- Audio CD (July 10 1996)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Import
- Label: Universal Music Group
- ASIN: B00000427T
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
|1. 4 Mazurkas, Op. 6: I. F Sharp Minor|
|2. 4 Mazurkas, Op. 6: II. C Sharp Minor|
|3. 4 Mazurkas, Op. 6: III. E Major|
|4. 4 Mazurkas, Op. 6: IV. E Flat Minor|
|5. 5 MAZURKAS, OP. 7: I. B Flat Major|
|6. 5 MAZURKAS, OP. 7: II. A Minor|
|7. 5 MAZURKAS, OP. 7: III. F Minor|
|8. 5 MAZURKAS, OP. 7: IV. A Flat Major|
|9. 5 MAZURKAS, OP. 7: V. C Major|
|10. 4 MAZURKAS, OP. 17: I. B Flat Major|
See all 29 tracks on this disc
|1. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 50: I. G Major|
|2. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 50: II. A Flat Major|
|3. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 50: III. C Sharp Minor|
|4. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 56: I. G Major|
|5. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 56: II. C Major|
|6. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 56: III. C Minor|
|7. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 59: I. A Minor|
|8. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 59: II. A Flat Major|
|9. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 59: III. C Minor|
|10. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 63: I. B Major|
See all 30 tracks on this disc
He didn't have too much regard for Neuhaus but how would he see his teacher Lev Oborin or else Pletnev, merely althletes again?Perhaps there is some justification for his words in the case of Berman. Talking about Neuhaus. Event though he shared with Ashkenazy the limitations of fairly small hands, Neuhaus' musicality was head and shoulder above him. Neuhaus had a much greater musical mind with partly due his unlimited exposure to the finest music of the century while Ashkenazy was shut behind the iron curtain, just tied to the piano. A colleague of his once said: I regret to say that after Gilels and Richter, there is no more Gilels or Richter from Russia! Quite true, in view of the fact that next came Berman and Ashkenazy. Be it as it may, Gilels and Richter weren't any greater than Sofronisky and Rachmaninoff, and the latter two in turn weren't, presumably, any greater than the Rubinstein brothers. It's just something we have to live with. And to be fair, Ashkenazy is rather amazing in making certain chimes sound with his double thirds etc particularly in view of his small hands. It's all the more amazing when the audeince love him.
But Ashkenazy is never an esteemed Chopinist. Arrau's Chopin would be a better choice, though some may prefer Maravec. Nelson Freire was equally wonderful. For those who can dispense with the stereo sound, they would certainly like to try Hofmann, Rachmaninoff, Rosenthal, Friedman or even Horszowski, or else Cortot or Sauer...
I still maintain that Rosenthal is the best, and Friedman the most imaginative, and Hofmann the most appealing Chopinist of all times. Cortot and Rachmaninoff are both unique, each in their own way and both are so deep and penetrating, with the former more romantic and the latter more classic in their approach. With the older generation, Sauer was such a complete virtuoso. So, our choice is virtuely boundless. Why lends one's ear just to Horowitz, or even Ashkenazy when there is a whole variety of other good, if not better music awaiting us?
Indjic is badly recorded and rather boring.
Ts'ong plays the worst-sounding piano in the world. It sounds like the one in the basement of my college dormitory years ago.
Wasowski is more musical and songful than Rubinstein is, but generally follows Rubinstein's approach in playing these dances too slowly and inflating them. Plus, his technique is noticibly weak. And this recording also is too "up-close-and-personal."
If Horowitz had recorded them all, and in stereo, THAT would be a great recording to have! Or Kapell ...
Ashkenazy fits the bill because he plays these miniature songs-and-dances as ... miniature songs-and-dances. He keeps them moving right along, never worrying about triple-checking his finger-accuracy or dragging to make a pseudo-profound, boring statement. Their energy emerges, their points are "gotten to," and none lose their songfulness. In this sense, his general approach resembles Kapell's (although his playing differs in details).
As for the sound, it is what you might hear in a small, warm concert hall. The sound is so soul-easingly realistic that your ears will breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing it, if your ears can breathe. A big bonus is the inclusion of seven extra Mazurkas, not played by Rubinstein or others. These are bouncy, happy, colorful little things, a few of them written as late as 1832-1834 (not juvenilia) but never published during Chopin's life. In short, if you want an enjoyable recording of the Mazurkas, buy this one. The booklet and presentation are beautiful and enjoyable also.