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Grieg, Chopin: Piano Concertos / Dinu Lipatti


Release Date: 03/12/2002 
Label:  Emi Classics Références Catalog #: 74802   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Edvard GriegFrédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti
Conductor:  Alceo GallieraOtto Ackermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraZurich Tonhalle Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A classic recording ever since it was issued in 1947, Lipatti's Grieg concerto still sounds fresh, eloquent, and exciting. His unique combination of warmth, precision, color, and natural, unaffected rhythmic élan is showcased especially in the finale, which is given a truly incandescent performance.

Dinu Lipatti’s studio recording of the Grieg Concerto has enjoyed “classic” status ever since it was issued in 1947. Despite the dated sonics, he and the Philharmonia still sound fresh, eloquent, and exciting, restoring faith in this much-abused and sometimes tired-sounding old warhorse. Lipatti’s unique combination of warmth, precision, color, and natural, unaffected rhythmic élan is showcased especially in
Read more the finale, which is given a truly incandescent performance. Kovacevich and Perahia may approach this level of playing and may enjoy superior sound, but if I had to take just one recording to a deserted fjord, it would have to be this one.

The other important reason to acquire this disc is for the live Chopin performances, drawn from a virtually flawless Zürich concert of February 7, 1950, the year of Lipatti’s death at 33 from leukemia. For years, we thought we knew this performance from an Angel LP (Seraphim 60007) that was ultimately proved to be instead by the Polish pianist Helena Czerny-Stefanska. Lipatti’s performance is alternately virile, poetic, ardent, and never in any way sickly, not even in the central section of the slow movement. As in the Grieg, his patrician pianism never calls attention to itself through over-projection or exaggerated rubato. But there is still much freedom, even in the more formulaic passages, and there are some unforgettably crystalline sounds in the short arpeggiated cadenza of the slow movement and some really fiery playing toward the end of the finale. The two etudes, played as encores after the concerto, are equally flawless—except for an occasional cough from the audience.

This recording—and EMI’s earlier reissues of Lipatti’s final recital (Besançon, September 16, 1950) and live performances of concertos of Bach, Liszt, and Bartók—prove that Lipatti’s all-round perfection as a musician was not something attained just in the recording studio under ideal circumstances. For readers new to his art, I recommend his Bach/Mozart/Scarlatti/Schubert (on EMIC 67003) and especially the 2-CD set from “Great Pianists of the 20th Century” (Philips 456 892-2). Lipatti’s Chopin was undoubtedly influenced in some tonal ways by his teacher, Alfred Cortot. But the purity of his more modern approach in this repertoire has, in my experience, only been equaled recently by Krystian Zimerman.

-- Charles Timbrell, FANFARE [9/2002]

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All that glitters is not gold; but all that is gold, glitters. If I were forced to sum up Dinu Lipatti’s life and achievements in one sentence, that would be it. He was the first post-modern pianist, the link between Schnabel, Rubinstein, and Cortot on the one hand and Gulda, Pollini, McDermott, and O’Conor on the other. His style combined old-world elegance and terraced dynamics with a new-world approach to structure and balance... The Grieg [concerto] with the Philharmonia Orchestra [is] equally classic, so convincing that it’s hard to get away from [the] combination of glittering technique and smoldering intensity...

-- Lynn René Bayley, FANFARE [3/2009, reviewing the Lipatti box set, EMI 07318]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1907; Norway 
Date of Recording: 09/1947 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 28 Minutes 48 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Conductor:  Otto Ackermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
Date of Recording: 02/07/1950 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 36 Minutes 32 Secs. 
3.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 25: no 5 in E minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1834; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 02/07/1950 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 5 in G flat major "Black Keys" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
Date of Recording: 02/07/1950 
Venue:  Live  Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto in A minor Op.16 (2001 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro molto moderato
Piano Concerto in A minor Op.16 (2001 Digital Remaster): II. Adagio
Piano Concerto in A minor Op.16 (2001 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato - Andante maestoso
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 (2001 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro maestoso risoluto
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 (2001 Digital Remaster): II. Romance (Larghetto)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 (2001 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Vivace)
E minor, Op. 25 No. 5 (from 27 Etudes Opp. 10, 25 and posth) (2001 Digital Remaster)
G flat (Black Keys) Op. 10 No. 5 from (27 Etudes Opp. 10, 25 and posth) (2001 Digital Remaster)

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