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Jorge Bolet: The RIAS Recordings, Vol. I

Chopin / Bolet
Release Date: 01/05/2018 
Label:  Audite   Catalog #: 21438  
Composer:  Franz LisztMoritz MoszkowskiLeopold GodowskyFrédéric Chopin,   ... 
Number of Discs: 3 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Cuban-American pianist Jorge Bolet (1914-1990), misleadingly labeled the "last Romantic" among 20th century pianists and marketed under this title when he achieved world fame at the end of his career, was first and foremost a gentleman of the piano. Few pianists interpreted the great piano music of the 19th and early 20th centuries with such unerring stylistic assurance and technical mastery that was at the same time completely free of vanity and striving for effect. Rather than vague sentimentality, Bolet - who studied at the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with David Saperton, son-in-law of the legendary pianist Leopold Godowsky, and later succeeded Rudolf Serkin as director of ist piano department - Read more sought a balance between musical and pianistic intelligence. Thanks to these qualities, his recordings, which include not-uncontroversial transcriptions from the golden age of piano playing before 1914, are considered benchmarks.

These recordings for the RIAS Berlin from 1962-73, featuring works by Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy along with highly virtuosic encores and arrangements by Moritz Moszkowski and Godowsky (among others), are no exception: here we experience a pianist and musician who rightly occupies a place among the pantheon of great pianists.

All the recordings in this three-CD box set are first releases from the master tapes.

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REVIEW:

Almost everything by Bolet is worth acquiring, but this collection is particularly valuable. Few pianophiles will be aware of the existence of these radio broadcasts from the early 1960s.

Disc 1 opens up with Bolet on top form, including an intense account of Vallee d'Obermnann that ends more in despairing torment than than rapturous ecstasy.

Disc 2 includes a number of superb accounts of Bolet favorites. The third disc contains a muscular, magisterial rendition of Chopin's F minor Fantasy, most characteristic of this great artist yet by no means devoid of introspection and sensitivity. All four of Chopin's Impromptus are a real joy. The Debussy Preludes selections form a beautifully played sequence of individually defined tone-poems.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 1, La chapelle de Guillaume Tell by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
2.
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 2, Au lac de Wallenstadt by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
3.
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 3, Pastorale by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: Weimar, Germany 
4.
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 4, Au bord d'une source by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
5.
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 5, Orage by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
6.
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 6, Vallée d'Obermann by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
7.
Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 1, Preludio by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
8.
Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 2 in A minor by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
9.
Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 11, Harmonies du soir by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
10.
Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 12, Chasse-neige by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
11.
Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 8, Wilde Jagd by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
12.
Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 9, Ricordanza by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
13.
Liebesträume for Piano, S 541 by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1850; Weimar, Germany 
14.
Rhapsodie espagnole for Piano, S 254 by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1863; Rome, Italy 
15.
Characteristic Pieces (8), Op. 36: no 4, En automne by Moritz Moszkowski
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
16.
Le Cygne for Piano [after Saint-Saëns] by Leopold Godowsky
Period: Modern 
17.
Widmung (Schumann) for Piano, S 566 by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Weimar, Germany 
18.
Symphonic Metamorphoses on themes: No. 2 Die Fledermaus by Leopold Godowsky
Period: Modern 
19.
Alt-Wien, for piano (Triakontameron) by Leopold Godowsky
Period: Modern 
Written: 08/08/1919 
20.
Fantasie for Piano in F minor/A flat major, B 137/Op. 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
21.
Impromptu for Piano no 1 in A flat major, B 110/Op. 29 by Frédéric Chopin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
22.
Impromptu for Piano no 2 in F sharp major, B 129/Op. 36 by Frédéric Chopin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Paris, France 
23.
Impromptu for Piano no 3 in G flat major, b 149/Op. 51 by Frédéric Chopin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
24.
Impromptu for Piano no 4 in C sharp minor, B 87/Op. 66 "Fantaisie-Impromptu" by Frédéric Chopin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
25.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 1 in D flat major "Minute Waltz" by Frédéric Chopin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
26.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 5 in G flat major "Black Keys" by Frédéric Chopin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
27.
Préludes, Book 1: no 1, Danseuses de Delphes by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; France 
28.
Préludes, Book 1: no 9, La sérénade interrompue by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; France 
29.
Préludes, Book 1: no 10, La cathédrale engloutie by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; France 
30.
Préludes, Book 1: no 12, Minstrels by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; France 
31.
Préludes, Book 2: no 6, General Lavine - eccentric by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
32.
Préludes, Book 2: no 7, La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
33.
Préludes, Book 2: no 8, Ondine by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
34.
Préludes, Book 2: no 12, Feux d'artifice by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 

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