P0025. IVAN MORAVEC: Debussy Recital. (Japan) Vox Cum Laude MCD 10003, Recorded April 1-2, w.elaborate 11pp. Brochure. Very Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 04716300032
“Ivan Moravec, a Czech pianist who earned a reputation as one of the greatest interpreters of Chopin largely through recordings that had penetrated the Iron Curtain, studied in master classes with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and made his British début in 1959 and his American one in 1962. In 1964, he was invited by the conductor George Szell to appear with the Cleveland Orchestra in New York, but the two quarreled over which piano he would play and how to interpret a Beethoven concerto. He did not appear in New York again for four years.
Under the Communist government, the state-controlled concert agency only grudgingly promoted Mr. Moravec’s work because he was not a party member. Still, his recordings were heard and in 1999, he became one of 72 musicians - and the only Czech - featured on the Philips Records collection ‘Great Pianists of the 20th Century’. In 2000, a decade after the Communist regime was deposed, the new Czech government awarded him the Charles IV Prize for achievement in science, literature or the arts.
He began taking piano lessons at 7 and studied at the Prague Conservatory with Erna Grünfeld (niece of the Austrian pianist Alfred Grünfeld).
When classical music critics for the TIMES selected their favorite Chopin recordings in 2010 to celebrate the bicentennial of that composer’s birth, Steve Smith chose Mr. Moravec’s ‘Nocturnes’ for its ‘extraordinary dynamic shading and gracious shaping of each gemlike work’. Mr. Moravec himself thought highly of his recordings. He liked to record his performances - of his beloved Chopin, Debussy and Mozart - and, after playing them back, would say, ‘Now I have my piano lesson’.”
- Sam Roberts, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 30 July, 2015