Israela Margalit

Chopin: Complete Nocturnes

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There is not much to object to in Israela Margalit's light and lovely 2001 recordings of Chopin's complete Nocturnes. Margalit has the technique necessary to tackle Chopin's trills and arabesques without dropping a note plus the good taste to bring out his sentimentality and sensuality without raising an eyebrow. But the emotional depth is missing from her B flat minor Nocturne, Op. 9/1, as is the drama from her flowing account of the C sharp minor Nocturne, Op. 27/1. While her performances here are unfailingly beautiful, Margalit's interpretations are superficial and ultimately unsatisfying for listeners familiar with Ivan Moravec or Claudio Arrau's interpretations. Quartz's digital piano sound is clear, but dry, and not altogether present, as if Margalit was across the room playing an upright piano.

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