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Nocturnes

F. Chopin Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Price: $18.19 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Nocturnes + Complete Nocturnes
Price for both: $32.94

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 25, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J03
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,266 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. B Flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1
2. E Flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2
3. B Major, Op. 9, No. 3
4. F Major, Op. 15, No. 2
5. F Sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2
6. G Minor, Op. 15, No. 3
7. C Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 1
8. D Flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2
9. B Major, Op. 32, No.1
10. A Flat Major, Op. 32, No. 2
Disc: 2
1. A Flat Major, Op. 32, No. 2
2. G Major, Op. 37, No. 2
3. C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1
4. F Sharp Minor, Op. 48, No. 2
5. F Sharp Minor, Op. 48, No. 2
6. E Flat Major, Op. 55, No. 2
7. B Major, Op. 62, No. 1
8. E Major, Op. 62, No. 2
9. E Minor, Op. 72, No. 1

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If Moravec had made only these recordings, he would still be esteemed as one of our greatest pianists. He makes the piano sing throughout this set--coloring the music with exquisite tonal shadings, reflecting the changes of mood with total conviction, and providing moment after moment of revelatory beauty. Many critics consider this the greatest set of the Chopin Nocturnes ever recorded, even finer than the superb stereo set by Rubinstein on RCA. The 1966 recordings, made in two different venues, are still outstanding examples of beautiful-sounding, realistic piano sound. --Leslie Gerber

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the greatest recordings of all time. October 14, 1999
By blue-59
Of the lovely, perfumed--and profound--Chopin nocturnes there are by now more than a dozen excellent, seamless, sensitive, well-recorded performances. Only one of them, however, qualifies as transcendental. Ivan Moravec treats each precious jewel as if it were Chopin's final statement to the world, or the last piece of music ever to be played. Every note, every shading, every nuance is endowed with ultimate significance. If God commanded me to justify man's existence, I think I'd hand Him these two CDs. When I heard the Connoisseur Society LPs in the sixties, I was stunned. I felt that the music, familiar as it was, was being fully revealed for the first time. I awaited the CDs eagerly and now own several sealed copies, just so I know I'll never be without them. Uncountable listenings have not dimmed the glory of this "desert island" recording. Lipatti, Friedman, and Cortot had deep insight into these masterpieces and gave superb performances of individual nocturnes, but no other set matches Moravec's. I do listen to other pianists--Arrau, Wehr--when I want to enjoy the beauty of the Chopin nocturnes but feel unable to handle the full emotional jolt from Ivan Moravec. The recorded sound is superb by any standards.

Now please, the SACD. I'll pay ANY price!
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A performer who feels and understands every note July 2, 2000
Like most listeners, I ordinarily find Rubinstein the most satisfactory overall performer for almost everything Chopin composed. But in the Nocturnes, IMHO, Moravec has outdone even Rubinstein. I have the complete Nocturnes by both pianists, and so I set my CD player to compare the two recordings for each individual nocturne side by side. Rubinstein's performance isn't bad, of course, but there is an audibly greater degree of comfort and depth of understanding in Moravec's playing. (I should also note that Moravec's recording has the benefit of better sound.) Moravec seems to have internalized the music and made it entirely his own. It almost sounds as if he were the composer as well as the soloist, so directly do these performances seem to come from the heart. Occasionally Rubinstein sounds halting or tentative, but Moravec never does. You can't go wrong with these!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By TAM
Chopin's Nocturnes are among the most haunting, stirring, and beautiful pieces of music ever composed. They require both physical virtuosity and emotional committment in order to be performed to the degree which they deserve. Ivan Moravec accomplishes this and more, successfully recording the whole set (excepting the two posthumous works, KK IVa No. 16 & KK IVb No. 8). Every piece on the first disk is solid in all respects; the beautiful right-hand melodies are clear and distinct, the dynamics are carefully controlled, and an extacting sense of rubato is utilized. The first track, Op. 9 No. 1 is perhaps the most excellent performance on the set; the two hands work beautifully together, as the melody whispers gently above the rhythmically perfect left-hand harmonies. Also especially notable are the pieces which comprise Op. 37 and Op. 48, all four of which are brilliantly done. Op. 48 No. 1 gets a little out of control -- as it often does -- in the poco piu lento, but concludes with the most beautiful doppio movimento I have heard. The performances of Op. 55 and Op. 62 are mediocre, but I have yet to hear them played to my complete satisfaction. This is a wonderful set, among the finest performances of the Nocturnes ever.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb recording November 8, 2005
By J. Lee
This is the benchmark for "complete" recordings of Chopin's Nocturnes. You will NOT be disappointed with this purchase. Unfortunately, this set contains 19 nocturnes and excludes two posthumous pieces. If you want all 21 nocturnes, Pires's version is your best bet. I own Rubinstein, Pires, Barenboim, Ashkenazy, Biret.... To me, it's a tossup between Pires's sonically satisfying modern recording and Moravec's artistic benchmark. I will not reiterate the long list of lavished praise made by the previous reviewers.

Try to find the digitally remastered European version from Ultima Nonesuch. Even with the US Version, the sound quality is superior to Rubinstein set. The piano sounds full and there is no audible hiss. The US-licensed version from Supraphon has not been remastered.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal, Extraordinary, Supernatural, etc. etc. August 2, 2003
As a 19 year old who has played piano for 10 years now, I heard Chopin's Nocturne in B-flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1 on the radio once and knew I had to learn how to play it. Along with the music itself, I picked up this set of discs as "guidance," if you will. Well, Moravec's rendition of the B-flat Minor Nocturne is my favorite musical piece EVER, and both discs have spent more time in the CD player than in their case. A few of my other favorite Nocturnes are C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 1, and C-minor Op. 48, No. 1, although the entire collection evokes such emotion that I can't listen to it unless I'm by myself for fear of others questioning my sanity.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chopin As Chopin Would Want To Hear It January 9, 2002
This recording of the complete nocturnes is not only the best recording of the nocturnes available; it is also, in my opinion, the very best of any Chopin recording on the market. This is Chopin as he would have played it. Unfortunately, too many pianists today play Chopin with the mood shifts and tonal extremes that you would expect of Beethoven. Moravec, never one to show off, plays these Nocturnes just right. The recorded sound and tone of the piano is simply the most beautiful I've ever heard. The playing sounds quite effortless and the rubato is just right. I have never heard Chopin played more lyrically than on this recording. The amazing sound quality, the tone produced by Moravec, and quite simply the incredible interpretations make this the best Chopin album available.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Simply one of the greatest recorded performances of anything, ever. Like listening directly to thought with the mechanical medium of the piano disappearing.
Published 4 months ago by Gregory Angsten
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate for the ears - Nocturnes as they should be played
This is my favorite CD for Chopin's Nocturnes.
Other performers sound rushed; as if they wanted to finish their piece as soon as possible, instead of savoring each key... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Fearless
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and more!
I guess I needed too many words to critizise some to Moravec's interpretations elsewhere, but in the case of this edition I only need one word:Fantastic!
Published 8 months ago by fernando
4.0 out of 5 stars Good rendition of Chopin Nocturnes - poor quality recording
I love listening to Chopin's Nocturnes and have been searching for the best rendition for years. Over the years, I've listened to and purchased many quality versions of these... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jim K
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite
I just love this performance.

I must have a half dozen recordings of the Chopin Nocturnes. The only one I listen to is this! Read more
Published 19 months ago by rash67
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous
One of the finest piano recordings ever made (I'd say 'the' greatest but for the fact that I obviously haven't heard every recording ever made). Read more
Published 22 months ago by A reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow tempos but gorgeous performances
I tend to favor slow tempos in romantic music, but Moravec's tempos were slow even by my standards. But the performances are gorgeous, which is what matters most.
Published on March 15, 2012 by D. R. Schryer
5.0 out of 5 stars Moravec as the most personal of personal voices in Chopin
The situation seems to have changed since I first heard Moravec's Chopin in the Sixties, when he was a coterie pianist consigned to a private record label and generally unknown... Read more
Published on August 18, 2011 by Santa Fe Listener
4.0 out of 5 stars DRAWING DISTINCTIONS
The nocturnes are a perfect fit for the image of Chopin that many of us start out with. They are slow, dreamy and inward, with exquisite touches of piano style. Read more
Published on June 14, 2010 by DAVID BRYSON
2.0 out of 5 stars Unacceptable phrasing and rubato
After listening to Ivan Moravec's nineteen Nocturnes only once, I just don't feel like listening to them any more. Read more
Published on May 25, 2010 by Kee
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