Soundbite 60: A sixty-word précis-review of the latest CD releases

24 Préludes, Op.28
Prélude in C sharp minor, Op.45
Berceuse, Op.57
Impromptus – in A flat, Op.29; in F sharp minor, Op.36; in G flat, Op.51; in C sharp minor, Op.66 (Fantaisie-Impromptu) Barcarolle, Op.60
Alfred Cortot (piano)

All recorded in No.3 Studio, Abbey Road, London – Préludes in July 1933 and June 1934, Impromptus and Barcarolle in July 1933; and Prélude in C sharp minor & Berceuse in November 1949
CD No: EMI 3 61541 2
Duration: 69 minutes
Reviewed: November 2006
Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) is synonymous with Chopin. These legendary recordings continue to stand the test of time. The 24 Préludes are intense and searching, the antithesis of ‘salon Chopin’ – unexaggerated, concise and potent. The stand-alone Prélude and the Berceuse enter an interior world, the Impromptus are diverting and with a sweet centre, and the great Barcarolle is rigorous and exposed.


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