Alfred Cortot - Encores Franz SCHUBERT
(1798-1827) Litanei auf das Fest aller Seelen, D. 343 (arranged
Alfred Cortot for piano) [3:28]
(1810-1849) Impromptu No. 2 in F sharp major Op. 36 [4:39]
Etude No. 13 in A flat major, Op. 25 No. 1 "Harp
Waltz No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 64 No. 2 [3:04]
Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 (concluding section)
Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 [08:18]
Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57 [04:22] Johannes BRAHMS
(1833-1897) Lieder, Op. 49: No. 4. Wiegenlied (Lullaby) (arranged
Alfred Cortot for piano) [2:34]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: Rhapsody No. 11
in A minor [4:16]
Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: Rhapsody No. 2
in C sharp minor [9:26]
Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: Rhapsody No. 11 in A minor [5:36] Carl Maria von WEBER(1786-1826)
Aufforderung zum Tanze (Invitation to the Dance),
Op. 65, J. 260 [6:35] Aufforderung zum Tanze (Invitation to the
Dance), Op. 65, J. 260 [6:31]
George Frideric HANDEL
Keyboard Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430: IV. Air and Variations,
"The Harmonious Blacksmith" [3:37] Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Chant d'Espagne Op. 232: III. Sous le palmier [3:37]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)/Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Rigoletto: Paraphrase de concert S434/R267 [6:42]
Alfred Cortot (piano)
rec. Camden, New Jersey, 1925-26
Naxos has been restoring Cortot’s acoustic
and electric recordings with commendable assiduity. Here we
have early electrics recorded between 1925 and 1926 for Victor
in Camden, New Jersey and they make for memorable listening.
Each side has inimitable
virtues. Schubert’s Litany for example courses with manifold
voicings, shadings and colours; the left hand is in constant
painterly motion, and it brings richness and poetry to the playing.
Chopin’s A flat major Etude sports rubati that roll back and
forth like waves, a perpetual play of time held in check and
released. Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.11 is dispatched with
leonine power, its drama matched by moments of playfulness and
wit, all served up with Cortot’s seemingly limitless battalions
of colour. Cortot’s Liszt is a vortex of drama and projection
uncompromised by weakness or limitation, The Weber is an Invitation
indeed – vivacious and full of verve. We can hear it in two
takes made two months apart – both were issued on Victor 1201;
there are also two performances of the Hungarian Rhapsody already
noted; one from March 1925 and never issued on 78, the other
from December 1926 and released on Victor 1277.
note on the subject clears up what will be for some a peculiarity.
“Part Two” (only) of the G minor Ballade was released on English
HMV DB853. Twenty-one months later Cortot recorded the Ballade
again, which was then issued on Victor 6612 – it wasn’t merely
a case of “adding” Part One. Both performances it should be
noted contain a veritable arsenal of dropped notes.
In short then Cortot’s
Victors have a secure repository here. Not all the alternative
takes are included, collectors will notice, but the disc is packed
to the rafters in any case. Including them would have necessitated
a companion but very brief appendix disc and there would be little
genuine call for that, beyond the needs of highly specialist collectors.
Obert-Thorn’s transfers are commendably vital.
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