Notes and Editorial Reviews
DINU LIPATTI—COMPLETE PUBLISHED ABBEY ROAD SOLO RECORDINGS
Dinu Lipatti (pn); Nadia Boulanger (pn)
OPUS KURA 2081, mono (74:07)
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.
Piano Sonata No. 3. Nocturne,
Waltz in A?,
Barcarolle in F?,
Années de pèlerinage, deuxième anné:
Sonetto 104 del Petrarca.
Alborada del gracioso.
Although this release duplicates material in EMI’s recently issued seven-CD box devoted to Lipatti, (see 32:4), those wishing to have some of the pianist’s best work while avoiding a large expenditure will find it in this release. All of the transfers here come from 78s, mostly English Columbia pressings. In most cases, all one hears is a soft hiss in the background, suggesting that some kind of noise suppression has been used. But it does not seem to have caused any loss of upper frequencies. In fact, the only flaw one might find bothersome is a
of wow in parts of the Chopin sonata. Particularly interesting is the 1937 recording of the Brahms Waltzes, with 17-year-old Lipatti joining his composition teacher, Nadia Boulanger. The other items were recorded in 1947 and 1948, with the Chopin pieces perhaps comprising the prize of the lot. What distinguished Lipatti’s way with the composer was its freedom from excess, a prevailing “taste” that did not distort shape and was supported by virtuosic technical command. No wonder when Toscanini heard the pianist, he said it was the “finest Chopin playing” he’d ever encountered. The only complaint one might have with this release is Opus Kura’s practice of specifying content in microscopic print. It may work in some cases, but with recital material such as this, it becomes difficult to read. The main issue, of course, is that those wanting a single disc of Lipatti at his best will find it in this release.
FANFARE: Mortimer H. Frank
Works on This Recording
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