By Jorge Bolet. By Camille Saint-Saens, Claude Debussy, Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin, Leopold Godowsky, and Moritz Moszkowski. Classical. CD. Audite #AUD21438. Published by Audite (NX.AUD21438).
Cuban-American pianist Jorge Bolet, misleadingly labeled the "last romantic" among 20th century pianists, was first and foremost a gentleman of the piano. Few pianists interpreted the great piano music of the 19th and early 20th centuries with such unerring stylistic assurance and technical mastery that was at the same time completely free of vanity and striving for effect. Rather than vague sentimentality, Bolet- who studied at the world renowned Curits Institute of Music in Philadelphia with David Saperton- sought a balance between musical and pianistic intelligence. Thanks to these qualities, his recordings, which include not-uncontroversial transcriptions, are considered benchmarks. These recordings for the RIAS Berlin from 1962-1973, featuring works by Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy, are no exception: here we experience a pianist and musician who rightly occupies a place among the pantheon of great pianists.