Klassik  SoloInstrument mit Orchester
Ewa Kupiec & Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern & Stanislaw Skrowaczewski Frédéric Chopin: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 OC 326 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberOC 326
Release date07/01/2004
Players/ContributorsMusicians Composer
  • Chopin, Frédéric

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      Description hide

      Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conductor

      Since winning the First Prize at the ARD Competition in 1992, Ewa Kupiec has quickly become one of the leading pianists of her generation. Her collaboration with the conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, who was also born in Poland, was called “overwhelming, astounding and sensitive” by critics.

      Frédéric Chopin Piano Concertos Nos. 1 &2

      At the beginning of March 1830, the private premiere of Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto in F Minor took place in the house of his parents in Warsaw. The press was jubilant: “He surpasses all pianists – he is a Paganini of the piano, and his compositions are sublime and full of invention”. It was to be a few years before this assessment was to be generally shared. Certainly Chopin´s pianistic skills were admired, and his piano compositions were highly valued, but there was criticism of the concertos for piano and orchestra. Previously, a “concerto” was “a musical competition” between the orchestra and a small instrumental group or a solo instrument. But in the instrumental concertos of the virtuosos in the 19th century, the competition was dropped. The main emphasis was on the solo part. (Thus the positioning of the orchestra at the first performance of a piano concerto in a Viennese theatre was not particularly unusual: on the stage, Chopin was to be seen alone at the piano, while the orchestra musicians played in the orchestra pit.)

      Some composers were of the opinion that, although Chopin could certainly write well for piano, there were still a number of things to be “improved” on in his orchestral writing. It was not until the 20th century that it was recognised that it does an injustice to Chopin´s piano concertos to compare them with those of Mozart, Beethoven or even Schumann. Although they were written in his earlier years, they already contain his unmistakeable style, which manifests itself in passionate expression and a very fine feeling for the tonal colours of the piano. As well as this, Chopin used harmonies that pointed far ahead into the future, and created sounds with an oscillating and transcendental effect.

      Chopin composed the Piano Concerto in F Minor Op. 21 in the years 1829/30. It was created under the influence of his first great love, so much so that Arnold Schering described the slow central movement as “the most soulful outpouring of love in the whole of musical literature”. The first movement is shaped by two subjects, one more rhythmic, and the other more lyrical, embedded in runs and shimmering passage-work. The third movement is suffused with the melody of a Polish folk dance: a Kujawiak with a lyrical character and irregular accents is whipped up into a whirling, ecstatic close.

      Before the work appeared in print, the Concerto in E minor, Op. 11, had already been published in 1833 as his “First Piano Concerto”. This was written a little later than the F minor concerto, in the summer of 1830. The first performance on 11 October 1830 in Warsaw was Chopin´s last public appearance before he left his homeland at the beginning of November. This concerto is dedicated to the piano virtuoso Friedrich Kalkbrenner, for which reason the virtuoso element is more strongly emphasised here. Chopin wrote to his friend Tytus Wojciechowski about the second movement: “It is more romantic, peaceful, melancholic, it is intended to evoke the impression of looking back lovingly on a place that causes thousands of pleasant memories to rise to the surface. It is like being lost in reverie on a beautiful moonlit summer´s night.” The concerto again closes with references to a Polish folk dance. The rhythm of the Krakowiak dominates the third movement, a fiery, rapid skipping dance with many syncopations, which at the end climaxes in an unbridled delirium of dance.

      Stefan Lipka

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)
        Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11
        • 1.Allegro maestoso19:51
        • 2.Romance. Larghetto.09:30
        • 3.Rondo. Vivace09:59
      • Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor Op. 21
        • 4.Maestoso14:42
        • 5.Larghetto09:28
        • 6.Allegro vivace08:34
      • Total:01:12:04