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The John Browning Edition Vol 1 - Bach, Chopin, Schubert


Release Date: 10/25/2005 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1120   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachFrédéric ChopinFranz Schubert
Performer:  John Browning
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Considering his reputation as a pianist's pianist, John Browning (1933-2003) made surprisingly few solo recordings. The first in a series of four discs devoted to previously unreleased archival live performances preserves a brief recital that took place at the College of William and Mary on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Rather than cancel, the presenters decided to use the concert as a forum for the college community to be together. Browning altered his program to suit the occasion, announced the selections from the stage, and requested no applause.


The Bach Chorale Prelude, Schubert Impromptu, and Chopin Mazurkas stand out for Browning's patient phrasing and heartfelt projection of the
Read more melodies. He takes the F minor Fantasy's slower sections more expansively than usual and unleashes terse, ferocious climaxes that would convey anger even under less tragic circumstances. The B-flat minor sonata receives a headlong performance characterized by purposeful sweep and steel-wristed authority that replicates Rachmaninov's classic 1930 recording through a more objective aesthetic. It's all too easy to read an obvious subtext into Browning's outsized dynamics in the famous Funeral March movement, but the enigmatic finale proves no less intense--and technically quite staggering. We then hear Browning quickly rise from the bench and walk off stage in silence.


Be forewarned of the poor sound quality, with high levels of wow and flutter that make the piano appear to be under water. Still, a heavy hearted sense of occasion comes through, as does Browning's moving, communicative music-making.
--Jed DIstler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Orgelbüchlein: Ich ruf'zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  John Browning (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1963 
Venue:  Live  College of William and Mary, Williamsbur 
Length: 4 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Ferruccio Busoni.
This selection is a mono recording. 
2.
Fantasie for Piano in F minor/A flat major, B 137/Op. 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  John Browning (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1963 
Venue:  Live  College of William and Mary, Williamsbur 
Length: 12 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
3.
Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 935/Op. 142: no 2 in A flat major by Franz Schubert
Performer:  John Browning (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1963 
Venue:  Live  College of William and Mary, Williamsbur 
Length: 5 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
4.
Mazurkas (3) for Piano, B 162/Op. 63: no 2 in F minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  John Browning (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1963 
Venue:  Live  College of William and Mary, Williamsbur 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
5.
Mazurkas (4) for Piano, Op. 68: no 4 in F minor, B 168 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  John Browning (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1963 
Venue:  Live  College of William and Mary, Williamsbur 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
6.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, B 128/Op. 35 "Funeral March" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  John Browning (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1963 
Venue:  Live  College of William and Mary, Williamsbur 
Length: 21 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 

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