Post by Citizen
Which Chopin Etudes should I get?
Gavrilov - Chopin's Etudes ARE in fact Etudes, and Gavrilov presents
this aspect of the music as well as anybody. Of course, there is music
in these pieces too, but let's be honest - in some of the selections
there is far more musical content than others. So, sheer bravura
display is a justifiable approach in this music where it would not be
so in the Ballades. It's not the only approach, but that's why we are
blessed with so many different recordings to choose from. I must admit
though, his version of the Winter Wind is so ridiculously fast that it
gives me the giggles every time I hear it. As a bonus, this recording
is perennially available at super-budget prices with various couplings.
Cortot - This is near the other end of the stylistic spectrum, though I
don't think it's fair to dismiss Cortot as being without technique just
because he hit many wrong notes. His technique involved taking big
risks. Listen for example to Op. 10 No 1 - arguably the most difficult
of all of the Etudes though it doesn't sound it. Cortot really makes
it swing through those treacherous thumb crossings in the right hand in
a way that makes most other pianists sound downright mechanical. The
results are thrilling when they work, and the occasional wrong notes
are a small price to pay.
Sokolov (Op. 25) - Achieves the best balance of yin and yang, and they
were recorded LIVE one right after the other. Yikes.
Bolet recorded several which are absolutely gorgeous, including my
favorite versions of Op. 25 No 1 and Op. 25 No 11.