Notes and Editorial Reviews
The required calling card of any pianist-composer in the 1820s and '30s was a virtuosic piano piece accompanied by an orchestra. When the 21-year-old Chopin arrived in Paris in the fall of 1831, he had several such compositions under his arm, including the Concerto in E Minor (which, although the first of his two concertos to be published, was composed after the Concerto in F Minor) and the already heralded Variations (which had inspired Robert Schumann to remark, "Hats off, gentlemen--a genius.").
With this recording, acclaimed Chopin interpreter Emanuel Ax (whom some may recall for providing the actual piano sound to the pantomimed playing of Hugh Grant's Chopin character in the film "Impromptu") ventures into new territory by
performing on a piano from Chopin's era, an 1851 Erard grand. The performances are a wonderful revelation: when Ax moves from a low piano register to a high one, it sounds like he's changing instruments, so striking are the individual registers of a mid-19th-century piano. This recording makes one hear Chopin with fresh ears--truly an accomplishment for a composer whose pieces are performed so often. Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano no 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11 by Frédéric Chopin
Emanuel Ax (Fortepiano)
Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Written: 1830; Poland
Date of Recording: 05/1998
Venue: Henry Wood Hall, London, England
Length: 39 Minutes 23 Secs.
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