Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz Liszt, Claudio Arrau, Nikita Magaloff|
Liszt: The Complete Etudes
No, these aren't really the "complete" Liszt études. The centerpiece to this collection is Claudio Arrau's Transcendental Études, recorded when the pianist was in his early seventies. He brings out the music's breadth and ... more »
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No, these aren't really the "complete" Liszt études. The centerpiece to this collection is Claudio Arrau's Transcendental Études, recorded when the pianist was in his early seventies. He brings out the music's breadth and poetry by way of ample rubatos, a rainbow of color, and total avoidance of anything mechanical for its own sake. Conversely, Nikita Magaloff's light-fingered proficiency in the Paganini Études seems rather dry and workaday in comparison. --Jed Distler
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Liszt doesn't get much better
hjonkers | The Netherlands | 09/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first disc of this set should be rated among the best recordings of all time. Claudio Arrau, the Chilean pianist, has no peer in the Transcendental Studies. His technique is startlingly good for a septuagenarian, and the sweep and inspiration that he brings to every study is utterly magnificent. Few play Wilde Jagd more relentlessly (the only faster performances I know of are by Kissin, Berman and Richter, but none makes as much music out of it). The drive and fury of the Allegro Agitato Molto is unique, the poetry and sonority of Hamonies du Soir almost unreal. The thunderous octaves in Eroica impress mightily too. Yet most of all, it is hard to imagine Chasse-Neige sounding more harrowing and dramatic than it is rendered here. Some of his tempo choices are controversial: Feux Follets and Mazeppa are slower than the norm. That said, I find Mazeppa particularly effective at this pace -- it sounds like a tone poem in Arrau's hands, and not a mere gunfire of notes. Feux Follets too is unusually delicate, though Richter may still top him in this piece. Arrau's discography is huge and full of riches, yet these recordings deserve to be listed among his greatest achievements of all.
Indeed, Magaloff's dry-eyed and light-fingered pianism couldn't be more different from Arrau's huge, rhetoricianlike style, but his account of the Paganini studies is a very refined and interesting one nonetheless. La Campanella rarely sounds more crisp, and La Chasse is appropriately humorous.
But the main focus on these discs remains on the Arrau recordings, which represent one of the century's greatest pianists in his peak. Absolutely essential listening for anyone who cherishes Arrau and Liszt, and even for those who normally do not."
So much for "better judgment"!
hjonkers | 02/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought these CD's against my better judgment, because I already had several recordings of the Transcendental Etudes that I thought couldn't be beat (Kissin, Bolet, Lazar Berman), but I wanted the Paganini, so . . .Arrau is a pianist that I have never liked, and I listen to and buy more classical piano recordings than anything else, but I am amazed to find that he has an incredible affinity for Liszt here. This is now my favorite recording of the Transcendental Etudes. And as the reviewer above says, Magaloff is no slouch either. (Far from it!)Sound quality couldn't be better.A true bargain."
Incisive and analytical
stephen_from_dublin | USA | 03/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think that this pairing is wonderful. In my experience, Arrau is the supreme master of Liszt. He shows us that Liszt's wonderful compositions are so much more than crass bravura. It takes a master like Arrau to search beneath the waves of notes and octaves for the real meaning.If you enjoy this CD, I would HIGHLY recommend Philips recent release of Arrau performing the Liszt Sonata. Neither Bolet nor Horowitz come close, IMO, in making an arching unit of this massive work.How sad that today's pianists are so tuned for perfection, and less for fresh insight. Arrau could throw in plenty of bad notes in his day, but they were simply tiny blemishes on a work of art."