Author Topic: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records  (Read 4188 times)

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George

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A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« on: August 20, 2010, 05:44:36 PM »
A Century of Romantic Chopin

I just got this special 4 CD set in the mail today. As a Marston subscriber, I believe I get all releases ahead of actual release. The details aren't even on their website yet. I have waited a long time for this set, as I heard about it last year.

Some information from the Marston website:

A Century of Romantic Chopin
54001-2 (4 CDs for the price of 3)
A Century of Romantic Chopin is a four CD-compilation commemorating the Chopin bicentennial year. The set will include some 65 pianists, going back to Francis Planté and Vladimir de Pachmann who were born when Chopin was still alive. Other pianists in the set include Josef Hofmann, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ferruccio Busoni, Moritz Rosenthal, Ignace Jan Paderewski, Ignaz Friedman, Alfred Cortot, Jan Smeterlin, Rosita Renard, Claudio Arrau, Guiomar Novaes, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Solomon, Arthur Rubinstein, Emil Gilels, Earl Wild, Jorge Bolet, and others. All of Chopin’s etudes will be represented, as well as a selection of preludes, mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, ballades, and scherzi, each performance conveying a personal approach to the music. Some of the recordings will already be familiar to pianophiles because of their legendary status, while many others will be delightful surprises, as they are taken from concert performances and out-of-print recordings.
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Reading the liner notes (and the title), it is clear that the focus of this set is on pianists who play in the Romantic style. I think they did a very nice job on this set. I have only heard the first CD, in which the complete etudes ( all 27) are played by 25 different pianists (Rubinstein plays 2, taken from live performances.) Some great performances on there and as always with Marston, superbly mastered sound.

I can't wait to hear more of this set and will report back with highlights in this thread.

Online Mandryka

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 09:26:53 PM »
Who have they included for the A flat Nouvelle Etude? Is it Rosenthal? If so, how is the sound?

I'm also curious about who they chose for the Op 45 prelude.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 09:35:11 PM by Mandryka »
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George

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2010, 02:41:48 AM »
Who have they included for the A flat Nouvelle Etude? Is it Rosenthal? If so, how is the sound?

Ann Schein, 1958, New York City.

Quote
I'm also curious about who they chose for the Op 45 prelude.

Cortot, November 4, 1949, London.

Offline Verena

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2010, 02:53:49 AM »
Hi George,

that sounds highly interesting. I'm curious which work(s) is (are) allotted to Gilels?

George

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2010, 02:57:34 AM »
Hi George,

that sounds highly interesting. I'm curious which work(s) is (are) allotted to Gilels?

Hi Verena,

No Gilels in this box. They must have chosen not to include him at the last minute.

Offline Verena

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2010, 03:06:36 AM »
Quote
Hi Verena,

No Gilels in this box. They must have chosen not to include him at the last minute.

Thanks. That is very sad indeed  :'(

George

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2010, 03:12:24 AM »
Thanks. That is very sad indeed  :'(

They say in the liner notes that people are going to be disappointed by the omission of a number of pianists and that the ideal set would have required two dozen CDs.

Online Mandryka

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2010, 06:12:31 AM »
Ann Schein, 1958, New York City.


That may be good, but I somehow doubt it is as good as Rosenthal, which is IMO one of the best Chopin recordings of all time.

Here's my version -- as you can hear, it was recorded on dog biscuits.

If anyone has a better transfer (Biddulph maybe) then I will buy them a glass of Champagne if they put it on mediafire or rapidhare for me.

(PS -- this flash thing is great!)

<a href="http://www.goear.com/files/external.swf?file=ef5efac&quot; type=&quot;application/x-shockwave-flash" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.goear.com/files/external.swf?file=ef5efac&quot; type=&quot;application/x-shockwave-flash</a>

I'm also not convinced that Cortot's Op45 is so interesting, though the 1949 one is probably the best (I think I have it on APR.)  Michelangeli for Op45. Or Sofronitsky.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 06:22:09 AM by Mandryka »
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George

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2010, 06:25:23 AM »
Quote
I'm also not convinced that Cortot's Op45 is so interesting, though the 1949 one is probably the ebst (I think I have it on APR.)  Michelangeli for Op45. Or Sofronitsky.

They say in the liner notes that there was sure to be some disappointments and criticism of their choices. They also stated that their goal was to include some rare performances, some for historical reasons and some would be familiar classics. So they weren't going for "best" performance of each work.

Personally, I wish they had just done a smaller set of rare/OOP performances. So many people who collect historical piano music are likely to have much of this stuff already, sometimes in 2 or more masterings. Still, they only charge for three of the four CDs, so that balances things out a bit. As usual, great liner notes too.

George

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2010, 02:00:24 PM »
I listened to the second CD last night and this morning. The highlight for me was a performance of the first Ballade by Earl Wild. It is taken from a 1981 New York Recital and I must say Earl plays this work more beautifully that I have ever heard it played. I don't have much by this pianist, aside from a late recording of the Chopin etudes, his GPOTC set and the Rachmaninoff piano concertos, but I can see that I will be seeking out more of his stuff.

George

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2010, 02:21:24 AM »
Last night I listened to the nocturnes from this 4 CD Chopin box and I must say, they are breathtaking. Poetic playing with lots of rubato. The pianists for these works include Rosenthal, Friedman, Koczalski, Libetta, de Larrocha, Chiampi, Chapiro, Lewenthal, Pachmann, Manshardt, Busoni, Pabst (recorded in 1895!) and the composer Bela Bartok, who plays an incomplete performance of Op 27, No. 1 from 1939.

Offline George

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 07:21:30 PM »


Marston still has copies available of this special 4CD set. I highly recommend it.  A number of the recordings are not available anywhere else.

Music Web review here
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 07:25:14 PM by George »
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Online Mandryka

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 12:51:56 AM »
Do you know if Marston are going to release the 4th volume of Levy recordings they announced last year?
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Offline George

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Re: A Century of Romantic Chopin on Marston Records
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 01:27:55 AM »
Do you know if Marston are going to release the 4th volume of Levy recordings they announced last year?

I am sure they will. They are just really slow. They have yet to release the final Hoffman set that has been late over a year. The next piano release will be the complete de Pachmann, which will be out next month. 
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure