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Chopin: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Ballades / Barcarolle

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Audio CD, July 27, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

In the hands of Jorge Bolet Chopin's music comes alive in a way few pianists have managed, before or since. Here he performs the two piano concertos, both supreme examples of early-Romantic style, as well as a selection of the smaller scale solo compositions of which he was a master par excellence.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47: 1. Allegro maestoso risoluto
  2. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47: 2. Romance: Larghetto
  3. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47: 3. Rondo: Vivace
  4. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48: 1. Maestoso
  5. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48: 2. Larghetto
  6. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48: 3. Allegro vivace

Disc: 2

  1. Ballade for piano No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23, CT. 2
  2. Ballade for piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 38, CT. 3
  3. Ballade for piano No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47, CT. 4
  4. Ballade for piano No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52, CT. 5
  5. Barcarolle for piano in F sharp major, Op. 60, CT. 6
  6. Fantasy for piano in F minor/A flat major, Op. 49, C. 42

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal
  • Conductor: Charles Dutoit
  • Composer: Chopin
  • Audio CD (July 27, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Newton Classics
  • ASIN: B003NEQAG8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,109 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 9, 2010
This 2CD set from Newton Classics, is a reissue. Newton is a new label -- founded in 2009 -- which primarily reissues worthy recordings licensed from other companies, recordings that otherwise are more or less out of print. As it happens, the performances on these 2CDs are still available from other labels: Chopin Concertos Piano Concerti 1 & 2 and Ballades/Barcarolle/Fantaisie Ballades / Barcarolle / Fantasie in F but there are more or less full-price whereas this Newton reissue is budget-priced. I cannot hear any sonic difference between the original sets and this Newton set. As for the performances, they are seriously beautiful. Bolet never ever made an ugly sound at the piano. (I was amused that someone reviewed his 'Great Pianists of the 20th Century' set as 'banga-banga-banga'. They must have had a head cold or something. That is one gorgeous set.) Further, Bolet is as fine a Chopin pianist as he was with the music of Liszt, the composer with whom he was most identified in his latter years. The Concerto recordings here were made within a year of Bolet's 1990 death but one does not detect any weakening of his considerable technique nor of his marvelous musicianship. The playing of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under Charles Dutoit is as fine as it gets.

Bolet's Ballades are among my favorites of any recordings I own. There is something ineffably poetic about them. And the Barcarolle is much the same. The Fantaisie in F Minor, Op.
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