Geza Anda has made a very beautiful recording of these pieces. Has anyone else listened to it? Or what is your favourite recording of these waltzes?
The waltzes have never been among my favourite Chopin. I prefer the etudes, nocturnes and preludes and, especially, the longer pieces: the sonatas and the ballades. The waltzes are still wonderful pieces, of course, but I tend to listen to them in mixed recital recordings. Taken all together, all on the same disc, one after the other, they get a bit much. I've only got one complete set and that's the one by Stephen Hough, which is terrific. Haven't heard the Anda.......I was just listening, actually, to a recent BBCRadio3 "Building a Library" and the reviewer was raving about Anda's Schumann. But no, haven't heard his Chopin and I am not in a rush to pick up more waltzes. My collectors instinct seems to have been well satisfied in that department.
Anda would be my first choice as well. Or Rubinstein. I'm not that big of a Chopin lover though, and I agree with Jane that playing them all in one go is a recipe for disaster.
Chopin is for me one of the greatest of all composers despite not writing a note for orchestra after the age of 20. It's many years since I played the Anda disc so perhaps time to give it another listen. For me though Cortot's 1934 recordings of the waltzes (preferable to his more recent ones) are absolutely unsurpassed; one of the truly great Chopin recordings.
They are of course erratic; he speeds up, slows down, plays wrong notes, is all over the place and makes one smile but they are just so spontaneous and absloutely magical.
The best recent performances I have heard are on the mixed recital CDs of Janina Fialkowska.
Incidentally I have always been somewhat mystified & intrigued by the Op posth waltz in E flat which Michelangeli plays on a couple of recordings including his Festival Hall recital (I've not heard it elsewhere). It doesn't really sound like Chopin to me & in the notes Bryce Morrison says Chopin sounds like a Viennese landler. Anyone know anything about the piece's discovery and authenticity?
I believe the Waltzes are a trademark of Chopin's genius. Such a variety of moods, technique, craftsmanship, musicality. The fact that they might be all in a disc, it does not mean they can be listened in one take.
As for performances, 33lp proposes some wise old choice and a very good new one. I can add a rarely found CD from the very important Polish label Bearton, with Yablowski. The label claims this is the "true sound of Chopin". I cannot defend it that much, but the performance sound perfectly fine.
Rachmaninov recorded 9 of the waltzes between 1919 and 1930. Always fascinating to hear one master interpreting the music of another. He also recorded the Bbm sonata amongst other stuff.
I still cherish very much my first encounter with the Chopin waltzes on record: Witold Malcuzynzki LP recording on Angel Records. I would add to my short list Artur Rubinstein on RCA and, in the last decades, Vladimir Ashkenazy's recording on Decca which is my overall favorite.
The waltzes are not among my favourites works from Chopin either, been focusing rather on the Preludes, Études, Scherzos, Ballades, Sonata #3.....
But in my home auditions, when I decide to give them a listen I always go with Dinu Lippatti (EMI): very good! I wonder if Moravec has a gret recording of those works.
I don't recall having heard Anda's recordings of Chopin's waltzes, but I'll double-check to see whether or not I own them (don't think so, but I do have a couple of small sets of recordings of Anda's).
The first recordings that I heard of them were with Rubinstein. Like a number of others here, they're not exactly on the top of my list of favorite Chopin pieces (and I love to waltz!), but they are fun now and then (for me anyway) to listen to in petite doses. :-)
Regarding Ivan Moravec, he did record at least a few of them and they are still available to purchase new at a reasonable price:
Bagis, if you aren't familiar with this pianist and love Chopin, he plays his music wonderfully (along with a number of other great composers' works).
I'm glad that I double-checked. I found out that I do have a copy of a CD with Geza Anda playing Chopin's waltzes (on RCA Victrola/BMG). I'll try and give it a listen to soon.
Best wishes and happy listening,
Although I own many different recordings of the Chopin waltzes, I find I return more frequently to the recordings made by Dinu Lipatti. I heard his performances when they were first released on 78s, I do own LPs of the same performances, and I also own various releases of the waltzes on different EMI reissues.
His monaural recording may not reproduce the splendour of modern digital recordings, but the gentility of his performances, and scrupulous attention to the musical writings, shine through every time I listen to Lipatti's recording of the Chopin waltzes. Irvine Shamrock
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