What surprised me was that I was prepared to like Friedman better, but wow - he really played that mazurka so differently, I'm not sure if I like it yet (takes me several listenings to know for sure) and lean toward liking Rosenthal on this one.
Well for my taste, it's Friedman all the way, although I have heard his recording of this particular mazurka (IMO one of the two or three most difficult) probably 50 times
The Rosenthal was relatively new to me, though I think I had heard it a few years back. It's certainly very original, though IMO a bit prissy and overelegant. Friedman I think has the right blend of masculinity and femininity, balancing those rather pointed barging accents against incredibly controlled dynamic shadings and tempo shifts (which could be seen as outrageous, but not over much IMO)
I used to say that I liked Kissin the most. Then I switched to Rubinstein, but unbeknownst to me , I was listening to all his mazurka recordings from his second go-around, and his first set is considered better. was listening to all his mazurka recordings from his second go-around, and his first set is considered better. George taught me that (thanks, George ). However again, now I've been listening to many others like these Rosenthal, Friedman, Smeterlin, and I'm changing my mind again
Haven't heard of Smeterlin. I'll have to check that out. At risk of dissenting with seemingly most of the world, I have to say that Rubinstein and Kissin both sicken me (in both cases, it always seems so ordinary yet oily and smarmy), though I guess it's not fair here because I haven't heard their mazurkas.
one more thing, Joe - which A-flat mazurka played by Friedman are you referring to?
Sorry, I wasn't clear above. I just meant the same mazurka that's in the link you dropped in, Op. 50, No. 2 (I'm pretty sure I'm thinking of Friedman's performance anyway