Notes & Reviews:
This 17CD set is the third Chopin Edition by Brilliant Classics, an all-time favorite of one of the most popular and universally loved composers of all times. The piano works of the Polish master touch the heart chords of every listener and music lover around the world, they speak the universal language of beauty, melancholy, tenderness and passion. This third Edition is also the best: it contains no less than 7 new recordings and several new licensed recordings. New recordings are: Etudes (Alessandro Deljavan, one of the most extraordinary performances ever recorded), Waltzes (Alessandro Deljavan), Piano Sonatas 2 & 3, Preludes, Ballades, Impromptus (Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy, wonderfully idiomatic, "Fanciful, illuminating, stimulating and compelling" Classics today), Mazurkas (Rem Urasin). The piano concertos are played by Ewa Kupiec, the other works for piano and orchestra by Abbey Simon. The Nocturnes are played by Earl Wild ("silvery, deeply felt"), the Scherzi by Ivan Moravec, one of the best Chopin recordings by the Czech master. The master of the piano must surely be Frédéric Chopin. Every one of his compositions includes the piano in some form, yet within his oeuvre there is still an exciting variety of music to be found. Chopin made the solo piano form into an art, extensively developing various styles - including the piano sonata, waltz, polonaise and impromptu - and heavily popularizing others for the first time, such as the Polish mazurka, the form he often chose to express his nationalism. Chopin straddled the divide between the Classical and Romantic worlds, and the changes that took place in his writing is clear to see on an authoritative edition such as this one. His masterful études remain less virtuosic than those of his contemporaries, such as Liszt; the emphasis is still on the technical aspect, and they reveal Chopin's supreme talent for the piano, as a performer as well as a composer. His waltzes were the first to move away from pieces composed for dancing; rather, they were designed to be performed in salons, and therefore gave the potential for a faster tempo and freer sense of rhythm. Never fading from popularity, Chopin has long been regarded as a symbol of Romanticism, appreciated both in his own lifetime and in the years since his death. This release features a mixture of consummate Chopin performers and new artists. Rem Urasin, the 1992 winner of the Moscow Chopin Competition, plays Chopin's complete mazurkas. He is one of a number of well-known pianists featured on this collection; Earl Wild, who performs the nocturnes, was previously praised for conveying a "convincing dark foreboding" by MusicWeb for his performance of the Nocturne in C sharp minor KK Anh.la No.6. EwaKupiecis joined by the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra for Chopin's piano concertos; the Polish pianist feels a special connection with Chopin, and celebrated his 200th birthday with three specially selected Chopin recital programmes. Also shining a light on Chopin's orchestral music is renowned American pianist Abbey Simon, whose 1999 all-Chopin recital in Carnegie Hall was praised by the New York Times for mixing "architectural clarity" with a "free-spirited quality". These experienced Chopin performers are joined by newer artists, such as Alessandro Deljavan, whose prize-winning performance of Chopin's études were praised by the New York Concert Review as 'beautiful'. Brilliant Classics is proud to offer a new release to add to its growing collection of authoritative composer editions. An excellent gift idea for any lover of Romantic piano music: it spans the length of Chopin's illustrious career, and celebrates the best of his innovative and enchanting music.
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