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Chopin: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 / Zimerman, Giulini


Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 415970   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It was an eminently sensible decision to couple Zimerman's previously separate Chopin concertos on a single CD. The Ax/Ormandy/RCA disc is the only rival as a coupling, so let me say at once that in different moods I would be equally happy with either. The main difference, I think, is the actual sound. From DG we get a closer, riper sonority, with Zimerman's piano much more forwardly placed. Both orchestra and piano are more distanced on the RCA recording, especially Ax's piano. This, together with Ax's lighter, more translucent semiquaver figuration (and sometimes his greater willingness to stand back and merely accompany—as in certain episodes in the F minor Concerto's finale) often conjures up visions of Chopin himself at the keyboard, Read more and we know he was often criticized for insufficiently strong projection. From an interpretative viewpoint, it's usually a matter of roundabouts and swings. In the E minor work, for instance, we get a slightly more flowing Romanze from Ax, and a slightly more propulsive finale from Zimerman. Orchestral honours are similarly divided, with Giulini extracting an exceptionally rich cantabile from his American orchestra.

In the E minor Concerto alone, I prefer Zimerman to the urgent (and in rubato sometimes temperamentally impulsive) Argerich (also DG), spirited and characterful as she is in this old 1969 performance. Competition is stronger in the F minor Concerto, from the volatile Schiff (Decca), always on the look-out for new points of emphasis, and he's splendidly partnered by the concertgebouw and Dorati. But if it's the two works together that you want, well there's plenty in these youthful Zimerman reissues to explain why he won the 1975 Chopin Contest when still in his teens.'

Joan Chissell, Gramophone [9/1986]
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano no 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Krystian Zimerman (Piano)
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
Date of Recording: 11/1978 
Venue:  Live  Music Center, Los Angeles 
Length: 40 Minutes 14 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Piano no 2 in F minor, B 43/Op. 21 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Krystian Zimerman (Piano)
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1830; Poland 
Date of Recording: 11/1979 
Venue:  Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles 
Length: 31 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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