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Blumenfeld: Preludes & Impromptus / Philip Thomson


Release Date: 07/04/2000 
Label:  Ivory Classics   Catalog #: 71002   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Philip Thomson
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Felix Blumenfeld (1863-1931) was best known as a teacher whose pupils included Simon Barere, Maria Yudina, his nephew Heinrich Neuhaus (himself an important teacher), and the young Vladimir Horowitz, yet his original compositions for piano are virtually forgotten. Not anymore. Ivory Classics has enlisted Philip Thomson to record Blumenfeld's complete preludes and impromptus. Pianophiles will adore this stuff. The music is hardly profound, but more substance than you might suspect lurks underneath its charming surface. Blumenfeld's keyboard writing recalls (anticipates, actually) the swirling serpentine patterns favored by the young Scriabin and Rachmaninov, replete with ear-tickling harmonic
Read more invention.


The disc commences with its centerpiece, the 24 Preludes Op. 17, which bear traces of Chopin's better known cycle. The E minor prelude's left hand runs, for instance, mirror the same gestures in Chopin's D minor piece. If Tchaikovsky had rewritten Chopin's E major prelude for Swan Lake, the result might have sounded like Blumenfeld's own prelude in that key. His E-flat Prelude transforms Wagner's Liebestod from love-death to love-in. If we filtered Philip Thomson's sparkling, effortless, idiomatic playing through an equalizer, and added fake shellac noise, pops, and crackle, you'd swear these were long lost Hofmann, Friedman, or Lhevinne recordings. On the other hand, the old-timers would have enjoyed the benefits of Ivory Classics' modern-day engineering. A pussycat of a disc.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 17 by Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Philip Thomson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Fernleaf Abbey, Columbus, Ohio 
Length: 48 Minutes 35 Secs. 
2.
Impromptus (2) for Piano, Op. 13 by Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Philip Thomson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Fernleaf Abbey, Columbus, Ohio 
Length: 7 Minutes 11 Secs. 
3.
Impromptu for Piano in B major, Op. 28 by Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Philip Thomson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Fernleaf Abbey, Columbus, Ohio 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
4.
Preludes (4) for Piano, Op. 12 by Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Philip Thomson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Fernleaf Abbey, Columbus, Ohio 
Length: 5 Minutes 42 Secs. 
5.
Impromptus (2) for Piano, Op. 45 by Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Philip Thomson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Fernleaf Abbey, Columbus, Ohio 
Length: 5 Minutes 59 Secs. 
6.
Valse-Impromptu for Piano, Op. 16 by Felix Blumenfeld
Performer:  Philip Thomson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1998-99 
Venue:  Fernleaf Abbey, Columbus, Ohio 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 

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