CHOPIN: Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 / Polonaises (Cortot, 78 rpm Recordings, Vol. 4) (1923-1947) (Alfred Cortot/ Mark Obert-Thorn) (Naxos Historical: 8.111065)
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Posterity has judged Alfred Cortot as one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. His Naxos Historical recording of Chopin and Schumann 'Piano Concertos' had him elevated in 'The Sunday Times' as \The great French pianist famous for.... his magical touch and lovely singing tone and a flexibility of phrasing and movement as natural as breathing."
This fourth disc in the Naxos five volume series devoted to his 78 rpm era recordings of Chopin includes three rarities: 'My Joys' and the 'Polonaise-Fantasie', both unreleased on 78 rpm, and the first-ever CD appearance of the1933 version of the 'Piano Sonata No. 2'. Completed in only fourteen takes on 6th July, this version of the Sonata has incredible energy, particularly in the last movement.
The stunning performance of the 'Grande Polonaise', Op. 22, demonstrates Cortot's total understanding of Chopin's use of the decorated melodic line. The popular 'Polonaise in A flat', Op. 53 is played with majestic swagger and pomp, aided by a well recorded Steinway piano."