Alfred Cortot - The Late Recordings Vol 2

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Although he was universally regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the last century, Cortot's later recordings have had a bit of bad press....
Although he was universally regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the last century, Cortot's later recordings have had a bit of bad press. Though he had a virtuoso technique it was fallible and the careless slips he was renowned for became more pronounced as he became older. It's true that some embarrasing recordings exist and a Beethoven sonata cycle went so badly it has never seen the light of day but in the right repertoire these aspects of his playing are not an issue and in recordings such as those presented here we can enjoy Cortot's wonderful musicality without the need to make any allowance for a faltering technique. The major work here is the complete first book of Debussy 'Préludes'. This set, recorded in the last days of 78's, had only a limited life as an LP in 1953, from a technical point of view already out of date, but of course nowadays this is of no consequence when we have the glory of Cortot's playing to consider.

The Franck 'Prélude, Aria et Final' from 1947 has not been previously issued though passed by Cortot himself. Only one set of test pressings is known to exist, and it is missing the second of six sides, so to make a complete performance we have dubbed in the second side of this Cortot's earlier 1932 recording of the work. Perhaps the gems of this collection are the series of 'Encores' which Cortot recorded in 1948. These works presetn the essence of Cortot's style, his instantly recognizable singing line, his wonderful voicing of chords and the nobility of it all. It appears that when some of these titles were reissued on LP different takes, recorded on tape, were used so these versions are included as an appendix.



Product Description:


  • Release Date: March 01, 2006


  • UPC: 5024709155729


  • Catalog Number: APR5572


  • Label: APR Recordings


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: César Franck, Claude Debussy, Franz Schubert, Frédéric Chopin, Henry Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann


  • Performer: Alfred Cortot



Works:


  1. Suites (8) for harpsichord, Z. 660-669: Suites 1 & 8: Minuet

    Composer: Henry Purcell

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)


  2. Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen, D 343

    Composer: Franz Schubert

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)


  3. Waldszenen, Op. 82: no 7, Vogel als Prophet

    Composer: Robert Schumann

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)


  4. Nocturnes (3) for Piano, Op. 15: no 2 in F sharp major

    Composer: Frédéric Chopin

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)


  5. Songs (5), Op. 49: no 4, Wiegenlied

    Composer: Johannes Brahms

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)


  6. Prelude, Aria and Finale for Piano, M 23

    Composer: César Franck

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)


  7. Préludes, Book 1

    Composer: Claude Debussy

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)


  8. Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056: 2nd movement, Largo-Arioso

    Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)


  9. Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056: 2nd movement, Largo-Arioso

    Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

    Performer: Alfred Cortot (Piano)