Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Chopin
Apart from the 'Fantasie Impromptu' this set contains all the Chopin works that Cortot recorded. However different versions exist of many items and these are not all included. The first disc contains various short pieces recorded for Victor between 1920 and 1926. Then follows selections from the 1926 'Preludes' and the 1931 version of the 'Sonata No 3'. The 1933...
Published on 18 Mar 2010 by J. Gibbons

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Cortot, awful hiss
The hiss on the majority of the tracks is so bad that it is impossible to enjoy the wonder of Cortot's playing. I managed to hear the piano by withdrawing to another room, but really I think these recordings are more relevant to students, music historians or Cortot enthusiasts rather than those who just want to listen to sublime music. When technology has moved on...
Published 14 months ago by Judith Heather


Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Chopin, 18 Mar 2010
By 
J. Gibbons (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Chopin: Piano Works (Audio CD)
Apart from the 'Fantasie Impromptu' this set contains all the Chopin works that Cortot recorded. However different versions exist of many items and these are not all included. The first disc contains various short pieces recorded for Victor between 1920 and 1926. Then follows selections from the 1926 'Preludes' and the 1931 version of the 'Sonata No 3'. The 1933 recordings of the 'Funeral March Sonata', 'Ballades' and other short works follow as do the 1934 'Etudes' and four Valses recorded in the same year. The fourth disc contains the second Concerto and the third 'Impromptu' and then follows the 1942/3 wartime Paris recordings of the 'Valses', 'Preludes', and 'Etudes'. The whole set concludes with a couple of Liszt song transcriptions from 1939 and a group of short pieces recorded in London between 1947 and 1951. Whether the best versions have been included will remain a source of debate for collectors but what we have here is a splendid and moving collection.

Cortot was, of course, one of the finest Chopin pianists of the last century and it is fortunate he was able to record so much of his music. Yes, he does play some wrong notes but the overall effect is truly wonderful. These performances are full of poetry but are never over sentimental. The rubato is finely judged and the musical structure clearly outlined. His touch is delicate and music flows in such a way as to make one forget the piano is percussion instrument! Whatever he is playing, he takes the listener to the heart of the composer's inspiration.

The remastering has been well done [although, as it dates from 1991, it is not up to the best of today's standards] and the booklet contains an interesting essay by Guthrie Luke. It's a pity the 'Fantasie Impromptu' wasn't included but this is available on an EMI issue which also contains the 1934 version of the 'Preludes', the other 'Impromptus' from 1933, and some shorter pieces.

This set, together with that containing Rubinstein's EMI recordings, remains one of the two finest Chopin collections available and is an essential purchase for all lovers of his music.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Cortot, awful hiss, 9 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Chopin: Piano Works (Audio CD)
The hiss on the majority of the tracks is so bad that it is impossible to enjoy the wonder of Cortot's playing. I managed to hear the piano by withdrawing to another room, but really I think these recordings are more relevant to students, music historians or Cortot enthusiasts rather than those who just want to listen to sublime music. When technology has moved on sufficiently for the tracks to be cleaned up, I'd be back in line to purchase.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The magic of Cortot's Chopin recordings..., 26 Oct 2013
This review is from: Chopin: Piano Works (Audio CD)
Outstanding, justly famous, and unlike any other interpretations of Chopin's works. I would advise, however, the 40-CD set 'Alfred Cortot. Anniversary Collection' instead, as it includes these recordings and much, much more, at an unbeatable price.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Piano tune and de-fuzz, anyone?, 15 Mar 2010
By 
M. Barr (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chopin: Piano Works (Audio CD)
I bought this set largely on the grounds that Alfred Brendel (who certainly knows a thing or two about the piano) raves about it more than once in his book "Me of all People". He praises Cortot among other things for having a degree of control that almost no other pianist has for these pieces. Whether or not this is so I find rather hard to judge from these discs. For me, the big disappointment of this set is that all of the cds have significant tape hiss. Granted, these are old recordings, but it is a relatively easy job these days to remove it. At times it is so loud that you can hear it pulsing over the music - very distracting. On top of this, the piano sounds quite severely out of tune in places, not least on the preludes and etudes, which are among my favourite pieces of Chopin. I am guessing the tapes from which the recordings were transferred would not play at the correct speed. The playing does indeed sound very impressive, but I'm afraid I find it too hard to ignore these two major problems - hiss and tuning.

For me it is something of a relief after this to turn back to Zimerman or Argerich on DG and hear Chopin pouring out clearly and in the correct key. If you want older recordings of Chopin, I think Horowitz or Richter are hard to beat. This set I would only buy if you are absolutely devoted to Cortot.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Chopin: Piano Works
Chopin: Piano Works by Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (Audio CD - 1992)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews