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Garrick Ohlsson - The Complete Chopin Piano Works Vol. 1 - Sonatas Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, August 11, 1993
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Son No.1 in c, Op. 4: Allegro maestoso
  2. Son No.1 in c, Op. 4: Menuetto
  3. Son No.1 in c, Op. 4: Larghetto
  4. Son No.1 in c, Op. 4: Presto
  5. Son No.2 in b-flat (Funeral March), Op.35: Grave-doppio movimento
  6. Son No.2 in b-flat (Funeral March), Op.35: Scherzo
  7. Son No.2 in b-flat (Funeral March), Op.35: Marche funebre
  8. Son No.2 in b-flat (Funeral March), Op.35: Presto
  9. Son No.3 in b, Op.58: Allegro maestoso
  10. Son No.3 in b, Op.58: Scherzo
  11. Son No.3 in b, Op.58: Largo
  12. Son No.3 in b, Op.58: Presto non tanto


Product Details

  • Performer: Garrick Ohlsson
  • Composer: Frédéric Chopin
  • Audio CD (August 11, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Arabesque Recordings
  • ASIN: B000000T7Z
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,185 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

The Piano Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 4, written when Chopin was eighteen--- and only fairly recently recorded with any regularity at all--- would never have been so easily overlooked henceforth had it been heard played so sensitively, so filled with a perfect balance of tenderness and wit, as it is here by Ohlsson. It is, by far, the best version of the Op. 4, the most unpretentious, the most attractive and interesting I've heard to date. Where other pianists merely shuck this sonata off, Ohlsson grabs hold seriously and sets out to establish its substantial merits--- succeeding every note of the way. The second movement Menuetto, alone, is worth the price of the CD, so delightfully charming is it.

In Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 35, Ohlsson gains a memorable foothold early on in its provocative, propulsive first movement, joined by moments of pure wistfulness at its center. The lyrical and tonal beauty of Chopin's genius, so manifest in the trio sections of the Scherzo and Marche Funebre, under Ohlsson's fingers is expressed with sublime pathos. And the Presto! This movement is so wraithlike, so eerie it sets the hairs prickling on the back of one's neck.

Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58 is sheer wonder, as well; again we hear just the right balance of ardor and romantic longing.
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Chopin's sonatas come alive under the hands of Ohlson as if a fish met the ocean. melodies are perfectly fluid, the tempo is just right and the tone is beautiful. I still have to find a better recording of the 3rd sonata's 4th movement. He plays this fiendishly difficult & showy piece with an amazing dexterity and a physician's precision yet not losing the beautiful continuity of each passage of the sonata. whenever i finish listening to ohlson's last movement of 3rd sonata, i'm like "WOW", how is this possible?

For piano students working on Chopin sonatas, i seriously recommend listening to this CD for i strongly believe this is how Chopin would want his sonata to hear...
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Mr Ohlsson has one of the most impressive piano competition resumes of all 20th century pianists--Busoni in 1966, Montreal in 1968, and Chopin in 1970. He is a celebrity in Poland and widely appreciated in the US. However, the complete excellence of his pianism and musicianship has never been fully acknowledged on the international scene; he is indeed at the top of the short list of the greatest living pianists. There is no better proof to this claim than his cycle of Chopin's complete works--one of the most valuable and treasurable complete cycles in the history of recorded music! Thank you very much indeed, Arabesque Recordings; also thank you Hyperion Records for soon reissuing it in a special-priced boxed set (available from November 2008 according to its website).

I will take a look at each individual installment in succession. Throughout, Mr Ohlsson delivers the most refined, thoughtful and exquisite pianism imaginable; his beauty of tone production is often heartbreaking, sending you to places you never been before--and never thought did exist. Before starting with the Sonatas, I would like to acknowledge the fact that the value of my average review star will be significantly inflated during this course, implying nothing but the out-of-the-ordinary quality of Ohlsson's accumulated achievement. I would also like to thank Mr Melvyn M. Sobel for his highly insightful reviews of the complete cycle, where more often than not I can only second his well-balanced and eloquent esteem.

Had this Sonatas disc not been part of this unique cycle, I probably would have awarded it five stars in a heartbeat.
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Ohlsson is a superb pianist and interpreter of Chopin. This entire series of recordings is distinguished by his outstanding technique and intelligent rendering of the wonderful Chopin piano repertoire. Individual listeners may differ in their rankings of individual pieces and recordings, but I find all the recordings in this series exceptional. Ohlsson had done a remarkable job of maintaining a high level of musicianship and consistency of interpretation throughout the series.
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