Back in the fifties my music master took me to the Royal Festival Hall to hear Georges Cziffra. This momentous occasion was as much a political event as a musical one. Having recently breached the 'iron curtain' in a dramatic escape to the West from his native Hungary (where he had recently been imprisoned) in the aftermath of the 1956 revolution, the press had hyped him up into a newly discovered world class virtuoso cum freedom fighter. He fell into the role with much aplomb.
Though Luisada is by no means old, his playing takes us back to another age.
Arthur Rubinstein boasted that he changed the way Chopin was perceived, making him more masculine and straightforward than romantic players like de Pachmann and Paderewski did. Rubinstein's Chopin was in fact a reflection of his own more literal time – a time that also produced Backhaus and Toscanini – as well as Rubinstein's own love for the classiciam of Brahms which, under the influence of Joachim, pre-dated the Polish expatriate's love for Chopin.
Rubinstein clearly felt uncomfortable with the feminine, salon qualities that cannot be divorced from Chopin's sensibility. Descriptions of the composer's own playing make it clear that he was improvisatory, ethereal in his dynamics and that he reveled in rubato; Chopin was even accused of not being able to play in time. These qualities are rarely evident in modern players, who imagine they present a "greater" Chopin by robbing him of his true personality.
Luisada is not a modern player. His Chopin evokes memories of some of the greatest interpreters of earlier ages – especially de Pachmann and Maryla Jonas (whose rare recordings are available from Pearl). Luisada's rubato will seem willful and wayward to those raised to believe Rubinstein was the last word on Chopin, but it will delight those who would like to hear something closer to the first word.
–Amazon.com [5-star] review
The new recordings of Chopin's works on period instruments allow contemporary listeners to discover the historical models, bringing us closer to the original and to the long-forgotten sound of the Romantic era.
Award-winning pianist Ingrid Fliter makes her Linn debut with a distinctive performance of Chopin’s notoriously difficult piano concertos, featuring the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jun Märkl. Since winning the silver medal at the 2000 Frederic Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Ingrid has built a reputation as a first-rate Chopin interpreter.
Pieter Wispelwey and his gut-string cello partner for a second time with Paolo Giacometti in a programme of Chopin and Mendelssohn. But there is a another great musical figure on this disc – the cellist and composer Karl Davidoff, who studied with Moscheles and Mendelssohn’s violinist and composer friend Ferdinand David. Davidoff’s brilliant arrangements of the Chopin Waltzes Op. 64 form a sparkling interlude between Mendelssohn’s brilliant 2nd sonata, and Chopin’s late and great sonata for cello and piano.