I don't do vinyl, but I assume you know where to look for it, so see if you can find Chopin's Nocturnes -- they should meet your end-of-the-day needs. I enjoy Artur Rubinstein's performances on RCA.
15 responses Add your response
Alfred Cortot playing Chopin's fourteen waltzes.
It was originally put out by Angel in 1957 on their Great Recordings of the Century series, with a nice booklet as well. These are from a 1934 original recording so the sound is not up to current standards but the playing is unrivalled in my opinion. It was later redone by Seraphim sometime after his death in 1962.
For your specific purpose (chilling out after work), I second the Rubenstein Chopin Nocturnes with (almost) a money-back guarantee.
Debussy is another excellent place to go. Anything by Arrau on Phillips (fine recordings), Paul Jacobs on Nonesuch, Michelini on DG.
A lessor known treat is Reinbert de Leeuw doing Satie on Phillips. Superb sound. Some people don't like de Leeuw's Satie because he plays very slowly (and this is also only early Satie, though it's some of the best Satie). I find it hypnotic. Available on 3 individual Lps or in a box.
Charles Koechlin's Les Heures Persanes (The Persian Hours) is one of the great lesser-known piano masterworks, in an hypnotic, almost hallucinatory vein, brilliantly played by Herbert Henck and stunning recorded by Wergo. For me, this was a "must-have" when I got back into vinyl a year or so ago.
I love this kind of stuff, and the list goes on. I found all of these, sooner or later, on Ebay or via Irvmusic.com.
Good luck, and enjoy. Should lead to many hours of listening pleasure.
Its not piano, but down the Satie road, "Sketches of Satie" by Steve Hackett is great to mellow to and very hypnotic as well. Hackett used to play guitar for the progressive rock group Genesis back in their 70's heyday and is a very accomplished classical guitarist as well. He plays acoustic guitar and his brother John plays flute in this recording. Highly recommended.
I like the Arrau Chopin recordings as well, and just found them all on LP not long ago. One of my very favorite pianists who I see no one has mentioned yet on this thread is Alicia deLarrocha. Wonderful Spanish pianist who had a very long career, in fact was still playing as recently as three or four years ago. Made lots of wonderful recordings of a very wide variety of rep.
My other very favorite would be Alfred Brendel. Pretty much anything by him is guaranteed to be a wonderful musical experience as well. I wish I could find a complete set of his early recordings of the Beethoven piano works on LP, but that's very hard to come by, especially for a decent price.
Learsfool, I recently got hold of both the US Vox early Brendel Beethoven sonatas and the Intercord/FSM version from Europe. I haven't properly cleaned or compared them yet. I got the US version from Irvmusic.com. Very nice people. I just called and asked if they had them, and they did (and may have more--they have a huge collection). The EU Brendel box I got from 33rpm.de, a German 2nd hand Lp dealer that is terrific, and fairly reasonable in prices (seems to me). Great source of interesting material. (Actually, I think I got a 2nd copy of the EU set from Ebay...they can be found...)
I'd like to send another big "thanks" to everyone who gave suggestions. I received an order yesterday with two LP's suggested on this thread - Nojima Plays Revel (RR label) and Rubenstein's Chopin: Preludes Op. 28 (RCA). While these are both excellent renderings, I especially like the Nojima LP ... very well recorded, relaxing, with great piano work. This is just what the doctor ordered. It's a great start and I'll probably pick up 2 or 3 albums. The Rubenstein piece (though not exactly as recommended) is quite nice in a general sense. It is reminiscent of an excellent CD recording I picked up as a result of another A-gon posting that discussed great piano work: