Almost four hours of music constitutes exceptional value especially when, tucked away among a selection of Mazurkas, is Chopin's early "Variations on a German National Air". Vásáry charms you into wondering why it is so rarely heard.
This set offers Chopin's most famous and best loved piano expertly played by Tamas Vasary.
Tamás Vásáry (born August 11, 1933, Debrecen, Hungary) is a Hungarian pianist. Vásáry gave his first public performances at the age of 8. He studied with Ernő Dohnányi and Józef Gát at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, and was later assistant there to Zoltán Kodály, who made him a gift of a Steinway piano.
The career of the young Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov has taken off since he won the Honens Prize in 2012. He issued a live recording and then a fine album of Tchaikovsky pieces that, while pleasures all, are not really everyday items. With this set of 24 of Chopin's 58 mazurkas, he makes what might be regarded as his debut in mainstream repertory. Twisting and turning the slightly tense rhythm of the Polish folk dance in a dozen different directions, they're an excellent pick for Kolesnikov's deliberate yet playful style. Kolesnikov observes all of Chopin's repeats, daring the listener to find them tedious and delivering with readings that diverge in small but telling details from the first time through. It's in the small details that Kolesnikov excels. The temperature of the entire recording is low, and Hyperion's engineers set just the right level at their favorite venue for this kind of recital, the Wyastone Estate concert hall. But the listener is drawn into Kolesnikov's unique handling of the unusual technical devices in which these pieces abound.
Firma Melodiya continues the series of compact discs dedicated to December Evenings Festival that takes place at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. This album, like the previous one, is dedicated to the 1985 festival World of Romanticism and includes recordings featuring Sviatoslav Richter. The atmosphere of December Evenings, an event initiated by the great pianist, differed from usual philharmonic concerts. The spirit of music as an inseparable part of "fusion of arts" the romanticists dreamt of was invisibly felt in each number; a sensitive listener can catch it in these, perhaps technically imperfect, concert recordings from thirty years ago. The works by Schubert, Schumann and Chopin were performed by Sviatoslav Richter in ensemble with his outstanding contemporaries, violinist and David Oistrakh's student Oleg Kogan who passed away prematurely, violist Yuri Bashmet, cellist Natalia Gutman and clarinettist Anatoly Kamyshov.
In the third of three new landmark albums on the Decca label, Nelson Freire marks his 70th birthday year with a stunning recording of Chopin’s lyrical and brilliant Piano Concerto No. 2. The recording was made in Cologne with the Gurzenich-Orchester Koln and Lionel Bringuier, one of the most talked-about of the younger generation of conductors. The release also features some favorite Chopin solo works including a Ballade, Berceuse, Polonaise and three Mazurkas.