Thanks for your kind words! Yes, it is an amazing etude. Unlike Chopin who preferred to feature a particular element of technique in an etude, Catoire included very diverse problems of technique in this Etude-fantastique. For that reason it was a tall challenge for me, but I'm glad I persevered and recorded it.
On the 6 weeks learning time, it's quite hard to estimate, as I was practicing another piece in conjunction with the etude, thus splitting my time between the two. Toward the end, I was actually making better progress on the etude, so temporarily dropped the companion piece to focus on the etude alone. So I can't be too precise in the matter given the time allocations. The 6 weeks might be fairly accurate, but I'd feel safe using 7 weeks as the outermost estimate. I can tell you that when I practice, I am always focused, concentrating deeply, and efficient in my approaches. Because my practice time is limited, I try hard not to waste a moment of it. I was very inspired by this piece, determined to conquer it, and loved practicing it. So I surprised myself once it was ready to record. I'll probably revisit it sometime in the future, as there are some other things I'd like to try with it. No piece is ever truly finished.
I contributed most of the Bortkiewicz recordings here at Piano Society. I had good intentions of continuing on, but became fascinated with Catoire, so have been surveying that repertoire more recently. I will be revisiting Bortkiewicz for sure, and may eventually get to a few of the etudes. Yes, the Op. 15, No. 8 is so incredibly beautiful, isn't it? The Diaz video is good, but you might like the Koji Attwood video even more, plus he performs three other etudes in addition to No. 8. Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui5RxiKKhRo
Thanks again for listening to my recording.