The pianist Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) recorded his core repertory for the Gramophone Company several times between 1923 and 1928, and then again several times later in life. Cortot habitually needed several sessions to produce one set of takes good enough to issue. However, some of the unissued takes have been turning up hidden as replacement sides in copies of the officially issued sets. From the 1926-28 sessions of Chopin Preludes, for example, in addition to the 1926 set issued on HMV DB 957-960, four test pressings from 1928 sessions are now held by the International Piano Archives at Maryland. Recently two more 1928 takes, a third already known from the IPAM pressings, and a further side from the 1927 sessions have turned up in the King's Sound Archive at King's College London on DB 957 and 958. Click here to download these four sides.
Check your copies
It is possible that other 'unissued' takes are waiting to be discovered among sets of Cortot's discs from this period. Owners of the discs are urged to check their matrix numbers to see whether they have anything unusual. A table of takes recorded through these years (pdf file) will show you what to look out for.
Please notify us of anything unusual that you find so that we can update both the table and the CHARM discography.