- Audio CD (Sept. 2 1997)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Philips
- ASIN: B0000041ND
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,971 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Nocturnes: No. 1 In B Flat Minor, Op. 9 No. 1|
|2. Nocturnes: No. 2 In E Flat, Op. 9 No. 2|
|3. Nocturnes: No. 3 In B, Op. 9 No. 3|
|4. Nocturnes: No. 4 In F, Op. 15 No. 1|
|5. Nocturnes: No. 5 In F Sharp, Op. 15 No. 2|
|6. Nocturnes: No. 6 In G Minor, Op. 15 No. 3|
|7. Nocturnes: No. 7 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No.1|
|8. Nocturnes: No. 8 In D Flat, Op. 27 No. 2|
|9. Nocturnes: No. 9 In B, Op. 32 No. 1|
|10. Nocturnes: No. 10 In A Flat, Op. 32 No. 2|
See all 13 tracks on this disc
|1. Nocturnes: No. 14 In F Sharp Minor, Op. 48 No. 2|
|2. Nocturnes: No. 15 In F Minor, Op. 55 No. 1|
|3. Nocturnes: No. 16 In E Flat, Op. 55 No. 2|
|4. Nocturnes: No. 17 In B, Op. 62, No. 1|
|5. Nocturnes: No. 18 In E, Op. 62 No. 2|
|6. Nocturnes: No. 19 In E Minor, Op. 72 No. 1|
|7. Nocturnes: No. 20 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth.|
|8. Nocturnes: No. 21 In C Minor, Op. Posth.|
|9. Impromptus: No. 1 In A Flat Major, Op. 29|
|10. Impromptus: No. 2 In F Sharp Major, Op. 36|
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Still, I was hesitant to buy it due to the reviews I had read about the heavy breathing being too distracting to enjoy the music. I decided to take a chance that the reviewers were just being over critical and purchased the cd.
After I got it, I listened to it immediately on my home stereo. Absolutely beautiful and I didn't hear any of the breathing they were talking about. I was relieved and felt great about my decision to purchase the cd. However, the next day I decided to take it with me in my car. There was the breathing loud as could be! Sometimes it was louder than the music! Very distracting and not just on 1 or 2 tracks. The entire cd is riddled with pockets of constant panting as if Claudio were working out on a stairmaster while playing.
Some would say that this is just the mark of a man passionate about the pieces and we should be thankful that so much energy went into his performance. I whole-heartedly agree! My issue isn't with Claudio Arrua's magnificent interpretation but with the poor microphone placement technique and engineering quality of this recording. Even though this a recording from 1978, there is just no excuse for it.
That all being said, I'm still glad I chose to purchase this recording. Even with the breathing I still would rather have this one than the other less soulful recordings we have to chose from. I listen to it often and every time I notice the breathing less and less as this truly beautiful performance of this truly beautiful music unfolds.
Like so many other wonderful composers such as Beethoven, and Mozart, Fredyryc Chopin didn't make much money on his beautiful music until he was deceased. But be that as it may, they left us their wonderful music for the whole wrold to enjoy. In my opinion, Nocturne was worth getting the CD. Imromptu is wonderful too, but Nocturne is just so soothing, and graceful in the name of music. There is a certain song I do recommend on Nocturne. It's Nocturne in E minor Op.72 number 1. If it sounds familiar you may also hear it on the secret garden from 1987. As one composer to another, Chopin is highly underrated, except for those of us who do appreciate them. Don't make any hesitations about buying this collection of Masterful music. You could cherish it for life.
Very good value.
The best recorded Chopinists so far would be Rosenthal and Friedman. Simon barere is generally much more stunning than Horowitz and definitely more touching, allbeit that their similarities are strikingly obvious. Ashkenazy is simply not my cup of tea.
With Horszowski, it's not very easy to tell who's Chopin and who is Mozart. To a lesser extent is the case for Horowitz. Fiorentino's rendition is very modern and needless to say the sound quaility is superb, but overall it's less poetic. It's somewhat like painting a tonal picture in watercolour instead of oil, definitely not a sculpture and not much of a tonal poem.
Moravec ditigalized version of the 50's is deeply lyrical and the sound, both of the the piano and of the recording is very good too. But it's less magnetic than Arrau's. We have even more rubato in Moravec, even though on the whole the tempo of Arrau is slower, in neither case the flow is broken. He is an alternative to Arrau. If one ever wonders how Edwin Fischer would play Chopin, then one should perhaps listen to Arrau and see how this admirer of Fischer interprete chopin.
Of course, Cortot would be nice if your can withstand the achive sound. Likewise is the case of Rosenthal ( his Pearl II is preferred because of the better transferred sound ) or Friedman, Rachmaninoff is a category of his own: "steel hands with a golden heart" is very telling. If you prefer Hofmann, one would be perhaps be equally interested in Sauer, as Hofmann used to be his devoted admirer too. Petri is some sort of amazing playing metronome, if we could justifiably call Backhaus that. The sound quality is reasonable good, particularly his 50's recrdings.