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Notes and Editorial Reviews
"‘The Great Polonaises’ disc presents, as its title would suggest, a selection of Chopin’s best works in this genre, a type of piece which had developed from a popular rural dance to a form demanded in aristocratic ballrooms and, as far as Chopin was concerned, far beyond. The fantastic and sometimes epic material which Chopin invested in these pieces is played with grand style by Ohlsson, with fine resonant energy and pregnant pauses in the Polonaise in E flat minor Op. 26 No. 2, and noble character in the famous and patriotic ‘Military’ Op. 40 No.1. Impressive pianism and dignity of a different order appear directly following, in the more darkly expressive Op. 40 No. 2, clearly deeply felt by Ohlsson. Pianist Jeremy Denk in his
online blog ‘Think Denk’ thankfully tuned into my search for the elusive qualities in the Polonaise-Fantasy in A flat major Op. 61 in his ‘Chopin’s for Dummies’ entry, and I am grateful for his pointing out of numerous vital aspects in a piece which can seem confusing in its 15-minute-or-so sprawl. Ohlsson is on top of these crucial moments, and creates a fascinating and indeed poetic atmosphere in the work. The orchestral contribution in the final Grande Polonaise jumps out as a bit of a surprise, but a welcome one. The piano balance is rather huge in relation to the orchestra, the softer contributions of the string and horn being rendered more or less superfluous, but this is still a fine performance with a piano bass to rattle your porcelain."
-- Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Oversize Polonaises August 18, 2013
By Peter T. (Bethesda, MD) See All My Reviews
"Chopin's Polonaises have been deer to my heart. But as much as I appreciate numerous high qualities of these performances I feel everything is brought to its extreme : fff, ppp, cresc. decres., accel., retar., fast, slow, ... This clarifies much of the text to newcomers, but I felt forced and overwhelmed."