BRAILOWSKY The Complete Polydor Recordings, Volume 1 (1928-34) - PAKM078

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BRAILOWSKY The Complete Polydor Recordings, Volume 1 (1928-34) - PAKM078

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Overview

CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1
CHOPIN Piano Sonata No. 2
CHOPIN Preludes, Waltzes, Impromptus, Etudes & other solo works

Studio recordings, 1928-1934
Total duration: 2hr 15:52

Alexander Brailowsky, piano
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Julius Prüwer

This set contains the following albums:

Alexander Brailowsky was born in Kiev on 16 February 1896. After initial instruction from his father, a professional pianist, he began studies at the age of eight with Leschetizky pupil Vladimir Puchalsky, who would later mentor Horowitz. Upon graduation from the Kiev Conservatory in 1911 where a visiting Rachmaninov predicted that he would have a great future, Brailowsky went to Vienna to study under Leschetizky himself, and made his first public appearances there in 1913. In Zürich, he met with Busoni and sought out his guidance. Moving to Paris where he eventually took up French citizenship, he received further instruction from Planté before making a recital debut there in 1919.

It was in Paris in 1924 that he first presented a series of six concerts he devised containing all 169 solo piano works by Chopin, using the composer’s own piano for part of the recital. He repeated this program in Brussels, Zürich, Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and established a reputation as a Chopin specialist, even though his wide repertoire ranged from Bach to Bartok.

His American career also began in 1924, and included a coast-to-coast tour in 1936, as well as a repeat of his Chopin cycle during the 1937/8 and 1946/7 seasons. During the latter season, he set attendance records in New York. For the sesquicentennial of the composer’s birth in 1960, he repeated his Chopin cycle a final time in Paris and Brussels. He gave his last recital at Carnegie Hall in 1967, and died on 25 April 1976.

Brailowsky made his first disc recordings for Polydor in Berlin between 1928 and 1934. He also recorded a series of piano rolls for Ampico during the late 1920s. After a couple sessions for HMV in 1938, he began a long association with RCA Victor (1940 – 1958) before making a final group of recordings for American Columbia (1960/1).

The present release is the first of two which will present his complete pre-war Polydor recordings in new transfers for the first time in nearly thirty years. This volume focuses on his Chopin recordings from this period, including the world première recording of the composer’s E minor Piano Concerto, while the second will present his recordings of Liszt and other composers.

In this release, the sources for the transfers were all German (or, in one case, Austrian) Polydor pressings, except for the concerto, which came from a mid-1930s laminated Brunwick edition pressed by American Columbia, and one other disc which came from an early non-laminated Brunswick. Considerable care has been taking in pitching the original recordings, several of which had speed fluctuations throughout the sides.

Mark Obert-Thorn

ALEXANDER BRAILOWSKY  The Complete Polydor Recordings – Volume 1: CHOPIN

Studio Recordings ∙ 1928 – 1934


CD 1 (70:10)


CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11

1. 1st Mvt.: Allegro Maestoso (16:04)
2. 2nd Mvt.: Romance: Larghetto (9:41)
3. 3rd Mvt: Rondo: Vivace (9:27)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra ∙ Julius Prüwer

Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrices. 1003/1010 BM ∙ Polydor 66753/6


CHOPIN: Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35

4. 1st Mvt.: Grave – Doppio movimento (4:53)
5. 2nd Mvt.: Scherzo (4:52)
6. 3rd Mvt.: Marche funèbre – Lento (7:34)
7. 4th Mvt.: Presto (1:20)
Recorded 1932 ∙ Matrices 1247 ½/1248 ½/1249 ½/1250 ½ BI 1 ∙ Polydor 95480/1


8. CHOPIN: Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60 (8:30)
Recorded 1934 ∙ Matrices 745 ½/746 ½ GE 1 ∙ Polydor 35014

9. CHOPIN: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 (7:48)
Recorded 1929 ∙ Matrices 189 ½/190 ½ BV 1 ∙ Polydor 95325


CD 2 (65:41)

1. CHOPIN: Mazurka in B flat major, Op. 7, No. 1 (2:46)
Recorded 1929 ∙ Matrix 191 ½ BV 1 ∙ Polydor 95324

2. CHOPIN: Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 (4:32)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 984 BM ∙ Polydor 95143

3. CHOPIN: Prelude in G Major, Op. 28, No. 3 (1:03)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 1111 ½ B1 [part] ∙ Polydor 95423

4. CHOPIN: Prelude in B minor, Op. 28, No. 6 (1:56)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 1111 ½ B1 [part] ∙ Polydor 95423

5. CHOPIN: Prelude in D flat major, Op. 28, No. 15 (4:25)
Recorded 1934 ∙ Matrix 743 ½ GE 1 ∙ Polydor 35012

6. CHOPIN: Waltz in A flat major, Op. 34, No. 1 (4:41)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 986 BM ∙ Polydor 95143

7. CHOPIN: Waltz in C sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2 (3:31)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 1002 BM ∙ Polydor 95140

8. CHOPIN: Waltz in A flat major, Op. 69, No. 1 (3:36)
Recorded 1932 ∙ Matrix 3325 ¾ BH 1 ∙ Polydor 90197

9. CHOPIN: Waltz in E minor, Op. Posth. (2:30)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 2599 ½ BH 1 ∙ Polydor 90174

10. CHOPIN: Impromptu in A flat major, Op. 29 (4:26)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 1110 ½ BI 1 ∙ Polydor 95423

11. CHOPIN: Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66 (5:02)
Recorded 1929 ∙ Matrix 192 ½ BV 1 ∙ Polydor 95324

12. CHOPIN: Etude in E major, Op. 10, No. 3 (4:06)
Recorded 1930 ∙ Matrix 187 ½ BV 1 ∙ Polydor 95323

13. CHOPIN: Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 10, No. 4 (2:18)
Recorded 1934 ∙ Matrix 744 ¾ GE 1 [part] ∙ Polydor 35012

14. CHOPIN: Etude in G flat major, Op. 10, No. 5 (1:40)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 1001 BM [part] ∙ Polydor 95140

15. CHOPIN: Etude in A flat major, Op. 25, No. 1 (2:21)
Recorded 1932 ∙ Matrix 3326 BH 1 [part] ∙ Polydor 90197

16. CHOPIN: Etude in F minor, Op. 25, No. 2 (1:29)
Recorded 1928 ∙ Matrix 1001 BM [part] ∙ Polydor 95140

17. CHOPIN: Etude in F major, Op. 25, No. 3 (1:57)
Recorded 1934 ∙ Matrix 744 ¾ GE 1 [part] ∙ Polydor 35012

18. CHOPIN: Etude in G flat major, Op. 25, No. 9 (1:06)
Recorded 1932 ∙ Matrix 3326 BH 1 [part] ∙ Polydor 90197

19. CHOPIN: Etude in A minor, Op. 25, No. 11 (3:35)
Recorded 1929 ∙ Matrix 188 BV 1 ∙ Polydor 95323

20. CHOPIN: Etude in C minor, Op. 25, No. 12 (2:18)
Recorded 1931 ∙ Matrix 1111 ½ BI 1 [part] ∙ Polydor 95423

21. CHOPIN: Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53 (6:26)
Recorded 1932 ∙ Matrices 3327 ½/3328 ½ BH 1 ∙ Polydor 90196


Alexander Brailowsky (piano)

Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn

Special thanks to Donald Manildi, the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland (IPAM) and Michael Gartz for providing source material

Cover picture: Alexander Brailowsky, c.1925 (Tully Potter Collection)


Total duration: 2hr 15:52