Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
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colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
9 cello sonatas
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley n/a
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


Russian Compact Disc

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Polonaise-Fantasia Op.61 in A flat major [11:22]
Mazurka Op.56 No. 1 in B major [3:52]
Mazurka Op.41 No. 2 in E minor [1:54]
Mazurka Op.63 No. 3 in C sharp minor [1:50]
Mazurka Op.63 No. 2 in F minor [1:29]
Mazurka Op.59 No. 1 in A minor [3:05]
Mazurka Op.56 No. 3 in C minor [5:04]
Mazurka Op.50 No. 3 in C sharp minor [4:31]
Nocturne Op.55 No. 1 in F minor [4:25]
Nocturne Op.9 No.3 in B major [6:17]
Nocturne Op.62 No.2 [5:36]
Barcarolle Op.60 in F sharp major [7:57]
Berceuse Op.57 in D flat major [4:25]
Rondo Op.16 in E flat major [9:08]
Heinrich Neuhaus (piano)
rec. 1946-53
Experience Classicsonline

I’ve written about Neuhaus several times in the past couple of years so apologies for the biographical rehash for those unfamiliar with the most eminent of musicians. Neuhaus (1888-1964) never had much of a concert career - he suffered from bad stage fright - and made his reputation as a teacher. He's thus fated always to be noted as Richter's master but the list of his other pupils is not short of distinguished names; Emil Gilels, Radoslav Kvapil, Radu Lupu, Stanislav Neuhaus and Igor Zhukov amongst many. Neuhaus's pedigree was impeccable. Born in Elisavetgrad he was himself a pupil of the distinguished Michalowski and later studied in Vienna with Godowsky. He was later still a professor at the Moscow Conservatory from 1922 until his death. Worth mentioning also is the little matter of his being the cousin of Blumenfeld and distant cousin of Szymanowski.

Though not a soloist as such he did make records and this selection gives one a reasonable over-view of his Chopinesque sensibility and also his repertoire, because he was selective as to what he played. He lavished most time on the Mazurkas and it's instructive to see what he makes of them in relation to a contemporary such as Rubinstein. In general Neuhaus is quicker and rhythmically tighter, with less rubati and fewer inflexions. In the B minor his rhythm is less sprung and he's perhaps less steady as well, whereas in the E minor (Op.41 No.2) he shows few of Rubinstein's little intimacies preferring instead a straighter and more determined trajectory. In the C sharp minor from the Op.63 set his urgency and emotive pull contrasts with Rubinstein's more delicate refinement - the characterisation is entirely distinctive in both these performances and profoundly different.

Neuhaus tends to etch the Mazurkas more graphically and can also be more unsettled and unsettling - see the C minor Op.56/3 for an explicit example - whereas Rubinstein's more relaxed tempi enable him to exploit maximal contrasts of material. In the main Neuhaus's directness is a characteristic of his Chopin pianism. And it’s equally true that in his other recordings – in Debussy for example he similarly tends to be colouristically less demonstrative than say Michelangeli and rather more linear.

In the previous transfer of the Chopin recordings, on Preiser, the recordings sounded muddy and congested. I noted there that I had a feeling they could be opened out with advantage. Well RCD did just that with this release – effecting a very considerable improvement; clearer, more definition – especially in the bass – and a sense of Neuhaus’s pedalling as well, which was inaudible in the Preiser. That disc did take in his Debussy and Scriabin – so you get a wider repertoire - but the Chopin recordings are not identical and this RCD is infinitely to be preferred over the Preiser for reasons of sound quality alone.

Jonathan Woolf



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