Available December, 2014
Jorge Bolet, Vol. 2:
Ambassador from the Golden Age
56002-2 (6 CDs)
Arthur Rubinstein, during a visit to the Curtis Institute of Music in 1938, singled out just one young artist who was likely to achieve a major career, the 24-year-old Cuban pianist, Jorge Bolet, who already (like Rubinstein) had an inimitably beautiful piano tone. However, the confirmation of Rubinstein’s prediction was to be many decades in coming. In time for his 100th birthday on 15 November of this year, virtually all of Bolet’s commercial recordings will be available in CD boxed sets. Few of those commercial recordings gave Jorge Bolet either pleasure or satisfaction; only one in fact—the LP release of his 1974 Carnegie Hall recital. Bolet (arguably similar to Rubinstein) had a narrative power and visceral excitement when playing before an audience that he seldom achieved in the recording studio. To celebrate Bolet’s centennial, Marston will present a 6-CD collection of concert and broadcast performances. Many of these recordings were eagerly traded among the pianist’s friends and admirers— it was a commerce Bolet himself encouraged. Together with Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Chopin, the set will include works by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Schubert, and his teachers Abram Chasins and Leopold Godowsky (Fledermaus and Invitation to the Dance) - all new to the Bolet discography. The collection will also present broadcast performances from the 1930s and '40s, the earliest Bolet recordings ever released. Jorge Bolet was not the only pianist to have been called “the last romantic,” but he was the only one to have worn the appellation “an old-fashioned Romantic pianist” as a proud badge of honor. He frequently invoked the memories of the pantheon of pianists who were his inspiration—Hofmann, Rachmaninoff, Friedman, Rosenthal, Moiseiwitsch, Cortot, Gieseking, and Paderewski. He said simply, “I wanted to be one of them.” Here is a collection to prove he achieved that.
Partial sponsorship by Richard Childers, Peter Greenleaf, the International Piano Archives at Maryland, and Donald Manildi.