Claudio Arrau

Chopin: 26 Préludes; Schumann: Papillons

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What is it that makes Claudio Arrau's 1973 recording of Chopin's preludes and his 1974 recording of Schumann's papillons so ineffably beautiful? It's not his technique. A pupil of a pupil of Liszt, Arrau had been one of the great super virtuosos of the middle years of the twentieth century; by the time these recordings were made, his technique wasn't quite what it had been, and one can hear more than a few gaffes and slips in the harder passages. Part of it is his tone. Beyond even Horowitz's fabled tone, Arrau's tone was subtle, sensual, and colorful and he deploys it here with complete command. But more of it is his interpretations. Beyond even Richter's magnificent interpretations, Arrau's are heroic, lyric, and supremely poetic and he employs his compassionate insights into Chopin and Schumann's romantic and evanescent music with consummate musicianship. Recorded in pellucidly luminous stereo sound that this super audio digital reincarnation somehow contrives to improve upon, this disc deserves to be heard by everyone who loves music.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Preludes (24) for piano, Op. 28, CT. 166-189
1 00:43 Amazon
2 01:50
3 01:04 Amazon
4 02:01 Amazon
5 00:41 Amazon
6 02:20 Amazon
7 00:53 Amazon
8 01:59 Amazon
9 01:26 Amazon
10 00:34 Amazon
11 00:41 Amazon
12 01:08 Amazon
13 03:14 Amazon
14 00:48 Amazon
15 05:32 Amazon
16 01:10 Amazon
17 03:27 Amazon
18 00:59
19 01:21 Amazon
20 01:46 Amazon
21 02:10 Amazon
22 00:54 Amazon
23 01:01 Amazon
24 02:27 Amazon
25 05:30 Amazon
26 01:03 Amazon
27 15:54
blue highlight denotes track pick