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Benno Moiseiwitsch - The Complete Acoustic Recordings


Release Date: 06/26/2001 
Label:  Pearl   Catalog #: 142   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Louis-Claude DaquinClaude DebussyFrédéric ChopinMaurice Ravel,   ... 
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch
Conductor:  Landon Ronald
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Albert Hall Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 24 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Among recent Benno Moiseiwitsch reissues, the present release from Pearl is the most unusual yet systematic of the crop. It contains all of his acoustic recordings, dating from 1916 to 1925 when the emerging pianist was in his 20s and 30s. These discs are contemporaneous with early phonographic efforts by Hofmann, Rachmaninov, Busoni, Cortot, Grainger, Backhaus, and other keyboard eminences, and clearly reveal that Moiseiwitsch held his own among older, more established colleagues. Where do you begin to describe the numerous musical and pianistic felicities here? Try, for starters, the perfectly-spaced rubatos and revelatory inner lines throughout the pianist's supple Brahms B minor Capriccio (Op. 76 No. 2). Or listen to the easy ebb and Read more flow of his passagework, blissfully liberated from the tyranny of the barline, in the Chopin/Liszt My Joys, the Chopin F-sharp Impromptu, and Schumann/Liszt Frühlingsnacht (the latter is more songful and relaxed than Josef Lhevinne's famous electrical traversal). And what stupefyingly quick, feathery, and crystalline unison runs he achieves in Selim Palmgren's Bird Song and The Sea. Rarely has Scriabin's Nocturne for the left hand emerged with such freshly delineated textures: it sounds as if two hands on two separate pianos are involved!


Moiseiwitsch was not one to play by the book, and astute listeners will notice and hopefully delight in the pianist's textual emendations at times, such as those in the Chopin E minor Nocturne Op. 72 No. 1, or that sparkling coda he adds to Henselt's knuckle-busting etude Si oiseau j'étais. There are a few selections Moiseiwitsch re-recorded more effectively in the electric era, like Debussy's Jardins sous la pluie and Ravel's Jeux d'eau. Conversely, the pianist's acoustic Chopin C minor prelude is relatively straight and unadorned next to the one in his complete 1948 traversal of the Op. 28 Preludes. An interesting textual sidebar: the 1948 C-minor Prelude incorporates the "traditional" E-natural on the final beat of measure three, while the acoustic version sports the "controversial" E-flat favored by latter-day Urtext practitioners like Claudio Arrau.


Producer Donald Manildi adds a generous bonus in the form of some of the pianist's rarest early electrical sides. These include a Wagner/Liszt Liebestod (minus its opening measures) spun out in lyrical, independent lines and a Scarlatti-Tausig Pastorale and Capriccio with ravishing legato that melts in your mouth. Here also is the first and still best recording of Abram Chasins' once-popular Rush Hour in Hong Kong--so feathery, fleet, and nonchalant. Seth Winner's transfers are generally clear and clean. Comparing the present transfer of the acoustic Mendelssohn G minor concerto to Winner's earlier Pearl transfer (Benno Moiseiwitsch Volume 1, GEMM 9135), I found the earlier refurbishing noisier yet with more room tone and pedaling details. The differences, to be sure, are ultimately inconsequential given the built-in sonic limitations of acoustic orchestral recordings; but they are there. All in all, a set that no Moiseiwitsch lover and historic piano recording enthusiast should ignore.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Premier livre de pièces: Troisième Suite - Le coucou by Louis-Claude Daquin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1735; France 
Date of Recording: 04/13/1916 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Estampes (3) for Piano: no 3, Jardins sous la pluie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Date of Recording: 05/10/1916 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
3.
Berceuse for Piano in D flat major, B 154/Op. 57 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 05/10/1916 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4.
Jeux d'eau by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; France 
Date of Recording: 05/10/1916 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
5.
Pieces (8) for Piano, Op. 76: no 2, Capriccio in B minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/06/1916 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
6.
Polish Songs (6) for Piano (Chopin), S 480: no 5, My darling by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847-1860; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/06/1916 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
7.
Pieces (2) for Piano left hand, Op. 9: no 2, Nocturne in D major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/06/1916 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 
8.
Suite bergamasque: 3rd movement, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1918 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
9.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 17: no 19, Bird's Song by Selim Palmgren
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Finland 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1918 
Length: 1 Minutes 4 Secs. 
10.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 17: no 12, The sea by Selim Palmgren
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Finland 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1918 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
11.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28: no 20 in C minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1918 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
12.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 1 in D flat major "Minute Waltz" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1918 
Length: 1 Minutes 34 Secs. 
13.
Pastorale in E minor by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
Date of Recording: 02/21/1927 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Carl Tausig 
14.
Sonata for Harpsichord in E major, K 20/L 375 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738 
Date of Recording: 02/21/1927 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Carl Tausig 
15.
Préludes, Book 1: no 12, Minstrels by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; France 
Date of Recording: 06/11/1919 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
16.
Ständchen "Horch, horch!" (Schubert) for Piano, S 558 no 9 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1838; France 
Date of Recording: 06/11/1919 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
17.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 1 in G flat major, B 92 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/28/1921 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is the second of two takes of Chopin's Op. 70 no. 1 recorded on June 28, 1921 included in this collection. 
18.
Impromptu for Piano no 2 in F sharp major, B 129/Op. 36 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/10/1921 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
19.
Finnish Rhythms (5), Op. 31: no 5, West-Finnish Dance by Selim Palmgren
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/19/1921 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
20.
Le roi s'amuse: Passepied by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; France 
Date of Recording: 03/07/1922 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
21.
Fantaisies (6) for Piano, Op. 52: no 4, La Jongleuse by Moritz Moszkowski
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/07/1922 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
22.
Sorochintsy fair: Hopak by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 05/04/1922 
Length: 1 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1874 - 1880). 
23.
Phantasiestücke (8) for Piano, Op. 12: no 7, Traumes Wirren by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1832; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/04/1922 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
24.
Pieces (2) for Piano, Op. 30: Barcarolle no 1 in F minor by Anton Rubinstein
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1852; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/13/1922 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
25.
Nocturne for Piano in E minor, B 19/Op. 72 no 1 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/13/1922 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
26.
Mazurka for Piano in A minor, B 134 "Notre temps" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/18/1922 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
27.
Frühlingsnacht (Schumann) for Piano, S 568 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/18/1922 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
28.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in G minor, Op. 25 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Conductor:  Landon Ronald
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Albert Hall Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/27/1925 
Length: 19 Minutes 57 Secs. 
29.
Etudes caracteristiques (12) for Piano, Op. 2: no 6, Si oiseau j'etais by Adolf Henselt
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1837 
Date of Recording: 12/10/1925 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
30.
Chinese Pieces (3): no 2, Flirtation in a Chinese Garden by Abram Chasins
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 01/19/1927 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
31.
Chinese Pieces (3): no 3, Rush Hour in Hong Kong by Abram Chasins
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/19/1927 
Length: 1 Minutes 19 Secs. 
32.
Histoires: no 2, Le petit âne blanc by Jacques Ibert
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; France 
Date of Recording: 05/23/1927 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
33.
Rococo by Selim Palmgren
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 05/25/1927 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
34.
Songs without words, vol 4, Op. 53: no 4, Adagio in F major by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/25/1927 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
35.
Songs without words, vol 1, Op. 19b: no 3, Molto allegro in A major "Hunting Song" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/25/1927 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
36.
Isolde's "Liebestod" from Wagner's "Tristan", S 447 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/02/1928 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
37.
Rondo for Piano in E flat major, Op. 11 "Favori" by Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1804; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/03/1930 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
38.
Arabesque en forme d'etude, Op. 45 no 1 by Theodore Leschetizky
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 09/19/1921 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
39.
Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin: no 7, Gavotte [with 6 Doubles] in A minor by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1730; France 
Date of Recording: 06/11/1919 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
40.
Sonata for Piano no 1 in C major, J 138/Op. 24: 4th movement, Rondo "Perpetuum Mobile" by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1812; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/19/1921 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 

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