In my opinion, señor Arrau, as romantic pianist, was a little underrated.
I hope to honour him enough with this box, 20+ years after his death.
Reuploaded, now with FF links
# Composer: Frederik Chopin
# Performer: Claudio Arrau
# Orchestra: London Philarmonic Orchestra
# Conductor: Eliahu Inbal
# Vinyl (1971/72)
# Number of Discs: 3
# Format: Flac
# Label: Philips
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN CD: B00000416B
# Size: 2.55 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FF
If you haven’t had the chance to hear Arrau’s performances of Chopin’s works, DL this. You will truly be hooked. Unlike many people who believe that Ashkenzy or Rubenstein are the ultimate Chopin interpreters, I must say that Arrau rivals and tops them. His flexible and slower style of playing matches the romanticism of Chopin’s works. Coupled with a great conductor and orchestra, this brings out a top-notch performance.
Upon listening to Arrau playing the Chopin concerti, the first thing that jumps to attention is his tone: it metamorphises between lively and bright to aching, naked beauty, most notably in the Op.11 1st Concerto. I keep listening the first movement over and over to recapture that reflective, dark tone of his at the culmination of the theme’s development. Somehow, his tone reminds me of drops of dew in a moonlit night. However, considering that Arrau was already 69 years old when he made this recording, you may think that reflective and spiritual is all he has, but surprisingly he managed to put in energy and zest where it’s required in the fast movements. I’ve seen a video of Yundi Li, the Chinese prodigy who won the 2000 Chopin Piano Competition, and Arrau doesn’t lose out in the comparison in terms of energy.
Overall, Arrau’s interpretation concentrates on exploring the intimate, passionate side of these pieces, which were written in Chopin’s youth, and in this respect he brings the same mastery which endowed his interpretations of the Nocturnes. However, this is certainly not at the expense of the zesty side of these pieces.
The core of recording is Chopin’s 2 piano concerti, and the rest of it is composed of his other works for piano and orchestra, which are in fact more commonly played as piano solos. The most famous of these is the Andante Spianiato and Grand Polonaise, and it’s very obvious that the orchestra is almost superfluous in these pieces. Speaking of the orchestra, the London Philharmonic conducted by Eliahu Inbal is understated but unerringly faithful in backing the pianistic centrepiece provided by Arrau.
B1 Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor – 2 Romance
B2 Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor – 3 Rondo
C1 Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor – 1 Maestoso
C2 Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor – 2 Larghetto
D1 Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor – 3 Allegro Vivace
D2 Krakowiak – Concert Rondo in F Op14E1 Variations on Mozart’s ‘La ci darem la mano’ in B-flat Op2
E2 Fantasy on Polish Airs in A Op12
F Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise
- RCM: Okki Nokki
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- System: Special Edition Denon DL 103
- Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box II
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5 -> Wave 32 bit/96 kHz
- Light de-Clicking with ClickRepair, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
You hear some clicks and pops here and there? Who cares?
I better let some light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave 32bit/96kHz -> Flac 24bit/96kHz: Twisted Wave
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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