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Great Pianists 71
Ivan Moravec, Chopin, Franck
Great Pianists 71
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2

The battle for the most convincing, or at least resonant, Chopin might be a two-person standoff between Ivan Moravec and Artur Rubinstein. Moravec's Nocturnes nos. 17 and 18 (Op. 62) are about as exquisite as any on recor...  more »


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All Artists: Ivan Moravec, Chopin, Franck
Title: Great Pianists 71
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Philips
Release Date: 2/9/1999
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Ballads, Sonatas, Suites, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 028945691022

The battle for the most convincing, or at least resonant, Chopin might be a two-person standoff between Ivan Moravec and Artur Rubinstein. Moravec's Nocturnes nos. 17 and 18 (Op. 62) are about as exquisite as any on record, with life enough to sound as though they were being played in person only inches from the ear. Throughout the first of these two CDs, Moravec uses his pedals to hold Chopin's tones for so long that they become rhapsodic in their balanced extendedness. A native of Prague, Moravec has eschewed the spotlight, mostly because of his emphasis on teaching and assiduous practice. He's famous for insisting that every aspect of his performance be near-perfect, from his clear command of the work to his intimate knowledge of the instrument on which he'll perform. So it's ideal that he focuses on repertoire fed by perfectionism and elaborately precise pacing--not to mention his penchant for unmistakable contrast. This last trait is most evident in the big energy of Franck's Prélude, chorale, et fugue (recorded in 1962). --Andrew Bartlett

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CD Reviews

Superb Chopin, Yes - but Listen to the Franck!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The selections on Disk one convincingly back up the claim that Ivan Moravec is the world's greatest living Chopinist, including a majestic performance of the 4th Ballade that has no recorded equal. But the jewel of this collection is the definitive performance of the Cesar Franck Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue: a work which Mr. Moravec just absolutely "owns". Clarity and pure musicianship are the hallmark of this recording, and Mr. Moravec succeeds in bringing out the complex voices of the fugue in such a way as of which other pianists only dream! The cadenza that mystically weaves together the themes of the three separate parts into a whole is a joy to listen to, and Mr. Moravec resists the mistake made by other artists of rushing the final bars in a high speed bravura dash to the end, instead allowing the broken chords of the chorale to bring the work to a stately yet glorious conclusion. There are a lot of recordings of the Franck Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue. But if you haven't heard this one, then you haven't heard it at all!"
A Great Artist
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mr. Moravec is a great artist. I had the privilege of attending his Carnegie Hall Concert, Nov. 27th, 01 and was astonished by his genius. Words can't describe playing of this calibre. If you are a musician or an aspiring artist listen to Mr.Moravec. His deeply felt interpretations of Chopin and Debussy will bring you to a musical world of great beauty and inspire you to get on with your work and do great things also. The above CD is an excellent intro. to Mr. Moravec. But some of his work is hard to get. His CD of Chopin's nocturnes has recently been digitally remastered. I couldn't buy this new version in the United States. I had to order it from England. This is unfortunate. I hope you join me in demanding that Amazon carry everything that Mr. Moravec has recorded. His artistic achievement is a treasure."
Great introduction to a multidimensional artist
Denis Bradford | Chelmsford, MA, USA | 12/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection mainly represents Moravec's recognized contributions to the Chopin and Debussy discography. His Chopin Barcarolle, the composer's homage to Italy, is heart-stopping - one of the great performances of all time, in my humble opinion. The Mazurkas and ravishing Ballade No. 4 too, are worth the price of admission all by themselves. If you don't have any Ivan Moravec recordings, this is as good a place as any to start. If you do, then you'll probably appreciate this addition. The liner notes by Donald Manildi are superb, describing Moravec the man and musician about as well as anyone has.I hate to second-guess what must have been the hardest part of this wonderful project: deciding what to leave out. But it's too bad that this set contains none of Moravec's superb performances of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Czech composers. Yes, the Chopin and French music are glorious, but it's a shame not to demonstrate the breadth of Moravec's repertoire, which is not always recognized."