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Mordecai Shehori Plays Chopin, Vol. 1: 19 Waltzes

Shehori,Mordecai
Release Date: 01/25/2011 
Label:  Cembal D'amour   Catalog #: 156   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This enterprising, very personal approach will win Shehori admirers.

This sequence of Chopin waltzes was recorded in the first two weeks of October 2010 by Mordecai Shehori, and it demonstrates his investigative mind at work once again. He’s not a musician to allow established protocol to hinder a new look either at source material or at matters of presentation. So, quickly dispatching the question of opus numbers in a booklet note entitled ‘The Pointlessness of Opus Numbers as a Guide to a Composer’s Development’, he has arranged the sequence chronologically. He has also investigated the ‘Julian Fontana’ versions of four waltzes, Op. 69 Nos 1 and 2, Op. 70 Nos 1 and 2. Fontana, a friend of the composer, copied Chopin’s
Read more music, and it was he who saw these four waltzes to paper; they survive only in sketch-like form. Shehori has incorporated the early sketch version into the Fontana, usually in the form of the last repeat. His notes underline Shehori’s commitment to this practice.

The proof as ever, is in the eating. Shehori is on record as decrying a lack of textual fidelity by even the greatest pianists. His own approach is faithful and imaginative. His D flat major Op.70 No.3 has great tenderness, and a warmth that, say, Rubinstein never truly sought to cultivate in this work, remaining as he did more austere and extrovert than Shehori’s more introspective limpidity. Shehori is certainly more inclined to explore the rubato and rhythmic implications of the B minor (that posthumous Op.69 No.2) than Rubinstein or even Lipatti, whilst in the E flat major (Brown Index 46) he investigates the Tyrolean yodel that Chopin infiltrated into the music. Shehori’s booklet note includes a passage on this matter and it makes for engaging reading, and indeed listening, in the light of it.

In the E flat major Op.18 Shehori shows a distinct independence from Rubinstein in his classic 1954 studio recording, being more athletic in accenting and dynamic in phrasing – indeed more explosive all round. His approach in the G flat major Op. posth. Op. 70 No.1 is quite measured. He is not much pursuant of the kinds of colour that Rubinstein and Lipatti found here, rather more on the structural and rhythmic bases of the music. Nor does he seem much to endorse the ‘L’Adieu’ element of the A flat major Op. posth. Op.69 No.1, given that his tempo is quite brisk and that his interest centres of the harmonic steps in the left hand, which are explored to advantage. He emphasises details such as this, which other pianists are apt to conjoin to an all-purpose ‘beautiful tone’ – not that Shehori’s tone is anything but highly attractive.

He does prefer a rather ‘sec’ approach to the A flat major Op.34 No.1. His avoidance of metricality, as well as a broader tempo, gives the music a light, tripping immediacy, reinforced by the quite immediate recorded quality. It’s anything but grand seigniorial. Shehori’s little nagging left hand accenting illuminates the A flat major Op.42; this deft harmonic pointing is itself one of Shehori’s points, as are a well judged control of rubati and accelerandi.

This enterprising, very personal approach will win Shehori admirers. His slant is sometimes unusual, always thoughtful, and he has a particular gift for generating intensity and spontaneity in the recording studio.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Waltz for Piano in A flat major, B 21 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Poland 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
2.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 3 in D flat major, B 40 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Poland 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
3.
Waltzes (2) for Piano, Op. 69: no 2 in B minor, B 35 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Poland 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
4.
Waltz for Piano in E major, B 44 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Poland 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
5.
Waltz for Piano in E flat major, B 46 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1830; Poland 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
6.
Waltz for Piano in E minor, B 56 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
7.
Waltz for Piano in E flat major, B 62/Op. 18 "Grande valse brillante" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 5 Minutes 26 Secs. 
8.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 1 in G flat major, B 92 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
9.
Waltzes (2) for Piano, Op. 69: no 1 in A flat major, B 95 "L'adieu" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
10.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 2 in A minor, B 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
11.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 1 in A flat major, B 94 "Valse brillante" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 5 Minutes 56 Secs. 
12.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 3 in F major, B 118 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
13.
Sostenuto for Piano in E flat major, KK IVb no 10 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
14.
Waltz for Piano in A flat major, B 131/Op. 42 "Grande Valse" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
15.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 2 in F minor, B 138 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
16.
Waltz for Piano in A minor, B 150 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1843; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
17.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 2 in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
18.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 3 in A flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
19.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 1 in D flat major "Minute Waltz" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Mordecai Shehori (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Venue:  Las Vegas 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 

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