The Romantic Generation Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Nocturne in B major Op.62 No.1 (1846) [6:23]
Nocturne in D flat major Op.27 No.2 [5:05] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) - Franz
LISZT (1811-1886) My Joys [3:44] Franz LISZT(1811-1886) Reminiscences of Don Juan [18:19] Die Loreley (1856) [5:59] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Davidsbündlertänze Op.6 (1837) [33:44]
Charles Rosen (piano)
rec. June, July and October, 1993, American Academy of Arts and
NIMBUS NI 2559 [73:14]
Another MusicMasters retrieval emerges from Nimbus. In this
case it’s Charles Rosen’s exploration of the Romantic lineage
in a recital recorded back in 1993. He is as ever a natural
guide, refusing to vest in the music a weight that unbalances
the musical argument.
In Davidsbündlertänze he offers a strong set of alternatives
to the more deeply etched, strongly pedalled and textually denser
playing of Géza Anda, and also to have ideas definably different
from those of his eminent predecessors in this repertoire, Cortot
and Arrau, amongst others. His opening Lebhaft [No.1]
shows the way forward. It’s frolicsome, lightly textured, less
chordally powerful, less rubato-enriched. There’s something
dapper about this approach. He may be less obviously ‘innig’
than some of his competitors, and pursue a more untroubled,
lightly-hued journey but one senses that Rosen feels the music
to be more youthful and innocently conceived than is often the
case in more stentorian and melancholic traversals. The Nicht
Schnell movement [No.7] for instance is pleasingly but not
emotively played. Whilst it may sound more aloof than other
more charged interpretations it is perfectly reflective of the
general tenor of Rosen’s conception. Anda for instance is more
obviously ‘pathetic’ in his rolling warmth. Rosen’s view means
that the extremes that others cultivate are not present. There
is considerably less ebullience in the ninth movement. His accents
don’t stab as deeply; instead this is classically conceived
playing, unexaggerated and maybe a touch cool for some. Finesse
of articulation however is a motor of his playing. Even in Wild
und lustig he reserves ferocity. There’s no sense of pounding,
more a cultivation of musical verities, clarity of rhythm and
articulation, deft dynamics to make his points. Some may find
Wie aus der Ferne - weirdly contracted in the notes to
Wieausder Ferne – rather cool. It’s certainly not as
expressive or singing as Anda or Cortot but its straightforward
and youthful, unproblematic stance is a welcome antidote to
more stuck-in-the-mud recordings. This is a fine successor to
the LP he made on Columbia, where it was coupled with Carnaval.
Rosen proves a virtuosic guide when it comes to the fulcrum
of Liszt’s digital demands in Reminiscences of Don Juan.
His playing is buoyant and colourful, though it doesn’t aspire
to the kind of potent appraisal proposed by Rosen’s American
colleague, Earl Wild, whose dynamics register with huge verticality
and whose sweep is that much more obviously arresting. This
lower wattage reading has its own integrity but Wild’s visceral
responses are scintillating [Brilliant 93786, a big Liszt box].
The two Chopin Nocturnes are delightfully and unfussily played.
His sound is soft and pliant and there is palpable affection
in his phrasing – a fitting judgement on his playing throughout.
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