Before Perlemuter recorded his powerful Phantasie he’d visited Wyastone to set down his Kreisleriana and Etudes symphoniques. He was 78 when he recorded the former, his technique still strong, the playing direct, powerfully conceived and conceived moreover in a concentrated arch. Never one for easy emoting, this is not necessarily the most pliant cycle one will hear, but that was never his aim. Similar virtues attend the Etudes symphoniques which avoids sentiment and bombast equally. Some may read into his playing, because of the biographical connections, vestiges of Cortot’s Schumann playing, but Perlemuter was long since his own man.
Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb-international.com