Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Columbia SAX 2344 More Chopin from Malcuzynski

SAX 2344

Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2, Fantasie in F Minor

Witold Malcuzynski, piano
Walter Susskind, conductor
London Symphony Orchestra

Pressing: ER2

Condition: NM

YAX 467-7
YAX 468-3

Performance: 8/10

Sound: 7/10

Price range: $30-103, mean $66 on popsike

Comments:  If you're wondering what exactly is depicted on the front cover of this album, it's a photo of Malcuzynski himself standing outside of Chopin's birthplace in Warsaw, Poland.  This record is another in Malcuzynski's series of Chopin recordings for Columbia.  There were five stereo albums:  the Waltzes, the Sonatas (2 and 3), the Polonaises, the Mazurkas, and this one.  I don't have much in detail to say about the performances except that they are quite fine, both the Concerto and the Fantasie.  Malcuzynski proves himself once again to be a masterful and tasteful Chopin interpreter.  He plays with just the right amount of rubato.  The piano, just like in Malcuzynski's Chopin Waltzes album, has a wonderful, warm sound.  The LSO provides an able and balanced accompaniment, though the sound of the strings on my recording may be just a bit bright and nasal at times.  Winds are presented better.  All in all, another reasonably priced Columbia SAX worth owning, especially for pianophiles.


  1. You forgot the Ballades (SAX 2509, SXLP 30091).

    Unaware of this second label on this one. B&S going for $75 recently. Classics for Pleasure CFP 40125 is the reissue to go for. I'd get as late a pressing as possible of the reissue. Not the most plentiful album with only 21 popsike entries. Nice performance of a piece that I only really have on budget labels except for probably a Rubinstein of average shaded dog sonics. I'll try the CFP if it falls my way since I suspect the Blue & Silver might not be amazing.

    1. Ahh, yes! Thank you for the correction! I think that getting blue/silvers for solo instrumental, particularly piano, recordings is somewhat of a waste of money. The solo recordings were never mindblowing in terms of sound to begin with, at least not as thrilling as the full orchestral recordings. I'd be very happy with a second label or third label or reissue, as you mentioned.