Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: Piano Concerto No 1, Op 11

Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: Piano Concerto No 1, Op 11

Article excerpt

Chopin

Piano Concerto No 1, Op 11 (a). Cello Sonata, Op 65 (b). Introduction and Polonaise brillante, Op 3 (b)

(b) Mischa Maisky vc Martha Argerich pf (a) Sinfonia Varsovia / Jacek Kaspszyk Fryderyk Chopin Institute (F) NIFCCD038 (79' * DDD) Recorded live at the National Philharmonic Concert Hall, Warsaw, August (a) 27 & (b) 28, 2010

I've lost count of Argerich's many recordings of the First Chopin Concerto but what remains extraordinary is how each one uncovers new facets and details of the piece; such is her hyper-reactivity and spontaneity that the music comes alive in different ways each time. This one, with Sinfonia Varsovia and Jacek Kaspszyk, was caught at the Chopin Festival in Warsaw in August 2010.

The orchestral tuttis are given straight, without the sense of unearthing new details that was so striking about Jun Markl's direction of the Scottish CO for Fliter--but the point here is surely Argerich's pianism. She seems to stop time itself through sheer eloquence in the solo passages, while being effortlessly reactive and playful in the many scherzo-ish. moments. What's impressive about Kaspszyk is the way he manages to follow her unpredictable lead almost unfailingly.

The reading is also full of deliciously spontaneous touches--duetting with an oboe here, a bassoon there. The finale, steadier than some of Argerich's previous performances, is alive with incident, and the glistening, glittering ending demonstrates marvellously crisp passagework from this eternally youthful pianist. …

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