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Kissin Plays Chopin - The Verbier Festival Recital


Release Date: 01/09/2007 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 68668   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CHOPIN Polonaises: in c?, op. 26/1; in e?, op. 26/2; in c , op. 40/2; in A? , op. 53; Fantaisie-impromptu in c?, op. 66; Impromptus: in A? , op. 29; in F?, op.36; in G?, op. 51 Read more class="ARIAL12"> Evgeny Kissin (pn) RCA 68668 (56:58)


It’s startling to look at the cover photo of this new recital by Evgeny Kissin, recorded live on July 26, 2004, in Verbier, Switzerland, and to see that Kissin is, after more than a dozen years in the public eye, still a very young man. The wunderkind, now 25 years old, is an extraordinarily accomplished, confident pianist, powerful but also sensitive to the nuances and grace of Chopin’s music. After a burst of applause, the recital begins the thunderous opening chords of the Polonaise, op. 26/1. Almost immediately Kissin shades the sound, with a carefully planned diminuendo and a slowing of the tempo which some might feel is excessive. There’s something breath-taking, though, in Kissin’s control, in his ability to suggest both exuberance, and mystery, as we hear in the beginning of the Polonaise, op. 26/2, without sacrificing the lyricism that appears elsewhere in the music. It is partially the range of dynamics, partially the confidence with which Kissin uses rubato. I suppose that at this point it is the brilliance of the playing that is most impressive. His is a heroic style, and not only on the Polonaise, op. 53, with which the recital comes to an exuberant end. The sound is excellent, putting us at a slight distance from the piano and a slightly lengthier distance from the occasional cougher.


Of course there are dozens of recordings of these pieces that are worth hearing. (Kissin himself has previously recorded op. 53.) I have often praised the majestic Rubinstein performances, and note that Pollini’s op. 26/2 has even more mystery and drama than we hear in Kissin. I suspect that is because Kissin is playing out to a live audience. Less well known, perhaps, is the zestful op. 53 by Solomon, recorded in 1933, or the various wonderfully succinct performances by Moravec. I wish that Lipatti had survived to record all these works, as did the likes of Ashkenazy, and, slightly less satisfyingly, Garrick Ohlsson.


FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

1.
Impromptu for Piano no 1 in A flat major, B 110/Op. 29 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/26/2004 
Venue:  Live  Médran Hall, Verbier, Switzerland 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
2.
Impromptu for Piano no 2 in F sharp major, B 129/Op. 36 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/26/2004 
Venue:  Live  Médran Hall, Verbier, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Impromptu for Piano no 3 in G flat major, b 149/Op. 51 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/26/2004 
Venue:  Live  Médran Hall, Verbier, Switzerland 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 
4.
Impromptu for Piano no 4 in C sharp minor, B 87/Op. 66 "Fantaisie-Impromptu" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/26/2004 
Venue:  Live  Médran Hall, Verbier, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 51 Secs. 
5.
Polonaises (2) for Piano, Op. 40: no 2 in C minor, B 121 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/26/2004 
Venue:  Live  Médran Hall, Verbier, Switzerland 
Length: 8 Minutes 50 Secs. 
6.
Polonaise for Piano in A flat major, B 147/Op. 53 "Heroic" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/26/2004 
Venue:  Live  Médran Hall, Verbier, Switzerland 
Length: 7 Minutes 19 Secs. 
7.
Polonaises (2) for Piano, B 90/Op. 26 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Evgeni Kissin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834-1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/26/2004 
Venue:  Live  Médran Hall, Verbier, Switzerland 
Length: 18 Minutes 38 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Polonaise in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 26, No. 1
Polonaise in E-Flat Minor, Op. 26, No. 2
Impromptu in A-Flat Major, Op. 29
Impromptu in F-Sharp Major, Op. 36
Impromptu in G-Flat Major, Op. 51
Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66
Polonaise in C Minor, Op. 40, No. 2
Polonaise in A-Flat Major, Op. 53

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