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24 Etudesopp.10&25 Original recording remastered


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Amazon.com: 18 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Compelling Chopin from Perahia Jan. 27 2008
By Mark Hennicke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Seattle Times has stated that pianist Murray Perahia has the "soul of a poet, the mind of a thinker, the hands of a virtuoso..." While he has always been granted an abundance poetry & thoughtfulness concerning the depth of his interpretations at the keyboard, the sheer virtuosity of his technique does not as often get the credit that it deserves. On this Masterworks Expanded Edition of the Chopin Op.10 & Op.25 Etudes, sparks are flying about everywhere, showing the full range of Perahia's technical chops. I had the good fortune of hearing Perahia play the Op.25,#1 & the Op.10,#4 at his return recital at Carnegie Hall this past November. He was brilliant that evening, and he is brilliant here on this Direct Stream Digital Remastered cd. These are among Murray Perahia's finest Chopin performances to date. Now offered with a generous bonus sampling of Chopin Impromtus from earlier Perahia releases, this cd is a top level choice ( and a Grammy Winner in its original release for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance ) from among Perahia's extensive catalog of highly acclaimed recordings. At mid-price, this album is a temptation too inviting to pass up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Perahia succeeds in turning these technical challenges into primarily musical experiences Dec 28 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc, well recorded in 2001, received many critical plaudits upon its first issue as here. It entered a fairly competitive market with well regarded recordings made by many of the world's finest Chopin players.

Perahia, sometimes described as the poet of the keyboard, delivers a set of readings on this disc that fit that general description. One is aware of a greater use of light and shade than is often the case. He also makes use of more sparing rubato. Neither of these features is a universal element in terms of these pieces which, at base level, are studies designed to expose and remedy technical flaws.

The etudes are targeted at particular technical issues and it is therefore an implied requirement that tempo should be kept steadier than in other compositions. What Perahia has done on this recording is to broaden the focus to include other musical notions such as phrasing and touch and to do this he has been prepared to be more flexible in terms of basic tempo. Perahia has a considerable technique and that is made clear in a handful of etudes that are played quicker than usual. Thus the listener is able to accept more easily the times when slower or more varied tempi are used as there can be no doubt that such interpretive decisions have been taken regardless of technical competency.

The are other fine versions to consider of course. The Ashkenazy set is possibly the nearest to adopting the closest to the written requirements and to that he adds his own volatile temperament. His disc is available in an excellently remastered version using 24 bit technology. Pollini gives a typically brilliant version but it is arguable that his recording emphasises the aggressive side of his playing which comes over as rather unyielding - almost the opposite of Perahia. Lugansky gives a deeply satisfying account and his lays claim to being the darkest view of the pieces. His disc was awarded a prize upon first release. Finally, among this short short-list, one must not ignore Rubinstein's row of polished diamonds, best bought in his bargain box set of complete Chopin.

I would therefore suggest that this disc by Perahia is fully deserving of being considered as one of the very best available. I would not wish to be without either Lugansky or Ashkenazy either, both of whom take a straighter view of the music, one darker and one more volatile respectively. Collectors of multiple versions will want at least those three. Single disc purchasers could de completely satisfied with this disc by Perahia - or the ones by Ashkenazy or Lugansky.
Chopin in grand style! Dec 29 2009
By P. Adrian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD is definitely a "must" for all classical music collectors. Particularly, it addresses to those aficionados who adore Chopin's musical output and consider him a forerunner of the modern piano. Yet, no less this recording is intended to those who instantly succumb to the charms of the unique flavours that compound - by means of his intelligent virtuosity and poetic approach - the renditions of the keyboard genius Murray Perahia.

Whatever he choses to play, but especially in Chopin pages, this tireless musical gold-digger is fond of offering us the very essence of the music he interprets, its deepest meanings and most fascinating facets. For the Chopin Etudes opp. 10 & 25, Perahia conjures up from his marvellous keyboard a stunning palette of feelings such as tender love (op.25, No.7 - "Cello"), despair and melancholy (op.10, No.3 - "Tristesse"), exuberance (op.10, No.5 - "Black Key"), grief, boldness and fury (op.10, No.12 - "Revolutionary"), or natural phenomena such as rain (op.10, No. 4 - "Torrent"), tempest (op.25, No.11 - "Winter wind"), spring aromas (op.25, No.2 - "Balm"), starry sky or big weaves of the ocean (op.25, No.12 - "Ocean").

In other words, through this prize-winning recording, Perahia is sharing with us all that Chopin's music has so uniquely treasured. And - believe me! - he is doing it in grand style!

A welcome bonus are the extra tracks with the 4 Impromptus (from an older recording of Perahia), especially the wonderful Fantasie-Impromptu in C sharp minor op.66, a distinguished jewel concluding a remarkable achievement!

As a personal note, I am proud to add that I`ve had two times the rare opportunity to listen to Murray Perahia performing live to a crowded Romanian Athenee (a gem concert hall in Bucharest), during the recent editions of the "George Enescu" International Festival in 2007, and 2009 respectively. On the former occasion, Perahia offered a sparkling recital that included Chopin's Etudes op.10 No.4 and op.25 No.1, along with the 3rd Ballad, gathered, as one of the encores, by the above invoked Fantasie-Impomptu. On the latter one, Perahia assumed gloriously the double role of conductor and soloist of his renowned Academy-of-Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields, in Mozart and Bach keyboard concertos. Overwhelming and unforgettable experiences for me!

Both his live concerts and his recordings made me regard Murray Perahia as a subtle poet of the piano, a mature artist who loves to combine artistic boldness with stylistic rigour in order to obtain valuable renditions of the masterpieces he tackles.

Don't hesitate to buy this CD, as it is still available!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good, solid performance from a well-respected performer Dec 8 2007
By Karl Fandrich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I started learning a few of the etudes myself, I went out looking for a good recording to listen to. This Perahia recording is a good, solid performance from a very respected pianist. While some reviewers have critisized it for lack of emotion, I don't agree. His playing is in no way flat, and I would argue that he doesn't over-dramatize the music as it may be tempting to do. His choices are solid, and his mastery of these pieces is indisputable. I would highly recommend this recording to anyone looking for a good recording of the etudes.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Murray Perahia Is An Exemplar Of Chopin Tradition! Feb. 7 2009
By Raymond Vacchino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It is hard to imagine anybody playing such pieces as the Chopin Etudes other than pianist Murray Perahia. As an exemplar of Chopin tradition he also has an affinity with the composer and the visionary interpretation to match the grand scale and textures the etudes demand.

Perahia crosses the rub-icon from pragmatism to poetry and transforms each etude into a tone-poem of the highest quality displaying his supreme musicianship. The course of each etude is made predictable rather than a journey of novel and indeed, breathtaking surprises. Within the opening Etude in C major, Op.10, Perahia is able to summon a well drilled execution of the breathtaking broken arpeggios throughout, as well as defining its vividly rhythmic character and clarity.
The most thrilling aspect here is his ability to convey the entire etude as one long seamless phrase.

The third etude Op.10 in E major, fulfills everyone's desires. Perahia offers warmly expressed playing that captures every interpretative detail, most notable for its passion and finesse.

Opus 25 begins with one of the most spectacular essays in tone colour ever written, and Perahia's performance displays its inner voices and harp-like contours with exquisite beauty. Op.25, No.7, acts as a kind of 'slow movement' for Op.25, and stands as one of Chopin's supreme examples of how the unlikely combination of Baroque and Italian Opera is fully resolved. Perahia gives each a new kind of power and meaning. It is also remarkably fugue-like in the interplay between the melodies of both hands, and Perahia defines the sumptuous left-hand 'cello' melody with a deep, inner lament while shaping the most subtle and exquisite soprano coloratura right-hand melody with unstressed astonishment.

There is nothing in the whole of the piano repertoire that is quite as punishing and sadistic for the pianist as the the opening and closing sections of Op.25 No.10. Not even Liszt or Rachmaninov ever wrote such a prolonged and violent chromatic sequence of octaves for both hands. But what an introduction! Perahia's mezzo forte monophonic rumble of the first two triplets gives way to a crescendo of towering proportions, that finally lead seamlessly into the first theme and the embedded melodic line.
For a work of such violence, Perahia's beauty and pathos are only too obvious. It is said that Horowitz once remarked that Op.10 No.1 was the most difficult of Chopin's etudes. Personally, I think he was wrong, for it is the final etude Op.25 No.12,(The Ocean) in my estimation, that is the most difficult out of Op.10 and 25.

This work is, on close scrutiny, a very clever rewrite of Op.10 No.1. It is only pianists like Perahia, Ashkenazy, Polini and Anievas, that have the innate ability to attain the high level of concentration required to take command of its sweeping broken arpeggios in both hands,delicate cross-rhythms, syncopation's, and, of course a full four voice contrapuntal line, a constant reminder of Chopin's love of the music of Bach.

While Perahia is able to summon torrents of sound for the grandest moments in the etudes, he is also able to produce the subtlest gradations in dynamics and infuse soft passages with the most persuasive, lambent tone.

The four Impromptus are not among Chopin's most important works, but they should not be underrated. Perahia conveys their characteristics of elegance, charm and inner reflection with superb artistry, musical purity and sincerity. He is well able to match the best publicized piano virtuosos of the day, and with none of their musical distortions.

I can hardly wait for Perahia's upcoming concert in Toronto during his 2009 tour! It is only unfortunate that he can no longer play through his program for his dear late friend; the legendary Greta Kraus.

Author: Raymond Vacchino M.Mus. (Classical Music Critic)


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