Chopin has been a central part of Ashkenazy's repertory since his participation in the International Chopin Competition at Warsaw in 1955, when he won second prize at the age of eighteen. During the years 1974-1984 Ashkenazy recorded his acclaimed survey of Chopin's solo piano music. In the early part of his recording career he had recorded selected works and from time to time he has revisted key pieces in the studio. This new recital brings together a selection of late Chopin pieces and includes one of Ashkenazy's favourite nocturnes, Op.62 no.1 in B major, a piece which he regularly performs as an encore at his recitals.
Ivan Moravec (1930) is one of the most important Czech artists of today. He is often invited into the recording studios and his numerous recordings (which have mostly taken place in the USA) have brought him a large number of international prizes and honours. His repertoire includes a selection of the most important works from the Classical and Romantic periods as well as a number of compositions by contemporary composers.
"Arrau's Chopin – now available in a six-CD box (Philips 432 303-2) as part of Philips's Arrau Edition – is as far from moonstruck "sentimentality" as any Chopin ever was. But no performance of the Preludes is more sentimental, in Schiller's sense, than the version Arrau recorded for Philips in 1973. Its premise – that the cycle is a grand tragedy, the darkest thing Chopin wrote – is unmistakable. Even the prefatory C-major Prelude heaves with orgasmic rubatos – more weight, it seems, than the music can possibly bear. And yet, as Arrau packs each small berth with a world of feeling, the weight grips and holds. At times, the sheer density of emotion can seem suffocatingly intense. The Prelude No. 22, a Stygian descent, is surely Hades; the plunging scales of No. 24 rip the thread of life."
Adam Harasiewicz’ legendäre Chopin-Aufnahmen. Er hat sein Musikerleben ganz seinem genialen Landsmann geweiht, und ohne Zweifel gehört der Pole Adam Harasiewicz zu den größten Chopin-Interpreten nach dem 2. Weltkrieg. Seit er 1955 gegen keinen Geringeren als Vladimir Ashkenazy in Warschau den prestigeträchtigen Internationalen Chopin-Wettbewerb gewinnen konnte, steht sein Name in einer Reihe mit Pianisten wie Vladimir Horowitz, Arthur Rubinstein und Claudio Arrau.
In 1997 Philips reissued Nikita Magaloff’s 1974-78 complete Chopin piano works cycle as a budget-priced, space-saving boxed set that did not last in the catalog very long. It now reappears courtesy of Newton Classics’ ongoing reissues of out-of-print items from Universal Classics’ back catalog.