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Chopin: Four Scherzos, Etc / Nikolai Demidenko


Release Date: 03/08/2005 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55181   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolai Demidenko
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Whatever your feeling about Nikolai Demidenko's musical judgement, this Chopin recital leaves no doubt as to his exceptional fingers. Besides great brilliance he has a wide and varied tonal palette, and a beautiful way of making the piano sing. Small wonder he could not resist the a ci darem la mono Variations (in his own revision of the Mikuli edition) by way of grand finale. Both this legendary showpiece of the composer's youth and the still earlier Schweizerbub Variations also reveal him as no mere mechanicus but a player of exuberant imagination.

His immediacy of response gives the four Scherzi a vividness all his own—just now and again perhaps too much of his own. In No. 1 in B minor he is surely wrong to take the sting
Read more out of the two opening chords (marked fortissimo and sforzando), and again on their return just before the reprise, in the strange belief that "you can contradict Chopin's loud dynamics, you can reverse his decibellic priorities, without damaging his intentions", as Demidenko puts it in his lengthy booklet-note. In the same work I also thought his slowing-up for the sad little phrase that ends the first section (first heard in track 2 from 0'36" to 0'47") somewhat excessive in view of its many returns. And exquisitely as he plays the Sleep, little Jesus melody surely this central trio section of the work is disproportionately slow. In the Second Scherzo he favours a very ruminative start to the trio before mounting to a climax just a bit too agitato for clarity. I enjoyed his imaginatively varied 'scoring' of the chorale theme in the third Scherzo even if he over-relaxes tension on its poignant return in a minor key. And even if the nostalgic C sharp minor melody in the middle of the last Scherzo occasionally seems to lose its way, his aerial grace and charm elsewhere are a delight. In sum an arresting recital despite its few small idiosyncracies, excellently recorded.

-- J.O.C., Gramophone [1/1992] Reviewing original Hyperion release
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Works on This Recording

1.
Scherzo for Piano no 1 in B minor, B 65/Op. 20 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolai Demidenko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831-1832; Poland 
Length: 10 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Notes: Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (12/05/1989 - 12/06/1989); Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (05/29/1990 - 05/30/1990) 
2.
Scherzo for Piano no 2 in B flat minor/D flat major, B 111/Op. 31 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolai Demidenko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
Length: 10 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (12/05/1989 - 12/06/1989); Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (05/29/1990 - 05/30/1990) 
3.
Scherzo for Piano no 3 in C sharp minor, B 125/Op. 39 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolai Demidenko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Mallorca (Majorca),  
Length: 7 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (12/05/1989 - 12/06/1989); Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (05/29/1990 - 05/30/1990) 
4.
Scherzo for Piano no 4 in E major, B 148/Op. 54 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolai Demidenko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Length: 10 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (12/05/1989 - 12/06/1989); Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (05/29/1990 - 05/30/1990) 
5.
Introduction and Variations in E major on a German Air, B 14 "Der Schweizerbub" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolai Demidenko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Poland 
Length: 6 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (12/05/1989 - 12/06/1989); Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (05/29/1990 - 05/30/1990) 
6.
Variations for Piano and Orchestra in B flat major on Mozart's "Là ci darem", Op. 2 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Nikolai Demidenko (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Poland 
Length: 15 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: On this selection Nikolai Demidenko plays his own revision of Karol Mikuli's edition of this work.
Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (12/05/1989 - 12/06/1989); Snape Maltings, Suffolk, England (05/29/1990 - 05/30/1990) 

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