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The Warsaw Recital: Daniel Barenboim Plays Chopin Live, Import

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Audio CD, Live, Import, May 3, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Daniel Barenboim marks his new affiliation with Decca and Deutsche Grammophon with four releases - his first-ever recordings of the Chopin and Liszt Piano Concertos, and, with his inspiring West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Tchaikovsky's exhilarating Pathétique and Schoenberg's Variations for Orchestra. The releases coincide with the 60th anniversary of Daniel Barenboim's performing debut. Two releases on Deutsche Grammophon will be devoted to Chopin: A solo recital recorded in Warsaw, with deeply-felt Waltzes, a Polonaise, a Fantasia, a Nocturne and the B flat minor Sonata, as well as Chopins two Concertos, accompanied by the Berlin Staatskapelle under Andris Nelsons, captured live at the Ruhr Piano Festival in July 2010. Barenboim and Boulez celebrate Liszt's 200th birthday with gripping readings of the Concertos no. 1 in E flat major and no. 2 in a major. A debut for both artists. In 1999, Daniel Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO) with the late literary critic, Edward Said. On this first of many projects to partner Barenboim with WEDO (all on Decca) are two blockbusters that WEDO will tour in May, when the album is released: Tchaikovsky's Pathétique and Schoenberg's Variations for Orchestra. WEDO performs this challenging repertoire to high international standards. The Independent opened it's rave review of a Barenboim-WEDO London evening by saying, "Simply sensational! WEDO scored a bull's-eye." Barenboim has been called by the Times "one of the few musicians in the world today who could accurately be described as legendary"

Review

"one of the few musicians in the world today who could accurately be described as legendary" -- The Times


1. Fantaisie in F minor, Op.49
2. Nocturne No.8 in D flat, Op.27 No.2
3. Grave - Doppio movimento
4. Scherzo - Più lento - Tempo I
5. Marche funèbre (Lento)
6. Finale (Presto)
7. Barcarolle in F sharp, Op.60
8. Waltz No.4 in F, Op.34 No.3
9. Waltz No.3 in A minor, Op.34 No.2
10. Waltz No.7 in C sharp minor, Op.64 No.2
11. Berceuse in D flat, Op.57
12. Polonaise No.6 in A flat, Op.53 -"Heroic"
13. Waltz No.6 in D flat, Op.64 No.1 -"Minute"

Product Details

  • Performer: Daniel Barenboim
  • Audio CD (May 3, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live, Import
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B004GK91LE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RLB on February 17, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Without question Barenboim has demonstrated his keyboard capabilities as a lifetime of recordings are on disc. Successful as a conductor with an output of recordings, as with any conductor, the results are predictably uneven. Popular with DG, Philips, London (Decca) EMI, RCA, CBS. Teldec - and probably a few other labels - he's recorded much of the primary piano repertoire. Tackling Bruckner symphony cycles, Beethoven 1-9, Extensive Mozart, some Mahler - he is an established figure in the recording industry. This recording though, is his selections of Chopin at positively relaxed tempos. Recorded live, with lots of applause permanently recorded too, Barenboim gives note perfect performances (for the most part) but the tempi and progression are relaxed and suitable for an audience. Quite a different situation than having complete opus (Waltzes, Polonaises, Berceuse etc) on a studio recording. So this disc will appeal mostly to those wanting "live" recital recordings of Chopin in their collection, diehard Barenboim fans or maybe collectors interested in some historical component of the recording.
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Format: Audio CD
Barenboim has prodigious energy and prodigal gifts, but for decades he has been a divider, not a uniter. Some are made uncomfortable by the image of an ambitious careerist who wants to run everything in sight, others by his attempts to be the universal musician, playing and conducting any score. there is also his idiosyncratic combination of advanced modernism (he has strongly championed the Second Viennese School and contemporary composers like Rihm) and nostalgic conservatism (for years he has been looked at askance as a faux Furtwangler). Even where he stands on solid ground, as a piano virtuoso who began as a child prodigy, Barenboim seems to attract animosity among reviewers.

What of his Chopin, then? If we forget everything else associated with Barenboim's career, we should be able to listen to this live recital from Warsaw simply for what it is. One immediately notices the vivid, forward sound and the brilliant instrument that Barenboim plays; in terms of glitter, this is an up to date production. But at the same time the first item, the Fantasie in F minor, is approached almost brusquely, with impatient pacing and a lack of charm. It takes a moment to settle into Barenboims style, which emphasizes attack, propulsion, and impact over elegance or intimacy. When he wants to, the pianist can linger and reflect upon what the music is about, which is to the good, but here he pauses and reflects very little.

Before getting to the "Funeral March" Sonata that is the main work, let me consider the rest, a miscellany drawn from Chopin's waltzes, polonaises, and nocturnes. Barenboim plays them more form the outside than the inside. You get the impression of great confidence and musical assurance -- no mean things. The Nocturne in D flat, Op. 27 no.
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Format: Audio CD
Daniel Barenboim gained my admiration as an outstanding performer of Beethoven's and Mozart's piano sonatas and concertos. Of those he is a true master, but works of Frederic Chopin are not as prominent in his repertoire. He recorded some of Chopin's music in 70's and 80's, and those recordings were mostly rather dull and uninspired - except for the Nocturnes, which were quite good.

This recital however, given before polish audience in Warsaw, during celebrations of 200th anniversary of Chopin's birthday, proves that since then Barenboim made a big progress in his Chopin playing. It's still not quite his territory like Beethoven is, but there's some really beautiful playing here. Beautiful and original, or should I say - eccentric, at least compared to modern standards of performing. Certainly these are not performances we could hear from any laureate of Chopin Competition. I guess Barenboim's interpretive choices could be debatable, but I really appreciate the fact that he dares to make them, unlike many other pianists nowadays. Personally I found this recital to be very enjoyable.
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Absolutely beautiful! The most exquisite interpretation and delivery of any performance of Chopin I have ever heard, that is, in 60 years!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B.H. on January 8, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Daniel Barenboim is an amazing man and a wonderful pianist. This CD is absolutely beautiful, and I would recommend it anyone who enjoys classical music.
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