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CD Review

Historical Recordings from the Collections of the Zentralbibliothek Zürich

Witold Malcuzynski, piano
Philharmonia Orchestra/Paul Kletzki
Guild GHCD2323 65m AAD Rec 1946

These recordings although filling a void in Paul Kletzki's and Witold Malcuzynski's recorded legacy are rather staid without much to contribute to the historical reissue debate. Although one can admire the high technical standard of these recordings, the rather dull 1946 sound tends to dampen proceedings a bit especially with the orchestra rather too recessed.

The composer's own magnificent recording of the 3rd concerto is in a league of its own and Malcuzysnki does play the music with passion and verve but there is that last ounce of involvement that is distinctly lacking. The same goes for Chopin's concerto although here, the music is of a rather unremarkable quality in itself and quite difficult to bring off.

Still, according to the excellent notes, the Polish pianist was an authority in Chopin and one really cannot question this.

One can only praise Guild for raiding the exceptionally rich Central Bibliothek Archive in Zürich and one can only hope for further recordings from this source especially from artisys who have been overlooked or neglected in this great historical revival.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech