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Chopin: Nocturnes, Barcarolle, Fantaisie
Frederic Chopin, Claudio Arrau
Chopin: Nocturnes, Barcarolle, Fantaisie
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #2

Claudio Arrau's Chopin Nocturnes have had several CD incarnations, including an attractively priced two-for-one Philips duo that includes the Impromptus. While they may cost more reissued in Philips's 50 Great Recordings s...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Frederic Chopin, Claudio Arrau
Title: Chopin: Nocturnes, Barcarolle, Fantaisie
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Philips
Original Release Date: 1/1/1977
Re-Release Date: 7/10/2001
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Fantasies, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 028946469422

Synopsis

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Claudio Arrau's Chopin Nocturnes have had several CD incarnations, including an attractively priced two-for-one Philips duo that includes the Impromptus. While they may cost more reissued in Philips's 50 Great Recordings series, the works gain sonic heft and dimension via these new 24-bit transfers, with more warmth in the higher frequencies. Arrau considered the Nocturnes among Chopin's most searching, emotionally penetrating works. Consequently, the pianist aims to read between the music's sentiments through ample rubatos, unorthodox accentuation, and inner drama. The results radically differ from Arthur Rubinstein's benign lyricism, much as Maria Callas's truth-or-dare approach to Bellini contrasted with Joan Sutherland's suave agility. Ornamental passages, for instance, are painstakingly spelled out and shaped in the form of rapid melodies, as in the Op. 55 No. 2 Nocturne's climactic chain of trills and the F-sharp Nocturne's middle-register accompanimental figures. In general, Arrau's grand solidity works best with the darker, more texturally elaborate selections. If the pianist's brooding, worried journey through the Barcarolle causes the music's sublime polyphony to sink upstream, the F Minor Fantasy radiates drive and heroism at every turn in one of Arrau's most inspired recordings. --Jed Distler

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CD Reviews

Arrau's dark Chopin Nocturnes
Alex Serrano | Perrysburg, Ohio United States | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A couple of years ago i happened to find in an old out-of-the-way store in my home country Ecuador, almost hidden in a back shelf Arrau's complete set of Chopin recorded for phillips. This 6 cd set included a large number of works of which probably the most amazing were the waltzes and the nocturnes. As for the waltzes, Arrau's rendition was a true revelation as he showed deep angst and sadness in them - a feature rarely stressed in these works.
And then were the Nocturnes. In his interpretation, and useing that so unique grave tone of his, Arrau delivers not only all the music but also darker, almost sinister visions. Psychology, always one of Arrau's favorite topics is pushed to the most and in the most revealing way - you can sense through these performances that beyond all the light of the filigree figurations and melodies lies the extremely troubled soul of Chopin as portrayed by Arrau. Trills, figurations so abundant in these works are played as part of the melodies and not just as ornaments - Arrau in interviews sopke many times of the various ways of playing and interpreting trills as taught to him by his teacher Martin Krause (home my memory serves me right) and here is the perfect example of what he meant.
I have heard other fine renditions of the nocturnes as played by Rubinstein, Barenboim, Biret - but as worthy as they are, doubtfully will they ever be appreciated as the unique, unapologetic, bold, understanding performances Arrau delivered here. This is not necesarilly Chopin to be enjoyed - rather to be disturbed by. Most likely the most truthfull and faithfull performances ever to be recorded of this music, and also by Arrau."
Arrau's Somber Chopin Nocturnes
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 01/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Available elsewhere as part of a collection of impromptus, Claudio Arrau's distinguished performances of Chopin's Nocturnes and other works sound richer and more vibrant in this remastered set; among the latest in the Philips 50 series. Arrau's performances may not be enjoyable to most, since his playing tends to be quite dramatic, with a darker, more somber vision of Chopin's scores than found elsewhere from the likes of Barenboim and Rubinstein, among others. Still these are remarkable, distinctive performances which should be recognized as among the finest recordings of Chopin's Nocturnes. I doubt I have heard anyone else probe more successfully into the most melancholy aspects of Chopin's personality, done with much elegant, refined playing. Without question this is a splendid two CD set worth owning."
One of the best
Randall Couch | Philadelphia, PA USA | 04/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've owned Arrau's nocturnes ever since they were first released on vinyl. They are an old man's Chopin, in the best sense--reflective, melancholy, aching. Arrau investigates the local detail in these inexhaustible pieces to a degree just short--an important qualification--of mannered, and so may not be to everyone's taste (compared, say, to Rubenstein). But Arrau's control and elegance keep him just on the right side of that emotional knife-edge, lending great poignancy to the performances and keeping them interesting on repeated hearings. The only weakness for years had been the constricted frequency extremes of the Phillips recording, which is noticeably improved on this higher-resolution remastering, especially in the ethereal upper registers. It still can't compete with the richness of David Jones's historic recordings of Ivan Moravec (no doubt helped by Moravec's Bosendorfer) in what are without doubt the greatest interpretations of the nocturnes ever committed to disc. But I would not be without both, and Arrau's readings carry the air of a world, and a performance tradition, that we will never see again."