Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chopin Piano Concertos: classically elegant

Chopin: The Piano Concertos—Lang Lang, pianist; Zubin Mehta conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Chopin piano concertos

Given that Frédéric François Chopin lived during the 1st half of the 19th century and generally is considered a romantic compositor, "romantically elegant" might be a better review title, but pianist, orchestra and conductor all perform with more polished reserve and measured restraint then with passionate ardor and fiery abandon, so I'm going with classical.

Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 is my own favorite of the pair, and listening to both in a row is enjoyable, though both performances have a sense of sameness about them that's not necessarily a negative thing at all. Not surprisingly, Lang Lang's keyboard technique approaches perfection, the orchestra plays extremely well and the recording itself has an almost ideal level of brightness and presence. As an aside, to all the non-pianists reading this, despite stereotypes to the contrary, Chopin's music is well-suited to the human hand and not technically difficult in the way Liszt's (for example) is, but it does take many hours of practice to get all but his simplest, shortest pieces to high-end performance-readiness. If you like piano music and if you like Chopin, I'd definitely recommend this released-in-2008 recording.

my amazon review: classically elegant

No comments: