"Having received Alice Sara Ott’s new recording of the Complete Waltzes on DG it seemed logical enough to compare her approach with Garrick Ohlsson’s. I came to the conclusion that her approach sought to present the pieces as Chopin might have played them himself, or at least would have appreciated hearing them – no doubt with a few helpful suggestions to add to a very fine recording indeed. By contrast, Ohlsson’s playing is more that of the concert hall than the drawing room, projecting all over the place and delivering a more steely touch. This is a case of swings and roundabouts, and my Libran nature finds it hard to come down either way in stating a preference for one over the other. Ohlsson is more butch, but has his ownRead more subtleties of contrast and touch, and certainly gives more of a feel of these as dances as well as piano pieces, whipping up a whirling storm wherever possible. As with the Études he manages to balance that line between rubatoid romanticism, beauty of touch and directness of musical message in lovely pieces such as Op.34 No.2. Pieces such as the famous ‘Minute’ Waltz Op. 64 No.1 and others which Chopin seems to have written with the intent of hearing the pianist trip up or the music to roll headlong down a steep hill such as Op.42 are never overcooked by Ohlsson, and he precipitates reams of notes with absolute control and impeccable phrasing, as well as providing considerable excitement at times. All the old favourites are played with a lovely touch, and this is a recording which, while perhaps on occasion more of the forceful and masculine school of Chopin, will live happily amongst others as one of the best."
-- Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International Read less
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