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Grand Chopin / Jani, Mertanin, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra

Chopin / Mertanen / Turku Po / Telaranta
Release Date: 07/10/2012 
Label:  Alba   Catalog #: 335   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Janne Mertanin
Conductor:  Telaranta Jani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CHOPIN Krakowiak. Andante spianato and Grande polonaise brillante. Fantasy on Polish Airs. Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” Janne Mertanen (pn); Jani Telaranta, cond; Turku PO ALBA 335 (SACD: 58: 33)


Here is a disc of slightly different Chopin: not only some different pieces than you are used to (including the unusual early Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” and the Fantasy on Polish Read more Airs ), but also a different approach to Chopin performance. Pianist Janne Mertanen has a delicate, almost pearl-like sound, he plays this music with only a minimum of rubato, and the orchestra as conducted by Jani Telaranta pursues an equally objective musical line, looking neither left nor right but always straight ahead in its pursuit of the end music. Does this sound like dull Chopin? I assure you it is not. For all his delicacy in the soft passages, for example the Andante spianato , Mertanen can also play with considerable power and élan in the Grande polonaise and other such music, and conductor Telaranta understands the meaning of creating drama in this music. I am not quite prepared, for instance, to proclaim Mertanen’s performance of the Andante spianato and Grande polonaise the equal of Ian Hobson’s superb playing in the piano-only version (Zephyr 137-10), but it is very good in its own right.


The Don Giovanni variations are extremely clever, the introduction, in fact, alluding to the theme very slightly without giving it away; and, after its statement, the variants are exceptionally brilliant, both from a technical as well as a musical standpoint. Here, in fact, Mertanen and Telaranta are very much in their element. This performance is good enough to convince the listener, especially in the dramatic, minor-key passages, that Chopin knew and understood Beethoven even if he only modeled his music on him occasionally.


This is an interesting disc whose performances will grab your attention as well as delight you.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1. Variations for Piano and Orchestra in B flat major on Mozart's "Là ci darem", Op. 2 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Janne Mertanin (Piano)
Conductor:  Telaranta Jani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Poland 
2. Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in F major, Op. 14 "Krakowiak" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Janne Mertanin (Piano)
Conductor:  Telaranta Jani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Poland 
3. Andante spianato et Grand polonaise brillante in E flat major, Op. 22 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Janne Mertanin (Piano)
Conductor:  Telaranta Jani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Vienna, Austria 

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