An desultory blog aimed at passing on some of the wonderful free classical music that has come my way. These range from restorations of vintage recordings to concerts from the internet.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Sergio Fiorentino - the Chopin Waltzes
There has always been a bit of hesitancy among Fiorentino fans about his Waltzes, recorded in July 1958. These are, well, the waltzes of a young touring pianist - extrovert, devil-may-care.
I first heard this record when I was twelve, and loved it. These was something intoxicating about the sheer verve of the playing. And this was the first time anyone had recorded all 19 waltzes - I was bitterly disappointed when I bought my first score and discovered that there were only 14 'official' waltzes in it. (The last is certainly not by Chopin, but the editors of the Henle edition decided to keep publishing it, on the grounds that people liked it, and that there would be no chance of anyone publishing or playing it unless they did so.)
Fiorentino does a little rewriting here and there (listen carefully and have your ears tickled), and has no hesitation in doing a little filling in of the texture in the unpublished waltzes. And, I believe, the first recording of the three little Ecossais, recorded in 1955.
It's a document of an era when you could sit down at the piano and just play without someone rustling an urtext. Many years later I still love it.
This is a needledrop, done by a friend. No noise reduction (this is left as an exercise to the reader) and only mp3 at 192 kbs, but I did manage to find and embed the original cover art.