Friday, June 17, 2011

Les Introuvables d'Alexis Weissenberg EMI 4CDs

This compilation of recordings by Alexis Weissenberg consists of some of his recordings dating from 1950 through 2004 which, I don't believe, were ever issued in the USA. (At least, I've never heard them!) What musical riches are contained in this 4 disc set which consists of some of the greatest works composed for the piano by great composers such as Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Czerny, Ravel, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev (plus others) played by (in my opinion) one of the greatest pianist ever. I loved this compilation. Of course, I had favorites on the discs; I will now list some of highlights for me from this compilation.

The two "Sonettos" by Franz Liszt are gorgeous! Alexis plays them beautifully with much feeling. Surprising for me, (I usually don't) I even enjoyed the BIG "Mephistophelian" Liszt sonata in B minor--my god, Weissenberg plays the hell out of that work (no pun intended). One of my favorites, the Chopin Sonata #2 is given a splendid reading--the first two movements are played at a ferociously fast tempo; however, the "Marche funebre" is the most moving account of that movement that I've ever heard! Weissenberg's account of the last movement is most impressive--he never allows the tone to get any louder until the very last profound chord--wow! The Rachmaninov concerto #3 with Georges Pretre and the Chicago Symphony is wonderfully mysterious and very melodic. I also loved his recordings of the Ravel Concerto in G major plus Ravel's "Le tombeau de Couperin suite" and "Valses nobles" hearing Weissenberg play Ravel reminded me of a good glass of Champagne filled with many bubbles and with a great bouquet. The Prokofiev concerto recorded with the Orchestra of Paris and Ozawa is thrilling with its intensity--what virtuosity Alexis Weissenberg has! Weissenberg along with Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra give a wonderfully "full bodied" reading of Brahms 1st Piano Concerto--I've never heard the Philadelphia sounding any better--it is a great recording of a work that I adore!

I truly loved this 4 disc set (each running over 70 minutes) of some very GREAT piano playing. NO, I did not listen with score(s) in hand nor did I seek out other recordings of these works from my collection to compare Alexis' interpretations with. Instead, I allowed myself the luxury of sitting back in my favorite "arm chair" and simply enjoying these great works for the piano that are played by a Master of the piano! What really impresses me is that Weissenberg plays with very beautiful tone no matter how demanding the work may be--that is certainly the main reason I, for once, enjoyed the Liszt B minor sonata!

By the way, EMI has done a superlative job--the sound of ALL the works is great. Not once, was I aware that I was listening to an older recording. The sound is great!!

6 comments:

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  2. Great upload! Many, many thanks!!

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    pon un link gracias

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  4. tthank you very much!!!

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  5. Hola. PodrĂ­as volver a subirlo? Si no te apetece volver a ponerlo todo, al menos el Rachmaninov, por favor! Gracias. Un saludo desde Canarias.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello, can you repost? Seems the links don't work anymore... Thank you!

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