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Homage to Chopin / Antony Cooke, Armin Watkins

Album Summary

>Chopin, Frédéric : Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, B 160/Op. 65
>Chopin, Frédéric : Introduction and Polonaise for Cello and Piano in C major, Op. 3
>Chopin, Frédéric : Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9
>Chopin, Frédéric : Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 152/Op. 55
>Chopin, Frédéric : Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10
>Chopin, Frédéric : Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 25
>Chopin, Frédéric : Nocturne for Piano in E minor, B 19/Op. 72 no 1
>Chopin, Frédéric : Grand Duo for Cello and Piano in E major, B 70 "Robert le Diable"
Performers Composer


Reviews

Sumptuous Chopin!
A CD (Homage to Chopin) featuring all the known works of Chopin for cello & piano, together with some additional 'legitimate' transcriptions is a rarity indeed. To find one played with such style and warmth, virtuosity and flair another thing entirely, but in this recording these qualities exist in spades. And the recorded sound is exactly what the music calls for, with its ringing warmth and telling depth. While a few moments of imprecision in ensemble can be detected, they do not detract from the overall authenticity of the readings. The performers seem to be at one with the composer and all he stood for in his music. The cello sound is deep, dark and luminous, and sumptuous overall. The piano rings with all the depth and resonance one would expect from a concert grand in a large space. Perhaps the famous sonata is the grandest statement here. Written late in life when the composer finally had mastered form and large-scale structures, it stands as a unique tribute to his life. In this performance, particularly effective are the opening exposition, the transcending third movement and the frequently misunderstood fourth movement. Their power and beauty speak beyond normal terms. The Introduction and Polonaise Brilliante would seem to have found its definitive recorded version, with revisions clearly sanctioned by the composer himself, having been suggested by Franchomme, his close cellist friend. A few astounding high points will almost take you out of your chair! The Grand Duo, written in conjunction with Franchomme, is a truly unusual piece, and sometimes considered hard to play coherently, but it is stunningly realized here. The performers seem completely at ease with the technically frequent awkward and lopsided writing, but this often criticized piece proves its worth decisively. No less authentic are the two etudes, transcribed by Glazounov. These are so well done that one would swear they were by the composer himself; the performances of these are amongst the finest on the CD. Other included smaller pieces (three nocturnes) are some the most lovingly conceived items on the program. Gorgeous music!
Submitted on 04/15/10 by Peter Ripley 
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Works Details

>Chopin, Frédéric : Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, B 160/Op. 65
  • Performers: Antony Cooke (Cello); Armin Watkins (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1845-1846

>Chopin, Frédéric : Introduction and Polonaise for Cello and Piano in C major, Op. 3
  • Performers: Antony Cooke (Cello); Armin Watkins (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1829-1830

>Chopin, Frédéric : Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9 :: no 2 in E flat major
  • Performers: Antony Cooke (Cello); Armin Watkins (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1830-1831

>Chopin, Frédéric : Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 152/Op. 55 :: no 2 in E flat major
  • Performers: Antony Cooke (Cello); Armin Watkins (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1843

>Chopin, Frédéric : Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10 :: no 6 in E flat minor
  • Performers: Antony Cooke (Cello); Armin Watkins (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Chopin, Frédéric : Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 25 :: no 7 in C sharp minor
  • Performers: Antony Cooke (Cello); Armin Watkins (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1832-1836

>Chopin, Frédéric : Nocturne for Piano in E minor, B 19/Op. 72 no 1
  • Performers: Antony Cooke (Cello); Armin Watkins (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1827

>Chopin, Frédéric : Grand Duo for Cello and Piano in E major, B 70 "Robert le Diable"
  • Performers: Antony Cooke (Cello); Armin Watkins (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1832