CHOPIN Nocturnes/ Arrau 4646942

. . . [a] revelatory recording. It's a profoundly moving reading of the 21 Nocturnes -- the result, no doubt, of many years of performing and reflecting on them. In Arrau's hands, the emotional worlds of these Romantic miniatures are absorbing; his spacious tempos and overarching sense of line adding weight and grandeur.

. . . Arrau's Nocturnes are likely the greatest achievement among his Chopin recordings. Why was Arrau so important in this music? Not to put too fine a point on it, he helped rescue Chopin from the pianists. On this 1977 recording there are no concert-hall roulades or frills -- or lace . . . He only offers the music -- distilled and deeply pondered, and voiced and balanced with superhuman clarity. He is devastatingly honest without being showy. Tempi are slow enough for musical points to breathe: emotion is recollected in tranquillity, to borrow Wordsworth's definition of poetry. There's no falseness or smoothing-over of detail . . . Sporting masterly control and a dark tone of infinite depth, he goes beyond lyricism to give every note its own inflection, its own colour . . . As Schoenberg said of Webern's music, so one could say of Chopin's Nocturnes when Arrau plays them: "a glance can be spun out into a poem, a sigh into a novel".

. . . un des cent plus grands disques de piano de tous les temps . . . A tout seigneur tout honneur. La main droite tragédienne d'une Malibran du piano, passant de l'éclat le plus passionné aux plus suaves messe di voce . . . Et une main gauche qui attire les clairs de lune du bel canto vers les lacs crépusculaires du postromantisme . . .