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NIKOLAJ ORLOFF (1892-1964)
Russian pianist



Nikolaj Orloff was a magnificent pianist of the turn-of-the-20th century school.  His playing, in the words of the inestimable gullivior, was "anti-virtuoso, intense, deeply poetic and romantic..."  To me he is a kind of Russian Cortot, a dramatic poet of the piano.

There is not much available to hear.  A number of Nikolaj Orloff's Chopin recordings made in the early 1960s shortly before his death, some early piano rolls, and a complete performance of the Tchaikovsky first piano concerto.  But it is enough to give us a good idea of the magnitude of the man's talent

For me, the real joy here is Orloff's Chopin, uniquely gorgeous and powerfully personal.  The Brahms, Scarlatti and Scriabin examples, albeit pianos rolls, show a very different and interesting side to him.  And then there is the Tchaikovsky concerto, a terrific performance with one of my favorite conductors.



Chopin Ballades

recorded in the early 1960s


1 in G minor, Op 23



4 in F minor, Op 52




Chopin Barcarolle in C minor, Op 60

recorded in the early 1960s




Chopin Impromptu 1 in A major, Op 29

recorded in the early 1960s




Chopin Mazurkas

recorded in the early 1960s


C minor, Op 50 n3
A minor, Op 59 n1 (5:16)



C minor, Op 63 n3
B minor, Op 24 n4 (2:12)



A minor, Op 67 n4
B minor, Op 30 n2 (2:46)
C minor, Op 30 n1 (4:17)
F minor, Op 7 n3 (6:03)




Chopin Nocturnes
5 in Fmajor, Op 15 n2
8 in D♭ major, Op 27 n2 (3:43)

recorded in the early 1960s




Chopin Preludes Op 28

recorded in the early 1960s


n° 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 16



n° 17 - 19 - 21 - 23




Chopin Waltzes


F major, Op 34 n3

recorded in 1946



C minor, Op 64 n2
A♭ major, Op 64 n3 (3:46)

recorded in the early 1960s



G major, Op 70 n1

Ampico piano roll




Chopin Étude in F major, Op 10 n8

Ampico piano roll recorded c 1927




Brahms Rhapsody in B minor Op 79 n1

1920s Ampico piano roll




Scarlatti Sonata in B minor (arr Pauer) and Capriccio in E major (arr Tausig)
Scriabin Etude in D major, Op 8 n10

1920s Ampico piano roll




Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 in B minor, Op 23
i Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito
ii Andantino simplice -- Prestissimo -- Tempo I
iii Allegro con fuoco

Anatole Fistoulari conducting The National Symphony Orchestra

recorded in the 1940s










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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