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Ignaz Friedman (piano)
Complete Recordings 1923-1941
DANACORD DACOCD861-864 [6 CDs: 336 mins]

These six CDs – a look at the catalogue number might imply the set contains only four discs but there are six - are priced as for three. Regarding Friedman’s legacy, I reviewed three of the Naxos discs devoted to his complete 78rpm recordings (Volume 1 ~ Volume 2 ~ Volume 4) whilst Christopher Howell reviewed another (Volume 3). The final jigsaw in Naxos’ single-issue releases was No.5 (8.111114) which was not reviewed on this site. But it contains several things not on the Danacord set; alternative takes to issued sides of Chopin Mazurkas Op. 24, No. 4, No. 25 in B Minor, Op. 33, No. 4 – and two pieces never issued: the Waltz No. 9 in A Flat Major, Op. 69, No. 1 and William Shield’s Old English Minuet in the Carl Tausig arrangement. I ought also to point out, though one can read about it in the relevant review – that Volume 4 in the Naxos series includes an alternative take of the first side of the first movement of the Kreutzer Sonata with Huberman.

The LPs, from which this box derives, were originally released in 1985 in transfers supervised by Seth Winner and Alan Evans, who later wrote a biography of the pianist (Ignaz Friedman, Romantic Master Pianist) and whose label, Arbiter, has released some extraordinarily valuable performances over the years. It was largely due to Evans that the set appeared at all and it marked a major moment in Danacord’s exploration of historic recording and was very well received.

For this restoration Jesper Buhl and engineer Claus Byrith have returned to the original LP set and employed minimal noise-reduction. The results are very pleasing and have sympathetically done justice to the originals. I would point out that Naxos has ironed out the occasional blemish slightly better; if you listen to Danacord’s Kreutzer, for example, a few of the small ticks preserved on the LP transfers have been carried over to the CD restoration. Then again, the second version of Mendelssohn’s Scherzo in E minor (the take nine version) is much more open with more ‘surface’ and clicks in Naxos’ version but more dampened down and airless in Danacord’s – but without noticeable ticks. Danacord’s transfer of Friedman’s wittily enchanting genre piece Music Box is much more present than Naxos’ but is also scuffier. These are hardly major divergencies but are worth noting. Friedman’s tone is certainly very well preserved in Danacord’s work.

It is though, perhaps, slightly magisterial for Buhl to note, amongst companies that have subsequently reissued Friedman’s discs, the names of APR and Arbiter but, pointedly it seems, to omit Naxos. In his notes Buhl hopes that a Friedman recording of the Liszt Sonata or a Beethoven Concerto will one day turn up - this last reference, I assume, tangentially alludes to the recording of the Emperor Concerto that Friedman made with Henry Wood in March 1927 but which was never issued; Wood recorded the Violin Concerto with Sammons a few days later and it too wasn’t issued.

The big advantages with this release are that it’s a handy way to corral the vast majority of Friedman’s discs - a completist would need the Naxos additions but most people aren’t completists – and that it offers reasonable value for money. All pianophiles must know they need Friedman’s discs and it’s good news that Danacord’s work is back in town.

Jonathan Woolf
 
Contents
CD 1
Domenico Scarlatti
[ 1 ] Pastorale E minor - Carl Tausig (arranger) 2:52
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
[ 2 ] Rondo alla Turca A minor, KV 331 2:48
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata C sharp minor, Op. 27,2 »Moonlight«
[ 3 ] I. Adagio sostenuto 6:41
[ 4 ] II. Alegretto 2:21
[ 5 ] III. Presto agitato 5:08
Carl Maria von Weber
[ 6 ] Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 8:40
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Sonata, Op. 45 »Kreutzer«
[ 7 ] I. Adagio sostenuto, Presto 10:36
[ 8 ] II. Andante con Variazioni 12:46
[ 9 ] III. Finale: Presto 8:08
Bronislaw Huberman (violin)
CD 2
Franz Schubert
[ 1 ] Marche Militaire, Op. 51 Carl Tausig (arranger) 5:46
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata, Op. 27,2 »Moonlight«
[ 2 ] I. Adagio sostenuto 6:37
[ 3 ] II. Allegretto 2:16
[ 4 ] III. Presto agitato 5:06
Christoph Willibald Gluck
[ 5 ] Gavotte Johannes Brahms (arranger) 2:47
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
[ 6 ] Rondo Favori Ignaz Friedman (arranger) 3:43
Felix Mendelssohn
[ 7 ] Songs Without Words - Op. 19,3 2:00
[ 8 ] Songs Without Words - Op. 19,6 2:12
[ 9 ] Songs Without Words - Op. 102,5 1:06
[10] Songs Without Words - Op. 30,6 3:20
[11] Songs Without Words - Op. 28,2 2:22
[12] Songs Without Words - Op. 30,6 3:14
[13] Songs Without Words - Op. 53,2 2:25
[14] Songs Without Words - Op. 53,4 2:47
[15] Songs Without Words - Op. 67,2 1:53
CD 3
Frédéric Chopin
[ 1 ] Mazurka - Op. 7,3 1:50
[ 2 ] Mazurka - Op. 7,1 1:50
[ 3 ] Mazurka - Op. 7,2 2:27
[ 4 ] Mazurka - Op. 33,4 2:01
[ 5 ] Mazurka - Op. 24,4 3:37
[ 6 ] Mazurka - Op. 33,4 4:03
[ 7 ] Mazurka - Op. 41,1 2:53
[ 8 ] Mazurka - Op. 50,2 2:55
[ 9 ] Mazurka - Op. 63,3 2:09
[10] Mazurka - Op. 67,3 1:07
[11] Mazurka - Op. 67,4 1:55
[12] Mazurka - Op. 68,2 2:26
[13] Mazurka - Op. 33,4 3:16
[14] Walz A minor, Op. 34,2 4:16
[15] Nocturne E flat minor, Op. 55,2 4:34
[16] Impromptu F sharp major, Op. 36 4:47
[17] Polonaise B flat major, Op. 71,2 6:31
[18] Polonaise A flat major, Op. 53 6:23
CD 4
[ 1 ] Ballade A flat major, Op. 47 6:51
[ 2 ] Mazurka, Op. 7,1 2:02
[ 3 ] Mazurka, Op. 33,2 2:12
[ 4 ] Mazurka, Op. 63,3 2:05
[ 5 ] Waltz D flat major, Op. 64,1 1:20
[ 6 ] Berceuse, Op. 57,3 3:18
[ 7 ] Prelude D flat major, Op. 28,15 3:52
[ 8 ] Sonata B flat minor, Op. 35 - Marcia Funebre, Presto 7:31
[ 9 ] Prelude E flat major, Op. 28,19 1:17
[10] Etude, Op. 25,6 1:50
[11] Etude, Op. 25,9 0:57
[12] Etude, Op. 10,5 1:29
[13] Etude, Op. 10,12 2:20
[14] Etude, Op. 10,7 1:18
[15] Ballade A flat major, Op. 47 7:04
[16] Mazurka, Op. 33,2 2:22
[17] Friedman speaks on Chopin 5:06
[18] Friedman speaks on Paderewski 4:59
CD 5
Niccolo Paganini/Franz Liszt/Ferruccio Busoni
[ 1 ] La Campanella 4:02
Franz Liszt
[ 2 ] Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 8:37
Felix Mendelssohn
[ 3 ] Scherzo E minor, Op. 16 (recording 2) 2:06
[ 4 ] Scherzo E minor, Op. 16 (recording 9) 2:10

Antonin Dvorak
[ 5 ] Humoresque 2:50
Franz Schubert
[ 6 ] Hark, Hark, the Lark! Franz Liszt (arranger) 2:58
[ 7 ] Hark, Hark, the Lark! (second version) Franz Liszt (arranger) 2:50
Edvard Grieg
Piano Concerto, Op. 15
[ 8 ] I. Allegro molto moderato 12:04
[ 9 ] II. Adagio 5:28
[10] III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato 9:09
Orchestra/Philippe Gaubert
CD 6
Anton Rubinstein
[ 1 ] Valse Caprice 4:19
[ 2 ] Romance, Op. 44,1 2:57
Moritz Moszkowski
[ 3 ] Serenade, Op. 15 2:08
[ 4 ] Serenade, Op. 15 (second version) 2:01
Ignacy Jan Paderewski
[ 5 ] Minuet, Op. 14,1 4:10
Josef Suk
[ 6 ] Minuet 3:52
Franz Mittler
[ 7 ] Little Nana's Music Box 1:54
Anonymous
[ 8 ] Judgement of Paris Ignaz Friedman (arranger) 2:52
Ignaz Friedman
[ 9 ] Music Box, Op. 33,3 2:14
[10] Elle Danse Op. 10,5 2:24
[11] Elle Danse Op. 10,5 (second version) 2:33
[12] Marquis et Marquise, Op. 22,4 2:26
Franz Schubert
[13] Old Vienna Ignaz Friedman (arranger) 7:07
Eduard Gärtner
[14] Viennese Dance No. 1 3:44
[15] Viennese Dance No. 2 2:31
[16] Viennese Dance No. 6 2:33
Frédéric Chopin
[17] Mazurka, Op. 41,1 3:01





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