Album detail
Catalogue number: SU 4290-2

In November 2020, Supraphon released the largest ever anniversary compilation (11 CDs + DVD) of Ivan Moravec's recor­dings. The box-set received wonderful reviews in Gramophone and Pizzicato.

The Gramophone review
„That wonderful Czech pianist Ivan Moravec would have celebrated his 90th birthday this past November (he died in 2015 at the age of 84). Moravec cited Michelangeli as a significant influence (he’d been briefly taught by him), and throughout the length and breadth of Supraphon’s re­presentative and generally fine-sounding 11-CD tribute – which additionally includes a DVD of concertos by Prokofiev, Mozart and Ravel plus solo Beethoven and a documentary – you sense the great Italian looking watchfully over Moravec’s shoulder, urging what is most obviously manifest in his playing, namely a maximum refinement of tone, immaculate articulation, subtle rubato, sculpted phrase-shaping, carefully graded dynamics and a refusal to indulge in musically inappropriate virtuoso display. A trio of Mozart concertos (K449, 488 and 503) under Josef Vlach is fairly typical, K488’s central movement a rapt Adagio rather than the optional, more flowing Andante (ie Horowitz and Giulini, DG), the finale of K503 awash with colour (the same work is also featured on the DVD). Chopin Preludes and Mazurkas allow us gnomic glimpses into the inner sanctum of Moravec’s rich musical imagination, whereas Ballades and Scherzos provide a comprehensive overview of Chopin’s muse on a grander scale, and his Beethoven – various sonatas and the Third and Fourth Concertos – is deeply expressive, the opening of the Fourth (under Turnovský) malleable, dreamlike, almost impressionistic. Moravec’s Debussy conveys a wealth of varied moods with maximum finesse. Ravel, Franck, Brahms, Schumann, Smetana and Janáček are greeted with nourishing levels of perception, Brahms’s First Concerto recorded in Dallas under Eduardo Mata lightening both the mood and texture of a work that can sometimes sound overbearing. A truly fabulous set, then, one that will edify, stimulate and satisfy.“

Rob Cowan

The Pizzicato review
„Chopin’s music becomes the greatest art under Moravec’s fingers. Leos Janacek’s idi­osyncratic works are presented here in absolute reference recordings, as are César Franck’s Prélude, choral et fugue and Debussy’s Images, Estampes, Children’s Corner or Préludes, works that it is hard to play better, more beautifully or more clearly. In any case, there is a lot to discover or rediscover in this box. For the Beethoven, Debussy and Chopin recordings alone, this Moravec box, produced in excellent sound quality, belongs on every CD shelf.“

Alain Steffen

Read the full review here:

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