Magazine article Gramophone

Anatole Kitain: 'The Complete Columbia Recordings, 1936-39'

Magazine article Gramophone

Anatole Kitain: 'The Complete Columbia Recordings, 1936-39'

Article excerpt

Anatole Kitain [G][H]

'The Complete Columbia Recordings, 1936-39' Works by Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov/Strimer, Schumann, Scriabin and R Strauss/Godowsky

Anatole Kitain pf

APR (B) (2) APR6017 (123' * ADD)

From APR7029 (4/96, 8/96)

What factors determine your admission into the pantheon of great artists? Talent, of course, but also luck--or the lack of it--must play a part. How else could Anatole Kitain (1903-80) have been so completely forgotten? APR first issued this collection nearly 20 years ago, yet Kitain's status has remained exactly the same as it was: nowhere. Now repackaged in the label's smart standard livery, Bryan Crimp's exemplary transfers present a compelling portrait of a player who, while detached and emotionally cool (the heights of passion elude him), is among the most glittering, elegant pianists on disc.

Look no further than the first item, Chopin's Rondo in E flat (its earliest recording and, for me, still the finest), tossed off with suave panache and, like all these discs, bathed in a warm, pearly tone that enchants the ear. This is followed by the minor masterpiece that is the Mazurka in A minor, Op 17 No 4, in which Kitain allows its baleful tale to unfold without any added self-indulgent sentimentality. …

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