WITOLD MALCUZYNSKI

CHOPIN: Waltzes. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35. Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58. Polonaises. 15 Mazurkas. Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31. Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op.39. Nocturnes, Op. 5 and 13. Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49. Ballades. LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A. Sonata in B minor, Op. 5. Rhapsodie espagnole. TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1 in b flat minor, Op. 23. RACHMANINFF: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30. BRAHMS: Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, O. 15. BACH: Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue. FRANCK: Prelude, Chorale and Fugue. bBEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57. Solo works by Debussy, Szymanowski, Paderewski, Scriabin and Prokofiev. .
WARNER CLASSICS 019244 (8 disks)
BUY NOW FROM AMAZON

Polish pianist Witold Malcuzynski (1914-1977) was highly respected during his era, but he had much competition from more glamorous highly-publicized artists including Arthur Rubinsein, Vladimir Horowitz, Robert Casadesus, Claudio Arrau, and Emil Gilels. Yehudi Menuhin was helpful in Malcuzynski's American career, but, in spite of his reputation as an interpreter of Chopin, his career never really took off. Recordings in this new set were made from 1949-1962 during the pianist's prime, yet these recordings are only of historic interest. His Chopin is rather graceless, and his techique is hardly of virtuoso calibre. I heard him as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony conducted by Massimo Frecca in March 1957 playing Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3, a nervous performance in which soloist and orchestra didn't quite end together. His recording of this concerto, made in 1949 with Walter Susskind and the Phlharmonia Orchetra; apparently some years later he made a second recording. Malcuzynski's 1949 recording He makes a number of small cuts and plays the lighter first-movement cadenza (as did the composer in his RCA recording about a decade earlier. There is no great virtuoso display here; any of today's younger pianists play this concerto with more excitement and insight, particularly the recent version by Yuja Wand with Gustvo Dudamel conducting (REVIEW).