Joseph Hoffman plays Chopin
Jerry Natkin | Greensboro, NC USA | 01/17/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Joseph Hoffman was one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. His authentic playing, even after his peak years in the 1920's, was astonishing. But if you hear a real high fidelity or even stereo recording claiming to be of Hoffman's playing, don't believe it; he was never recorded in modern sound. What you hear on this recording was probably done on piano rolls on a fancy reproducing piano. On occasion this material has been recorded convincingly (if not necessarily authentically), but not this time. Hoffman was above all known for dramatic/explosive playing, flexibility of tempo, and a wonderful singing touch. What we have here is lumpy, wooden playing, no discernable variation of touch, and no sign of temperament at all. Real Hoffman recordings have rather archaic sound, but are available and extremely rewarding. Ignore this and get the real item, such as his 50th anniversary album."
A Unique Artistic Experience
Derek Lee | St. Paul, MN USA | 07/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a truly wonderful recording of Josef Hofmann at his very best. This was recorded recently, based on a reproducing piano paper roll. Josef Hofmann was a major proponent of this unique recording method, an enormous improvement on the player piano, which was able to reproduce the exact touch and intensity of the real performance. This reproducing piano version was supervised and approved by HOFMANN HIMSELF, and I would like to say that if he was satisfied with it, then EVERYONE should be satisfied with it. When I play this CD, I feel as if Hofmann is right there, the emotion is so intense, and the technique so brilliant. An absolute must for any Hofmann enthusiast."