Given his solid reputation in the realm of the central-German/Austrian classics, collectors may be surprised to learn that Rudolf Buchbinder recorded a Chopin recital for EMI in 1986. Indeed he did, and a lot of it is very good. The delicately pinpointed articulation of turns, ornaments, and runs that distinguish Buchbinder's Mozart and Haydn enliven Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu--and make a cogent case for his intimately-spun Nocturne interpretations. Among the three Waltzes, I find Buchbinder's highly stylized "Minute Waltz" breathtakingly articulated, perfectly poised, and fresh as a daisy. Buchbinder may not tap into the Third Ballade's lyrical reserves, yet there's plenty of lilt and dynamic contrast for the performance to holdRead more its own against more idiomatic renditions (Rubinstein, Moravec, and Perahia, for example). Unfortunately, Buchbinder's tight-fisted phrasing, prosaic octave work, and total absence of rhythmic swagger render the great F-sharp minor Polonaise dead on arrival, while awkward tempo adjustments get in the Second Scherzo's way (the pianist's speeding up of the D-flat theme's downward runs, for instance). Still, it's interesting to encounter this forthright pianist in atypical fare, and who knew that his Op. 64 No. 1 ranked among the four or five best Minute Waltz recordings of all time?
RefreshingApril 19, 2013By Gary Mitchell (Independence, KS)See All My Reviews"I am caught by surprise. Rudolf Buchbinder plays Chopin with a fresh approach. He is a passionate, yet skillful, musician. The selections from Chopin's huge list of works should please anyone with their variety. I'm glad to make the acquaintance of Buchbinder's work."Report Abuse
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