Alfred Cortot - HMV Recordings 1931-1948

Naxos: 8112012

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Alfred Cortot - HMV Recordings 1931-1948

Label:

Naxos

Catalogue No:

8112012
(8.112012)

Discs:

1

Release date:

2nd Feb 2009

Barcode:

0636943201275

Length:

75 minutes

Medium:

CD
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Alfred Cortot - HMV Recordings 1931-1948


Brahms:

Wiegenlied, Op. 49 No. 4 (Lullaby)

(arr. Cortot) Recorded on 20th April 1948, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road, London

Liszt:

Piano Sonata in B minor, S178

Recorded on 13th March 1939, Small Queen’s Hall, London

Legende S.175 No. 2, St. Francis of Paola walking on the waves

Recorded on 19th May 1937, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road, London;

La leggierezza - Étude de concert No. 2, S144

Recorded on 13th May 1931, Small Queen’s Hall, London

Schubert:

Ländler D790 No. 3

Recorded on 19th May 1937, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road, London

Litanei auf das Fest Allerseelen, D343

(arr. Cortot) Recorded on 19th May 1937, EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road, London

Weber:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 39

Recorded on 10th March 1939 in EMI Studio No. 3, Abbey Road, London


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Alfred Cortot was one of the very greatest pianists of the 20th Century, renowned above all for his intuitive, highly personal interpretations of Romantic masterpieces.

Drawn from sessions in London between 1931 and 1948, these recordings include a wonderfully poetic reading of Weber’s introspective and playful Second Piano Sonata, and intense yet subtly nuanced renditions of Liszt’s groundbreaking B minor Sonata, issued almost entirely from first takes, and Légende No. 2.

Cortot’s own arrangements imbue Schubert’s Litanei and Brahms’s famous Lullaby with a heartfelt touch.

A critic wrote after Cortot’s 5th January 1927 recital at New York’s Aeolian Hall: “He is one of those great musicians from whose readings of familiar works there is almost invariably something to learn and remember… it would be hard to surpass his sincerity, his feeling, his colouring, and declamation of the music. Nor are many as fortunate as he in striking the mean between what is nobly expressive and what is sentimental….”

Carl Maria von Weber: Piano Sonata No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 39, J. 199

I. Allegro moderato, con spirito ed assai legato

II. Andante

III. Menuetto capriccioso: Presto assai - Trio

IV. Rondo: Moderato e molto grazioso

Franz Schubert: 12 Deutsche (Landler), Op. 171, D. 790

12 Deutsche (Landler), Op. 171, D. 790

Franz Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor, S178/R21

Lento assai - Allegro energico - Grandioso

Andante sostenuto

Allegro energico - Andante sostenuto - Lento assai

Franz Liszt: 2 Legendes, S175/R17

2 Legendes, S175/R17: No. 2. St. Francois de Paule marchant sur les flots

Franz Liszt: 3 Etudes de concert, S144/R5

3 Etudes de concert, S144/R5: No. 2 in F minor, "La leggierezza"

Franz Schubert: Litanei auf das Fest aller Seelen, D. 343 (arr. A. Cortot for piano)

Litanei auf das Fest aller Seelen, D. 343 (arr. A. Cortot for piano)

Johannes Brahms: 5 Lieder, Op. 49 (arr. A. Cortot)

5 Lieder, Op. 49: No. 4. Wiegenlied (Lullaby) (arr. A. Cortot for piano)

BBC Music Magazine

June 2009

*****

“Cortot's sweeping spontaneity is irresistible. The Weber is tremendous, and Liszt's Sonata (recorded in 1929, not 1939 as per the track-listing) has a hugely impressive albeit rather breathless drive.”

Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.

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