Vladimir Feltsman Chopin Nocturnes - A Recital
In Chopin’s 21 Nocturnes we encounter some of the most sublimely beautiful music ever written for piano. The Romantic idiom of these “night songs,” with their atmosphere of yearning nostalgia, was perfectly matched with Chopin’s talents and inclinations. The genre of the nocturne was first developed by the Irish composer John Field. Chopin knew Field’s nocturnes well and built upon his foundation. Another source of inspiration was Italian bel canto opera, exemplified by the works of Chopin’s friend Vincenzo Bellini. Whatever his sources of inspiration, however, Chopin’s nocturnes represent the highest realization of the form, despite the fine subsequent efforts of composers including Schumann, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Fauré, Scriabin, and Szymanowski.
"Castro's version of the Nocturnes are not certainly not among the best known. However, they are quite excellent and better than many that are more famous. His approach bears some resemblance to Vasary's take on these wonderful pieces. Like Vasary, Castro is not afraid to produce emotion-laden renditions, though he is more restrained and with superior recorded sound. The Nocturnes are the most beautiful and profound salon music for pieno ever written. They are imbued with wondrous sentiment, which is not to say that they should be played with sentimentality. I sometimes thinbk that the world divides between those enthralled by Bach's Goldbergs and those moved most by Chopin's Nocturnes. Or perhaps we each possess a dual persona that loves one or the other more depending on mood and circumstance. At any rate, Castro's Chopin is, to my mind and ear, one of the best versions of these works." W. J. Reedy
"You might recognize a few of these when you hear them. I have listened to these pieces dozens of times, and it seems like I can't get tired of them. These are just about the most relaxing piano pieces ever!"-Mel S