Tuesday, May 23, 2017
From the Lebrecht Album of the Week: …This is what makes Shai Wosner’s new release so frustrating. A fabulous pianist, incapable of touching an ugly note, Wosner interleaves miniatures of Schubert with matching — at times, surprising — snips by Dvorak, Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Gershwin and Charles Ives. I enjoyed the record first time round. I revelled in the connections, especially Ives, on second hearing. But now I am poleaxed by the question of where to put this record once it leaves my desk. Seriously, it’s a problem. How will I ever find ‘Impromptu’ again when I need it to compare with some other release? If you have a solution, do let me know…. Full review here. And here. And here.
Szymon Nehring was declared winner tonight of the 15th Artur Rubinstein Competition in Israel. In addition to the $40,000 first prize, he won five other supplementary awards. In second place was the Romanian, Daniel Petrica Ciobanu. Third was the American finalist, Sara Daneshpour. Aged 21, Nehring is regarded as Poland’s finest young pianist. In the 2015 Chopin competition in Warsaw, he came sixth.
I reviewed earlier volumes of this pianist’s interpretation of the music of Chopin. Now we can enjoy volume 3. Chopin Recital, Vol. 3 features the following works: Polonaise No. 7 in A flat major, Op. 61 ‘Polonaise-fantaisie’ Nocturne No. 3 in B major, Op. 9 No. 3 Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2 Impromptu No. 3 in G flat major, Op. 51 Waltz No. 10 in B minor, Op. 69 No. 2 Waltz No. 5 in A flat major, Op. 42 Scherzo No. 4 in E major, Op. 54 Prelude Op. 28 No. 14 in E flat minor Prelude Op. 28 No. 15 in D flat major ‘Raindrop’ Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 All performed by Janina Fialkowska (piano) On December 15, 1842, Frederic Chopin wrote to Breitkopf and Haertel, his publishers in Leipzig, Germany, offering them a newly composed Ballade and a Scherzo, and mentioning a new Impromptu. The pieces involved were the 4th Scherzo, the 4th Ballade, and the 3rd Impromptu, without a doubt three of the composer’s greatest works. Janina Fialkowska’s third Chopin Recital album is built around these late works. Also included is Chopin’s final major work, the Polonaise-Fantaisie, a piece which stirs up wild and wishful speculations over the direction in which his compositional genius was heading before his fragile life came to its tragically premature end. Here is Ms. Fialkowska in several of Chopin Nocturnes:
The Swiss-Chinese pianist Louis Schwizgebel performed music by Franck, Chopin and Berlioz in a concert dedicated to the late Louis Frémaux, principal conductor of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Fabien Gabel
Steven Osborne: "The only thing I've played in the last 20 years by Chopin is the Cello Sonata. I enjoyed doing it, but it was hard work finding my way into the style: I worked out what gestures were going to work and did my best to make it organic. With the music I love playing I don't have to think in those terms because the gestures come immediately from the feeling I have about the piece. Some day I might suddenly fall in love with Chopin - but the world doesn't really need another Chopin pianist." (He doesn't have much use for Haydn, either.)
Perspectives: Hélène Grimaud Bach, J S: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier I, BWV846-869 (excerpts) Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances for piano, Sz. 56, BB 68 Brahms: Waltz, Op. 39 No. 15 in A flat major Chopin: Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57 Prelude Op. 28 No. 15 in D flat major ‘Raindrop’ Debussy: Préludes – Book 1: No. 10, La cathédrale engloutie Liszt: Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este (Années de pèlerinage III, S. 163 No. 4) Prelude and Fugue in a minor, BWV 543 (J.S. Bach), S. 462/1 Sgambati: Melodie from Gluck’s ‘Orfeo ed Euridice’ Ms. Grimaud also plays individual movements from solo works and concertos by JS Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninov and Schumann. All performed by Hélène Grimaud (piano) For each successive Deutsche Grammophon release to date, pianist Helene Grimaud has created carefully considered (and occasionally provocative) contexts. For Hélène, this collection is a retrospective offering new perspectives through a very personal choice of repertoire which creates enlightening new echoes between works. From Bach to Rachmaninov, Mozart to Chopin, Hélène Grimaud’s own selection of highlights from her albums reflects her artistic journey through the piano’s most famous solo and concerto repertoire in a series of interpretations that never fail to offer new perspectives on even the most familiar music.
Frédéric François Chopin (22 February 1810 / 1 March - 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and music teacher, of French-Polish parentage. He was one of the great masters of Romantic music. Chopin is also known as "The poet of the Piano". Chopin was born in ?elazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his musical education there. Following the Russian suppression of the Polish November 1830 Uprising, Chopin settled in Paris as part of the Polish Great Emigration. He supported himself as a composer and piano teacher, giving few public performances. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39. Most of Chopin's works involve the piano. They are technically demanding but emphasize nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the musical form known as the instrumental ballade and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu and prélude.
Great composers of classical music