Arrau plays the op 28 Preludes with each one contributing to the whole. He is at home with the music even though it was recorded at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam in 1973. He is able to point up the sheer variety of these pieces without resorting to extremes of interpretation. Of course I have some favorites, from No 7 with its simple hint of a Mazurka, to No 15 'The raindrop', from the touching No 4 in E minor and the Funeral March No 20 in C minor to the fleeting No 11 in B. Arrau's performances have a controlled energy directed by a supreme musical intelligence. The title Impromptu was previously used by Schubert. It is used by Chopin to denote structure based upon improvisation. Arrau brings out the beauty of op 29. But then be prepared to be bowled over by the glories of op 36 including the lightness of touch required in what seems like a cadenza with fountains of black notes. Arrau conveys an autumnal flavour in the reflections of op 51 with lovely control exercised in left hand passages with cross-rhythms treated sympathetically. This CD can certainly find a place in a collection of Chopin recordings.
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