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Jorge Bolet: His Earliest Recordings


Release Date: 11/08/2011 
Label:  Apr (Appian) Catalog #: 6009   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Isaac AlbenizLudwig van BeethovenFrédéric ChopinManuel de Falla,   ... 
Performer:  Jorge Bolet
Conductor:  Thor Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Despite early critical acclaim, Jorge Bolet's career never really took off until the early 1970s, when he was approaching his sixth decade. Yet the pianist's 1952/53 recordings for the Boston and Remington labels (his first commercial discs) already attest to his polished, aristocratic virtuosity. Not even the constricted sonics obscure Bolet's wide palette of colors and his elegantly differentiated articulation.

The Spanish selections are especially refined in this sense, yet retain plenty of rhythmic backbone (Albéniz's Malagueña is a ravishing example). The Mendelssohn pieces could be lighter and suppler, yet Bolet's rounded phrasing and subtle dynamic gradations compensate. For true scintillation and
Read more characterful nuance, however, Moszkowski's En Automne and the deliciously teased Saint-Saëns Valse etude represent Bolet at his apex.

The world-premiere recording of Prokofiev's Second Concerto displays Bolet's youthful power and dynamism, as well as his cogent melodic projection. Unfortunately the limited sound quality obscures much of the music's delightful scoring (the rapid woodwind flourishes and massive brass chords barely register); I hope that Bolet's less incisive but equally poetic remake with Ainslee Cox and the Nuremberg Symphony (coupled with the Prokofiev Third Concerto) on the Genesis label will come back into print.

While the four Chopin Scherzos are on the dry side and do not match Bolet's live versions (released on Marston) for sweep and excitement, you still can appreciate the pianist's clean and classically poised fingerwork in Nos. 3 and 4, his ear-catching inner voices in No. 1's outer sections, and his care with No. 2's opening triplet figure and its numerous reiterations. Farhan Malik's informative annotations and Seth Winner's noise-free restorations add further value to a welcome reissue that is bound to please collectors with a special interest in Bolet.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Recuerdos de Viaje, Op. 71: no 8, Rumores de la caleta by Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Spain 
Date of Recording: 1952 
2. Cantos de España, Op. 232: no 1, Preludio [Asturias, Op. 47 no 5] by Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1952 
3. Cantos de España, Op. 232: no 4, Córdoba by Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1952 
4. Andante for Piano in F major, WoO 57 "Andante Favori" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1952 
5. Scherzo for Piano no 4 in E major, B 148/Op. 54 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1953 
6. Scherzo for Piano no 3 in C sharp minor, B 125/Op. 39 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Mallorca (Majorca),  
Date of Recording: 1953 
7. Scherzo for Piano no 2 in B flat minor/D flat major, B 111/Op. 31 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1953 
8. Scherzo for Piano no 1 in B minor, B 65/Op. 20 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831-1832; Poland 
Date of Recording: 1953 
9. Piezas Españolas (4) for Piano: no 4, Andaluza by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1908; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1952 
10. Piezas Españolas (4) for Piano: no 2, Cubana by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1908; Spain 
Date of Recording: 1952 
11. Danzas afro-cubanas: Y la negra bailaba! by Ernesto Lecuona
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Cuba 
Date of Recording: 1952 
12. Danzas afro-cubanas: Danza de los ñáñigos by Ernesto Lecuona
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Cuba 
Date of Recording: 1952 
13. Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses, S 173: no 7, Funérailles by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1852; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1952 
14. Songs without words, vol 1, Op. 19b: no 3, Molto allegro in A major "Hunting Song" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1952 
15. Rondo capriccioso for Piano in E major, Op. 14 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1952 
16. Concerto for Violin no 2 in G minor, Op. 63 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Conductor:  Thor Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1953 
17. Etudes (6) for Piano, Op. 52: no 6, En forme de Valse by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Jorge Bolet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Date of Recording: 1952 

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