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Claudio Arrau: The Early Years - Complete Pre-War Recordings
Claudio Arrau
Claudio Arrau: The Early Years - Complete Pre-War Recordings
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical
 
The young Claudio Arrau here exuberantly demonstrates the ease with which he could play such demanding works as Balakirev's Islamey. But the plush tone and intellectual integrity that informed his later work is here too, j...  more »

      
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The young Claudio Arrau here exuberantly demonstrates the ease with which he could play such demanding works as Balakirev's Islamey. But the plush tone and intellectual integrity that informed his later work is here too, joined to overt virtuosity. So Arrau's later Philips issue of Schumann's Carnaval, fine though it is, must yield to this 1939 Parlophone, which also probes beneath the surface but is more incisive, more vivid in its contrasts, and fleeter of foot. It's difficult to isolate the high points on these two well-filled discs because there are so many--the energy of the Liszt etudes, the full-bodied Debussy, and the robust Chopin yield nothing to the later, more self-consciously profound Arrau. Despite their age, the recordings convey every pianistic nuance, thanks to Marston's typically superb transfers. Not to be missed! --Dan Davis

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CD Reviews

Claudio Arrau - Picked from the Tree
Ryan Morris | 07/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Claudio Arrau was among the last of a group of pianists who were trained in the European style. It is sad to see that many of today's pianists seem to forego the music's interpretation. Which is why I highly recommend these recordings. It proves that a prodigy such as Arrau, after suffering the loss of his mentor, Martin Krause, can grow out of his "prodigy egg" and create a unique style of musical ideas and interpretation. His 1921 recordings of the Chopin F major Waltz and Schubert's f minor Moment Musicaux are the first recordings I've heard right after Arrau was "picked from the tree". At 18, I can hear his unique sound come out from those works. I have also enjoyed his other recordings included in these recordings, including an incredible performance of his "Islamey" of Balakirev. His Busoni recording of the Elegy #5 is interesting. It has been recorded that Arrau was a big admire of Busoni and played his works with much enthusiasm.I sincerely hope that this is the first of many releases of his early recordings because it is a testimonial to his unique interpretation to these composers"
A revelation
Ryan Morris | Chicago, IL | 11/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"To the "bitter disappointment" critic, you need to listen to the playing, through the less than less than perfect sound. I remember the first time i heard an old old recording, i had a similar reaction. But in the end this helped me, i began to listen to the playing instead of what the engineer's wanted me to hear. In this age of robot super virtuosoism, these aged discs, despite their sound, are a breath of fresh air, you are essentially listening to a performance with little to no editing(beside the reduction of background noise.) If what you want is simply the music, go buy a discount disc of some no name pianist playing what you want, but you seem to care who is playing and that makes me wonder if you can really hear what makes a great pianist. Maybe you should stop listening to those people who told you so and think for yourself. The funny thing is, the sound on this isnt even that bad by historical standards. If you cant get over this, you are going to be depriving yourself of a lot of great playing i.e Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Furtwangler, early Richter, etc. Open your ears, pal."
A complete, definitive, superb collection
Sancho Sánchez | Burwood, NSW Australia | 05/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At last, here is what any serious Arrau collector could have always wished for. Never before we had the chance of listening in the same compilation to Arrau's only recording of Liszt's Valse melancolique, or Arrrau's forgotten Vocalion recordings, or Arrau's 2 recordings of Chopin's Etude Op.10 No.4 made in 1928 and 1929. Completion has a merit and value of its own. Sound engineering is superb. Deeply felt congratulations are due to Marston. I only wish Marston would release Arrau's 1940s recordings with the same professional zeal as applied to these pre-1940s recordings."