Paul Badura-Skoda

Chopin: Etudes, Opp. 10 & 25

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AllMusic Review by

Listeners familiar with Paul Badura-Skoda's masterful recordings of the great Viennese classical composers know the Austrian pianist's style to be a surprising but satisfying blend of Old World charm and contemporary virtuosity. But only the most dedicated fans are likely to know his 1956 Westminster recording of Chopin's etudes, Opp. 10 and 25, released here by Music & Arts. Badura-Skoda takes outlandish chances with these familiar virtuoso works. His basic tempos are often close to breakneck, and his impetuous use of rubato might cause whiplash. Yet he pulls it all off, from the jaw-dropping velocity of the "Revolutionary" Étude to the eyeball-popping virtuosity of the "Winter Wind" Étude. Even more impressive, though, is Badura-Skoda's poetic take on the slower and more lyrical etudes, where his abilities to shade a phrase and color a legato line are particularly effective. Joined here by an achingly beautiful trio of mazurkas recorded in 1999, this disc should be welcomed by the pianist's old fans and ought to win him new ones.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Etudes (12) for piano, Op. 10, CT. 14-25
1 01:53 Amazon
2 01:24 Amazon
3 03:43 Amazon
4 02:00 Amazon
5 01:35 Amazon
6 03:09 Amazon
7 01:29 Amazon
8 02:18 Amazon
9 02:08 Amazon
10 02:20 Amazon
11 02:11 Amazon
12 02:35 Amazon
Etudes (12) for piano, Op. 25, CT. 26-37
13 02:22 Amazon
14 01:20 Amazon
15 01:52 Amazon
16 01:54 Amazon
17 02:45 Amazon
18 01:56 Amazon
19 05:02 Amazon
20 01:07 Amazon
21 01:01 Amazon
22 03:43 Amazon
23 03:23 Amazon
24 02:24 Amazon
Mazurkas (3) for piano, Op. 59, CT. 86-88
25 03:11 Amazon
26 02:16 Amazon
27 03:09 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick