Dinu Lipatti

Chopin: Waltzes; Barcarolle; Nocturne; Mazurka

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Dinu Lipatti recorded Frédéric Chopin's 14 Waltzes for EMI in July 1950, mere months before his death at age 33. Despite the leukemia that had been diagnosed a few years earlier that had weakened him to the point of canceling international tours, Lipatti still found enough strength to record these pieces in Geneva, Switzerland, and they have been an essential part of his legacy ever since. Even though these performances are a little compressed in sound and limited in resonance, that is not the main thing listeners will notice. What immediately captures the attention and holds the imagination is Lipatti's astonishing playing, so expressively powerful and technically dazzling that one can scarcely think the pianist was ill. Yet all of the qualities for which Lipatti was praised are fully evident here, most clearly in his lightning-fast tempos, precise rhythms, and fluid phrasing. This is an essential album for any collection, and a disc that is sure to win Lipatti admirers for many decades to come.

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