Chopin Études for Piano
Ronald Smith studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and later in Paris with Marguerite Long. He made his debut under Sir Henry Wood, and in 1949 appeared at the Proms under Sir Malcolm Sargent. His recording of Bach’s Triple Concerto in 1950 alongside Edwin Fischer and Dennis Matthews brought him to international prominence. Ronald Smith’s wide repertoire embraced the more familiar Romantic masters and for Nimbus he recorded piano transcriptions by Liszt of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and the Bach-Busoni Chaconne ; popular sonatas by Beethoven; Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and this recording of the Chopin Études.
Ronald Smith (1922-2004) was one of the most distinguished British pianists of the immediate post-war era. These recordings, made for Nimbus when he was in his late sixties, show that his technical command was still formidable at this stage of his career. As a whole, these are very fine performance. Throughout this disc, Smith's rubato is consistently well judged, with none of the expressive mannerisms that spoil other Chopin recordings.