Orozco Rafael – Music by Chopin, Schumann & Albéniz – Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 14 (1966/2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 52:07 minutes | 1,03 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics
Rafael Orozco studied with Alexis Weissenberg and Artur Schnabel and would go on to win the 1966 Leeds Competition. He signed with Philips and recorded the concertos of Rachmaninov with Edo Waart and various other romantic piano works. After his Philips career he began focusing on Spanish composers which include Falla, Albeniz and Others.
In 1966, a twenty-year-old Spanish artist won the Leeds International Piano Competition: Rafael Orozco. His Master’s Voice pounced on the opportunity, signing a contract with the young man immediately before he was snatched up by the Dutch company Philips. His Master’s Voice and Orozco made four records together over four years, with a special focus on Chopin. The 24 Preludes were released in 1968 and the 24 Etudes in 1971. In 1970 a Brahms LP (Sonata 3 – an absolute gem) was also released and was reissued a few weeks ago as previously mentioned on Qobuz.
Released in 1967, this is Rafael Orozco’s very first work. The recital brings to light the pianist’s affinities. Schumann is up first with his fearsome Toccata. It sounds incredibly supple under Orozco’s fingers, divine wrists and sunny phrasing. It is a piece for a virtuoso. Orozco exhibits the same grace in Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat major: the attack of the first note is poignant and is telling of Orozco’s position at the piano; the left hand meanwhile is fluid, airy and almost floats.
After the passionate Polonaise (Op. 44) we find two of Albéniz’s pieces from Iberia. Recorded twenty-five years before the Spanish pianist would record the four complete books (Valois, 1992). Evocación reveals brilliantly luminous phrasing and El Corpus Christi exhibits a sparkling sound.
The album’s pièce de résistance is Prokofiev’s Second Sonata, which the pianist performs with a kind of obviousness. The tempos are lively (particularly the Allegro marcato, as well as the third movement, which is truly moving) and the expressive gestures glisten. In this respect, Vivace has rarely sounded so mischievous and rebellious. So it suits Prokofiev! This recital is a marvel – you could even call it a Qobuzissime. – Pierre-Yves Lascar
1. Orozco Rafael – Toccata in C Major, Op. 7
2. Orozco Rafael – Nocturne No. 16 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 No. 2
3. Orozco Rafael – Polonaise in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 44
4. Orozco Rafael – Iberia, Cuaderno I: Evocación
5. Orozco Rafael – Iberia, Cuaderno I: El Corpus Christi en Sevilla
6. Orozco Rafael – Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14: I. Allegro ma non troppo
7. Orozco Rafael – Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14: II. Scherzo. Allegro marcato
8. Orozco Rafael – Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14: III. Andante
9. Orozco Rafael – Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14: IV. Vivace