BACH: Capriccio "On The Departure of a Brother" BWV 992. Chromatic Fantasy
and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903. MOZART: Sonata in E flat, K. 282. CHOPIN:
Berceuse in D flat, Op. 57. STRAVINSKY: Serenade in A. BEETHOVEN: Bagatelle
HINDEMITH: Ludus tonalis. Suite "1922."
MENDELSSOHN: Fantasia in C minor/D major. Capriccio in E flat
Ein Lied ohne Worte in F. Adagio and Presto agitato in B flat
minor. Lied in A. Kleines Lied in A. Andante in D. Sonatina in E. Scherzo,
and Wedding March from "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
MENDELSSOHN: Sonata in F minor. Sonata in E minor. Sonata in A minor.
Sonata in C minor. Etude in C. Etude in A minor. Etude in D minor. Fuga
in E flat. Fuga in C-sharp minor.
GODOWSKY: Paraphrase de Concert on Chopin's Waltz in E-flat,
Op. 18. Concert arrangements of music of Chopin: Waltz in
D-flat, Op. 64 No. 1, Waltz in A-flat,
3, Waltz in A-flat, Op. 69 No. 1, Waltz in F minor, Op. 70 No. 2, Waltz
in D flat, Op. 70 No. 3, Rondo in E flat, Op. 16; WEBER-GODOWSKY: Perpetuum
Mobile, Invitation to the Dance; SCHUBERT-GODOWSKY: Ballet Music from
Rosamunde, Moment Musical, D. 780 No. 3; SCHUMANN-GODOWSKY: Du bist
wie eine Blume, Op. 25 No. 24; HENSELT-GODOWSKY: Si oiseau d'etais,
Op. 2 No. 6; GODARD-GODOWSKY: Canzonetta from Concerto romantique,
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54. STRAUSS: Burleske
in D minor. BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15. Fantasien,
Op. 116. Drei intermezzi, Op. 117. Klavierstücke, Op. 118. Klavierstücke,
in F. RAVEL:
Piano Concerto in G. BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, Op. 58.
Piano Sonata No. 30 in E, Op. 109. Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat, Op.
110. RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. Prelude
in G sharp minor, Op. 32 No. 12. Études-tableaux, Op. 33, Nos. 1, 2
and 9. Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op. 42.
Leon Fleisher's latest CD, called "The Journey," adds lustre to his discography. A bonus audio disk (at no extra charge) contains a recent Bob Edwards interview in which Fleisher, now in his upper '70s, candidly discusses his life in music and performance, with dignity and a great sense of humor. He talks about the music on this CD, and how he met both Igor Stravinsky and his son. Fleisher's playing is exquisite, wonderful in tone and execution. Let us hope there will be many more releases in this series.
Both discs from Boris Berezovsky are astonishing for what they are. The fiendishly difficult Godowsky transcriptions of Chopin Etudes were recorded live in concerts April 19/20, 2005 in Maltings concert hall, Snape, Suffolk. It isn't clarified if the same program was given both nights and if this CD contains the best of the two evenings. Were there other etudes on the concert that weren't as well played? This CD plays for less than an hour, and doubtless there was more music played at the concerts. However, what is here is remarkable. Each etude is preceded by the original which lets the listener easily hear what Godowsky achieved in his fantastic transcriptions. In some ways, a few of these live performances are more exciting than those heard in Mark-André Hamelin's complete set for Hyperion. Hamelin's 2-CD set (see REVIEW) remains the one to have if you wish the complete Godowsky Chopin studies—and we do mean complete as Hamelin plays them all including each one of the multiple versions Godowsky made of some of them. If you're interested in piano music of Hindemith, here is his major work for the instrument, Ludus tonalis, a collection of 25 preludes, fugues and interludes of varying moods, coupled with a work the composer later disowned: Suite "1922," with five movements: March, Shimmy, Nachtstück, Boston, and Ragtime. Berezovsky plays all of this with total authority, and sonic quality is first-rate.
Berezovsky and Hamelin aren't the only major pianists focusing on Godowsky—Italian pianist Carlo Grante has been playing his music for years and is in the process of recording all of his piano music for Music & Arts. Previous releases have received highly favorable reviews and the latest offers 15 "romantic transcriptions and arrangements" with perceptive extended comments on each by Grante who glides through the millions of notes effortlessly. Splendid piano sound marks this worthwhile addition to the catalog.
It's incredible that there could be almost 2 1/2 hours of music by a major composer that up until now has been overlooked. However, musicologist and pianist Roberto Prosseda offers two fascinating well-filled CDs of piano music by Mendelssohn—Prosseda gave premiere performances of these during concerts two years ago. These works include many very early vignettes, four piano sonatas, a big-scale 25-minute Fantasia. and Mendelssohn's original piano arrangements of three excerpts from A Midsummer Night's Dream. There's much to enjoy here, and Prosseda's assured performances have been very well recorded.
Admirers of Hélène Grimaud who don't have her Warner Classics recordings of concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Gershwin, Ravel and Rachmaninoff now can acquire all of them in a budget-priced 6 CD set that also contains solo works of Beethoven, Brahms and Rachmaninoff. Aside from a rather perfunctory account of the Schumann, these are fine performances very well recorded. Grimaud's first recordings of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 and Ravel's Concerto, with Jesús Lopez-Cobos and the Royal Philharmonic, are available on Denon at mid-price; her Bartók Concerto No. 3 with Pierre Boulez and the London Symphony is on DGG at full price.
R.E.B. (November 2006)