Author Topic: Chopin's mazurkas  (Read 21230 times)

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Offline jwinter

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Chopin's mazurkas
« on: August 02, 2012, 11:07:21 AM »
So, what are your favorite recordings of Chopin's mazurkas?  Either the whole shebang or selections.
 
Rubinstein's last set has always been my favorite.  On the shelf I have Rubinstein x 3, Ashkenazy, Francois, Harasiewicz, and Ohlsson for complete sets, plus healthy selections from Richter, Perlemuter, and a few others (working from memory here).  What favorite recordings of yours am I missing?
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Sammy

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 11:20:44 AM »
One of my favorites that you're missing comes from Jean-Marc Luisada.  Originally on DG, his set is now available on Newton Classics.  The man's playing is quite unique, concentrating more on detail than flow.



Offline North Star

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2012, 11:26:03 AM »
One of my favorites that you're missing comes from Jean-Marc Luisada.  Originally on DG, his set is now available on Newton Classics.  The man's playing is quite unique, concentrating more on detail than flow.



His newer recording is nice, too. Details are very much the concern there, too.

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Offline Todd

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2012, 11:34:50 AM »
 


 
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The Raven

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2012, 11:43:35 AM »
I think that rubinstein's 1965-66 recordings(volume 50 of the set) are not only the best mazurkas they're one of the greatest piano recordings of all time. rubinstein, ohlsson and harasiewicz sets should do for everyone but there are many beautiful selections such as argerich, horowitz, bunin and michelangeli. if you listen to mono recordings the best should be the poles friedman and rosenthal.

do you have a favorite op 22? I'm probing Op 22s recently.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 11:51:29 AM by The Raven »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 11:57:04 AM »
So, what are your favorite recordings of Chopin's mazurkas?  Either the whole shebang or selections.
 
Rubinstein's last set has always been my favorite.  On the shelf I have Rubinstein x 3, Ashkenazy, Francois, Harasiewicz, and Ohlsson for complete sets, plus healthy selections from Richter, Perlemuter, and a few others (working from memory here).  What favorite recordings of yours am I missing?

Gerard Hoffnung comes to mind straight away

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ip7sd4yYYCA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Ip7sd4yYYCA</a>


Why do you like the last Rubinstein set the most? Do you enjoy old recordings? The answers to these questions will help me give you a better answer tomorrow.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 02:01:33 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline George

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 02:33:14 PM »
One of my favorites that you're missing comes from Jean-Marc Luisada.  Originally on DG, his set is now available on Newton Classics.  The man's playing is quite unique, concentrating more on detail than flow.




Strongly seconded. Along with Wasowski and Maryla Jonas (Pearl.) And either of the mono Rubinstein sets (the earliest one is better, I think.)
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Offline George

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 02:36:53 PM »


In fact, I am now enjoying Rubinstein's first complete set of Mazurkas, recorded in 1938-39. Transfers by Ward Marston.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Ataraxia

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2012, 02:59:53 PM »


In fact, I am now enjoying Rubinstein's first complete set of Mazurkas, recorded in 1938-39. Transfers by Ward Marston.

It's on Spotify too. Thanks, George.

Offline jwinter

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2012, 03:09:33 PM »
I have all 3 sets of Rubinstein's Mazurkas, indeed it's great stuff (that's one reason I passed on the big Rubinstein box -- I've already got all of his Chopin).

Which Luisada would you recommend - the older one or the new one?
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline George

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2012, 03:19:36 PM »
I have all 3 sets of Rubinstein's Mazurkas, indeed it's great stuff (that's one reason I passed on the big Rubinstein box -- I've already got all of his Chopin).

Which Luisada would you recommend - the older one or the new one?

The DG one is the only one I have heard. For years it was my favorite set of the Mazurkas. It probably still is, though Wasowski and the early Rubinsteins and Maryla Jonas are close behind. And let's not forget Friedman on Naxos Historical.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline jwinter

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 03:26:15 PM »
Quote from: Mandryka on Today at 04:57:04 PM
Why do you like the last Rubinstein set the most? Do you enjoy old recordings? The answers to these questions will help me give you a better answer tomorrow.

Old recordings are fine -- I love the Cortot Chopin that I've heard, and greatly enjoy Rubinstein's 1930's mazurkas & nocturnes.

It's hard to describe why I like Rubinstein's mazurkas so much.  I like them for their lyrical quality, for how they project a deep sense of Romanticism without becoming mushy or sentimental.  I love the way he makes the melodies flow so naturally, nothing sounds contrived or forced, like the notes are just falling off his fingers.  His tone is beautiful, soft or vigorous as necessary but never harsh, and it's beautifully recorded.  And this is largely in my own head, I know, but I can't help but hear a certain nostalgic, autumnal quality in the 1960s recording, as if these are works he's thought about for a very long time, and he knows that this may be his last chance to capture his reading for posterity, so he wants to do it just right, nothing eccentric, just Chopin as he feels it should be played.

Does that make sense?  But I'm not looking for something just like Rubinstein, as I know I won't find it.  Rather, something contrasting, interesting, unusual -- I'm really pretty open...   
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline George

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 03:36:19 PM »
I'm not looking for something just like Rubinstein, as I know I won't find it.  Rather, something contrasting, interesting, unusual -- I'm really pretty open...

Given that, grab Friedman (Naxos), Jonas (Pearl) and Luisada (DG.) I think Friedman provides the sharpest contrast. You can 11 of his Mazurkas here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k15R92xkRK8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HLTZcjSRHQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUEs6jOVRLg
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline North Star

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2012, 04:38:07 PM »
I don't know Luisada's DG recording too well, but after sampling it from Spotify, I'd recommend the RCA recording. First of all, the sound quality is awesome, no hardness whatsoever, and the reverberation isn't too strong, either. "[T]he most realistic recording of a piano I've heard" writes a reviewer at Amazon (R. Steiger, his whole review is quite insightful).
Second, well, it's just a great recording, treating each opus as a unity. Dance-like, but not necessarily danceable, and certainly very free playing.

From the later recording's liner notes (of course it wouldn't be expected that he would only sing the DG recording's praises, but I don't think he'd record the mazurkas again if he didn't think he'd have some valuable things to say in them.)
Quote
"At the time when DG asked me to record all the mazurkas I hadn't actually played more than a few of them. And the recording had to be done in only a few months. So I learned them very quickly, and while there was certainly something spontaneous about the playing, for me something was definitely missing. Since then, though, the mazurkas, as I say, have been a part of my life. I've played them many times, often as a complete cycle, in a single two-and-a-half hour concert."
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 10:09:15 PM »
Quote from: Mandryka on Today at 04:57:04 PM
Why do you like the last Rubinstein set the most? Do you enjoy old recordings? The answers to these questions will help me give you a better answer tomorrow.

Old recordings are fine -- I love the Cortot Chopin that I've heard, and greatly enjoy Rubinstein's 1930's mazurkas & nocturnes.

It's hard to describe why I like Rubinstein's mazurkas so much.  I like them for their lyrical quality, for how they project a deep sense of Romanticism without becoming mushy or sentimental.  I love the way he makes the melodies flow so naturally, nothing sounds contrived or forced, like the notes are just falling off his fingers.  His tone is beautiful, soft or vigorous as necessary but never harsh, and it's beautifully recorded.  And this is largely in my own head, I know, but I can't help but hear a certain nostalgic, autumnal quality in the 1960s recording, as if these are works he's thought about for a very long time, and he knows that this may be his last chance to capture his reading for posterity, so he wants to do it just right, nothing eccentric, just Chopin as he feels it should be played.

Does that make sense?  But I'm not looking for something just like Rubinstein, as I know I won't find it.  Rather, something contrasting, interesting, unusual -- I'm really pretty open...

You may find Luisada on DG a bit more self conscious. I would recommend Jacob Flier's if you want all of them by one artist



But why do that? The best performances are scattered around and played by people who just selected a few mazurkas. First  and foremost I would listen to all the mazurka recordings  made by Sofronitsky . See what you think.

And Michelangeli and Malcuzynski. They'r not all equally good, but it would take me some time to pick out the ones which I thought were outstanding.   

Also Pogorelich and Argerich and Virssaladze and Ciani and Kapell and Sirota and Cherkassky and Richter and some of the records Moravec did too.  And if you don't mind bad sound and you're interested in the history, why not try some Jonas or Friedman?

I think that's a more interesting thing to do than buy a single complete survey of them.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 11:34:54 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2012, 10:50:37 PM »
Here's Pollini in OP 33/3

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/yweyB8lI7kY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/yweyB8lI7kY</a>

And here's Michelangeli in the same mazurka

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/bmDJ857s4Xs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/bmDJ857s4Xs</a>

And here's Rubinstein

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/V9xVR5k6r_w" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/V9xVR5k6r_w</a>

« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 11:03:26 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline jwinter

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2012, 03:26:49 AM »
Thanks, Mandryka!  Much obliged!

I agree that individual mazurkas may well be the way to go at this point, rather than complete sets of them.  The sets that I have are pretty much all parts of large Chopin box sets -- and while I have lots of pianist's takes on the preludes or nocturnes or etudes, I've never really done much exploring though the mazurkas since I've always found Rubinstein so satisfying.  It was a matter of love at first spin, so to speak; I guess I'm just feeling the 7-year-itch...  ;D
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline jwinter

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2012, 03:32:27 AM »
 Quote from: North Star on August 02, 2012, 09:38:07 PM
I don't know Luisada's DG recording too well, but after sampling it from Spotify, I'd recommend the RCA recording...
 
Hmmm, thanks for this.  I was leaning towards the DG since it's cheaper, but now I'll have to ponder.  Life is never simple... ;D
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline jwinter

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2012, 03:35:17 AM »
 


 


I actually have the Moravec disc with the Debussy, I'll have to give that a spin this evening!  Come to think of it, I may have more mazurkas on my shelves than I think I do, scattered about -- I'll have to rummage around this weekend.

I've never heard of Michel Block, thanks for the tip. 
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chopin's mazurkas
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2012, 05:45:14 AM »
Unfortunately that Morvec CD with the Debussy doesn't have the best of his mazurkas, I would say. For that you need to go to the CD with the Chopin Scherzos, and the live CD from Brussels, released a couple of years ago.

Do try that collection of mazurkas from Pollini that I found on youtube, from London in 2008. i've been enjoying it all day.
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