CHOPIN: Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35. Ballade in G minor, Op. 23. Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise, Op. 22. Fantasia, Op. 49. Waltz in A flat, Op. 69 No. 1. Waltz in A flat, Op. 34 No. 1. Waltz in E flat (Op. post). Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op.; 31. Mazurka in A minor, Op. 68 No. 2. Mazurka in B mminor, Op. 33 No. 4. Mazurka in D flat, Op. 30 No. 3. Berceuse in D flat, Op. 57.
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, pianist
OPUS ARTE DVD VIDEO OA 0940 D TT: 106 min.
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BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 3 in C, Op. 2 No. 3. Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111. GALUPPI: Sonata in C. SCARLATTI: Sonata in C minor, L352. Sonata in C, L 104. Sonata in A, L. 483. Sonata in B minor, L. 449.
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, pianist
OPUS ARTE DVD VIDEO OA 0939 D TT: 84 min.
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DEBUSSY: Images Books 1 & 2. Children's Corner Suite. Canope (Prelude No. 10 from Book 2). Bruyères (Prelude No. 5 from Book 2).
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, pianist
OPUS ARTE DVD VIDEO OA 0941 D TT: 84 min.
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All three of these Opus Arte issues are of enormous value to those who love the art of piano performance. Italian pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920-1995) was extraordinary in every way, a true perfectionist. His repertory was restricted by choice, and his recordings of Rachmaniinoff's Concerto No. 4 and Ravel's concerto are legendary, and collectors cherish his live recordings of Liszt's Totentanz, concertos of Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg and Schumann, and a number of solo performances. A DVD of Michelangeli performing two Beethoven sonatas (11 and 12), Schubert's D. 537 and Ballades of Brahms has been covered on this site (REVIEW). Now we have these performances recorded for Italian Television in 1962 in Turin. Michelangeli stipulated camera set-ups were to be minimal with no facial close-ups. All of these are unedited, but didn't need that process - the playing is perfect, and the monophonic sound is remarkably good, well capturing the wide range of color and shading so characteristic of this incredible artist. The Chopin disk contains just about all of the composer's music the pianist played. The Debussy DVD includes an adulatory archive documentary (The Maestro of Maestri) made in 1959 by Proa Production of Italian Radio/TV, an amateur effort filmed at the music school the pianist founded and financially supported. This film features interviews with several pianists who studied with Michelangeli, and others who knew and idolized Michelangeli, including a factory worker and a barber. Watching through all this is worthwhile as at the end we see Michelangeli's performance of Chopin's E flat waltz.

Are there other Michelangeli videos in RAI archives? Hope so, and that they will be coming!

R.E.B. (April 2006)