debussy (Audio CD - 2001)
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