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Editorial Board
Classical Editor
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Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Piano Sonata in B flat minor Op.35 (1839) [22:08]
Douze Etudes Op. 10 (1829-32)
No. 3 in E major, lento ma non troppo [5:06]
No. 4 in C sharp minor, presto [2:01]
No. 5 in G flat major, vivace [1:41]
No. 6 in E flat minor, andante con molto espressione [4:14]
No. 10 in A flat major, vivace assai [2:26]
Etudes Op. 25 (1832-36)
No.11 in A minor, allegro con brio [3:33]
No.12 in C minor, allegro molto con fuoco [2:50]
Ballade No.3 in A flat minor Op.47 (1841) [8:24]
Ballade No.4 in F minor Op.52 (1842) [13:11]
Mindru Katz (piano)
Mindru Katz speaks about dreams, Chopin and musical revelations [6:07]
Undated performances; licensed from EMI or live performances from radio broadcasts given in Israel and England in the early 1970s.
CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD132 [73:48]


Experience Classicsonline

Cembal d’Amour delves deeper into the archives of Mindru Katz performances with this extensive tribute derived from undisclosed locations. It’s devoted to Chopin, whom Katz plays with especial grandeur and nobility, and it reinforces the fact that his early death represented a great loss to the musical world.

The Sonata receives a reading of great purposeful clarity. Katz is alert as to the detail as much as the sweep of the narrative. So the opening is taken at a good tempo, whilst the scherzo, if slightly under characterized when set against some other august players is nevertheless zestfully done. The slow movement is however imbued with a spirit of noble restraint and elevated authority – no outsize gestures deflect from the sense of concentration imparted.

The rest of the programme amplifies these approaches. The E major Etude is extremely slow in Katz’s hands but he has his reasons and manages to ensure a sustained melodic line throughout; note also the finely articulated and dancing B section, the strongly projected writing and the tightly argued contrary motion octave passage. The C sharp minor by contrast is animated - and splendidly successful. The E flat minor Etude Op.10 No.6 carries with it a certain tristesse in this reading whilst the C minor is a passionate and stormy petrel.

The Fourth Ballade is measured in tempo but warmly textured and bass orientated in sound colour. The companion A flat major Ballade [No.3] again eschews motoric barnstorming in favour of more clement and lateral pleasures.

Track eleven is devoted to Katz talking – about his dreams, about Chopin and other topics. What a fascinating talker he is, his voice rather patrician. He talks of the sub-conscious solving technical problems and more besides. He talks of touch and the Funeral March sonata.  It offers a warm insight into the man and to the mixture of intellect and controlled eloquence that ran through his playing.

So further recommendation is rather superfluous. If you know Katz as a proponent of the flashier repertoire do not on any account neglect to investigate this - and other – examples of his penetrating musicianship.

Jonathan Woolf 



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

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