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Robert Casadesus: The Complete Columbia Album Collection

By Robert Casadesus

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By Robert Casadesus. By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Gabriel Faure (1845-1924), Claude Debussy (1862-1918), and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Classical. CD. Sony Music Entertainment #19075853652. Published by Sony Music Entertainment (NX.19075853652).

Item Number: NX.19075853652

You have to be a composer yourself to understand the music of others so well, said Maurice Ravel of Robert Casadesus, the great French pianist-composer. This prolific recording artist is the subject of a major new release: Robert Casadesus - The Complete Columbia Album Collection. 65 albums honor Casadesus's substantial legacy, with numerous albums - including recordings from as early as 1940 - reissued by Sony on modern technology for the very first time. Casadesus's close association with Ravel began in 1922, when the composer invited him to record piano rolls of his music and collaborate in performance. His recording of the complete solo piano works dates from 1952, and is complemented by additional Ravel recordings made both earlier and later, including two recordings of the Concerto for Left Hand with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Casadesus also recorded most of Debussy's solo piano works with great success, as well as works by compatriots including Franck, Saint-Saens, Satie, d'Indy, Chabrier and Faure. His Mozart was especially renowned. Solo recordings complement numerous concerto readings, many made with Ormandy, George Szell and Charles Munch, and a 1951 recording of the B-flat major Piano Concerto No. 27 with the New York Philharmonic and John Barbirolli is here given its first Sony release. Beethoven is also well represented, with sonatas including the Moonlight, Appassionata and op. 110 as well as the First and Fourth Concertos with Eduard van Beinum and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. But Casadesus's repertoire was much broader. His many Schumann recordings include Waldszenen, the Symphonic Etudes, Carnaval and the Fantasia in C - most of these recorded several times - and Dichterliebe with Pierre Bernac; and his Chopin Ballades are also reissued here, alongside the Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3. One of Casadesus's most important musical partnerships was with violinist Zino Francescatti, with whom he recorded the newly remastered Beethoven sonatas. The pair also recorded Ravel miniatures, Faure, Franck and Debussy sonatas, Chausson's Concert for solo violin and piano quintet, Bach's A major sonata, and the three sonatas of Brahms. Casadesus's other frequent collaborator was his wife, Gaby Casadesus. Again they perform some of Casadesus's own music, as well as pieces by numerous French composers including Ravel contemporary Florent Schmitt, plus Schubert and Bartok. Other compositions by Casadesus include his Nonet and Sextet for chamber ensembles, and concertos for one and two pianos.

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