Alfred Cortot plays Chopin & Schumann

Naxos: 8111327

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Alfred Cortot plays Chopin & Schumann



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Release date:

1st Sept 2008




62 minutes


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Alfred Cortot plays Chopin & Schumann


Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 'Marche funèbre'

Recorded 7th-8th May 1953, in EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3


Kinderszenen, Op. 15

Recorded 7th May 1953, in EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3

Vogel als Prophet (No. 7 from Waldszenen, Op. 82)

Recorded 19th April 1948, in EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3

Carnaval, Op. 9

Recorded 7th-8th May 1953, in EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3



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Alfred Cortot was renowned above all as a pianist whose interpretations, especially of the works of Schumann, Debussy and Chopin, were often on a spiritual level. This 1953 performance of Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 is his fifth and final commercial recording of the work (the 1928 recording is available on Naxos 8.111065; the 1927 recording is unissued). Cortot wanted to record the work again partly because he felt his interpretation would be ‘an example for the young pianists, who are so little imbued with the Romantic spirit’.

His 1953 and third recording of Schumann’s Kinderszenen is notable for the familiar singing tone and poetic warmth he brings to Kind im Einschlummern (Child falling asleep) and Der Dichter spricht (The poet speaks). Cortot’s interpretation of the youthful romanticism of Carnaval is full of colour and character,far preferable to bland and uninspired subsequent accounts from lesser pianists

Fryderyk Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, "Funeral March"

I. Grave - Doppio movimento

II. Scherzo

III. Marche funebre: Lento

IV. Finale: Presto

Robert Schumann: Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), Op. 15

No. 1. Von fremden Landern und Menschen (Of Foreign Lands and People)

No. 2. Curiose Geschichte (A Strange Story)

No. 3. Hasche-Mann (Catch-as-catch-can)

No. 4. Bittendes Kind (Pleading Child)

No. 5. Gluckes genug (Happy Enough)

No. 6. Wichtige Begebenheit (An Important Event)

No. 7. Traumerei (Dreaming)

No. 8. Am Camin (By the Fire-side)

No. 9. Ritter vom Steckenpferd (Knight of the Hobby-horse)

No. 10. Fast zu ernst (Almost Too Serious)

No. 11. Furchtenmachen (Frightening)

No. 12. Kind im Einschlummern (Child Falling Asleep)

No. 13. Der Dichter spricht (The Poet Speaks)

Robert Schumann: Waldscenen, Op. 82

Waldszenen, Op. 82: No. 7. Vogel als Prophet (The Songster-Prophet)

Robert Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9

No. 1. Preambule

No. 2. Pierrot

No. 3. Arlequin

No. 4. Valse noble

No. 5. Eusebius

No. 6. Florestan

No. 7. Coquette

No. 8. Replique

Sphinx 1-3

No. 9. Papillons

No. 10. ASCH - SCHA (Lettres dansantes)

No. 11. Chiarina

No. 12. Chopin

No. 13. Estrella

No. 14. Reconnaissance

No. 15. Pantalon et Colombine

No. 16. Valse allemande

No. 17. Intermezzo: Paganini

No. 18. Aveu

No. 19. Promenade

No. 20. Pause

No. 21. Marche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistins

BBC Music Magazine

February 2009


“Yes, the technique at full stretch was getting slapdash. But with a Kinderszenen as poised and poetic as this, you forgive the 70-something master just about everything.”

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