Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful playing, shame about the liner notes, 31 July 2009
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This review is from: Chopin: Complete Nocturnes (Audio CD)
I would like to echo the comments of the previous reviewer. Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to acquire Livia Rev's complete set of Debussy's solo piano music on vinyl which remains unmatched in my view despite many subsequent recordings by other artists. Her exposition of Chopin's nocturnes is also characteristically superb and one of the few IMHO to rival the definitive performances of this immortal music by Claudio Arrau and Artur Rubinstein.

A word of warning, though, to Chopin devotees: the liner notes are among the most condescending I have ever read: one wonders whether the writer - clearly a musical snob of the first order - even likes Chopin very much. For example, he describes the Op. 9 No. 2 Nocturne as "embarrassingly" like one of John Field's precursors, then goes on to describe several of the Nocturnes as undistinguished. I find it difficult to understand why a great pianist of Livia Rev's stature would go to all the trouble of recording Chopin's Nocturnes but then fail to exercise quality control over how the music is presented. (Perhaps one should blame the record company rather than the artist?) I wouldn't expect the sleeve notes to be completely uncritical, of course, but to imply that Chopin was a plagiarist, when in fact he was unquestionably one of the greatest melodic geniuses of all time, is completely unacceptable. So the 5 stars are well deserved, but for the playing not the packaging.
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