Chopin / Fantasy-Impromptu – An Undiscovered Gem from 1966

The subtitle of the album reads Philippe Entremont Plays Best-Loved Piano Pieces.

After hearing this one as well as another exceptionally good sounding copy, we would like to amend that to Philippe Entremont Plays the Hell Out of These Best-Loved Piano Pieces.

Truly this is an undiscovered gem from Columbia in 1966.

Side two of this copy blew our minds with its nearly White Hot Stamper sound. Musically and sonically this record is nothing short of amazing. Who knew Columbia could record a piano this well? You could play fifty vintage piano recordings and not find one as good as this!

Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Debussy, Gershwin — these shorter pieces and excerpts were composed by those with the greatest gift for melody, men who have produced works that stand the test of time, enchanting audiences over the centuries with works of great beauty and charm.

Side Two

It’s clear and clean and solid, yet big, rich and warm the way a piano really sounds in recital. There is no trace of smear on the transients whatsoever.

The transparency is simply amazing — you are there! There aren’t many solo piano recordings that sound this right. When you hear one it’s shocking how good it can be.

The extended top results in lovely space and harmonic extension. The dynamic contrasts in these works are captured like few piano recordings we have ever heard.

Side One

With a huge, rich, open sounding piano. Lovely warm tone too. Though not the best we heard (hence the grade), the sound here is still good enough to beat practically any solo piano record you are likely to own. Let us know if it doesn’t!


Side One

Chopin – Fantasie-Impromptu
Liszt – Liebestraum
Debussy – Golliwog’s Cake-Walk
Tchaikovsky – Song Without Words
Daquin – Le Coucou
Debussy – Clair de Lune

Side Two

Rachmaninoff – Prelude
Mendelssohn – Scherzo
Chopin – Nocturne
Albeniz – Sevilla
Gershwin – Prelude No. 2

Artist Biography by Joseph Stevenson

As a pianist Philippe Entremont is recognized for his performances in the early 20th century repertory and music of the Classical era. Yet, he also has performed and recorded the concertos of the major Romantic composers, as well as conducting orchestral works from the same periods.

Entremont’s father was a conductor, who, when Philippe was a boy, was conductor at the Strasbourg Opera. Philippe’s mother was a pianist, who gave him his first lessons. He studied with Marguerite Long, then in 1944 he went to study at the Paris Conservatory with Jean Doyen. At the age of 12, Entremont won the Harriet Cohen Piano Medal. At the Conservatory he won the first prizes in solfège when he was 12, in chamber music when he was 15, and in piano when he was 16.

He made his professional debut in 1951 in Barcelona and began touring in Europe. He made his American debut on January 5, 1953, with the National Orchestral Association, Jacques Barzun conducting. He became particularly well-known for his interpretations of music by such composers as Milhaud, Stravinsky, Jolivet, and Bernstein. He has appeared as a pianist on five continents in practically every major musical center and with the great orchestras for the world. He also appeared in chamber music presentations, frequently with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal.