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The Chopin I Love
Frederic Chopin, Jean-Yves Thibaudet
The Chopin I Love
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1

Chopin didn't like public concerts in large venues, and he played very few of them, preferring salons and home concerts. But he also admired the way his pupil Guttman could play his music with greater power than Chopin cou...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Frederic Chopin, Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Title: The Chopin I Love
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Decca
Release Date: 1/11/2000
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Ballads, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028946635728

Chopin didn't like public concerts in large venues, and he played very few of them, preferring salons and home concerts. But he also admired the way his pupil Guttman could play his music with greater power than Chopin could ever muster. Thibaudet is a sensitive musician of the Guttman type. Although he can create intimacy, his basic style at the modern grand piano is very public, sounding as if he's playing to the top row at Carnegie Hall. It can sometimes be a bit much for hearing in a small living room, but this is still an attractive Chopin recital, a varied and generous program, all played very well. And it comes with its own built-in contrast: a bonus mini-recital of four items taken from a TV documentary in which Thibaudet plays a Broadwood piano that Chopin himself played in 1848. The instrument automatically reduces the scale of the music, making it more intimate, and Thibaudet adapts successfully to its character. Maybe, if we get lucky, Thibaudet will record a whole CD on this piano! --Leslie Gerber

CD Reviews

Better Than 5 Stars
Dale Chapman | San Ramon, CA USA | 01/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This disc is extraordinary. I am allowing myself to get more and more excited about what is turning out to be a brilliant career. When Thibaudet emerged on the scene several years ago with his performances of French music (Ravel, Debussy), one had to ask himself if Thibaudet would turn out to be a flash in the pan. Sure, the French music was nice, but what else could he do? But then Thibaudet, much to my pleasure, has confirmed his legitimacy with several discs which span a wide variety of repetoire. And then this absolutely sparkling disc of Chopin emerges...The selection matters only a whit (okay, there are a few requisite "hits"); rather, the wondrous thing is how his charm & personality radiate throughout the disc. It is this ebullient glow which separates this disc from the competition. As far as I'm concerned, Thibaudet has established himself as one of the premier pianists of our age. I put him in a catagory with the likes of Mitsuko Uchida and Andras Schiff, far above the madding crowd of prima donnas and prodigies. Purchasing this disc should be a no-brainer."
Something new, something old for Chopin lovers
Gordon Stevens | Rochester, New York | 04/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This all-Chopin studio recital offers first-class playing by a performer I am rapidly learning to admire, and I would recommend it to beginning listeners as much as to lifelong music lovers. The father of one of my students was a professor at the Eastman School of Music and some years back he wrote a book about French music which included Chopin. His premise was simple enough: Chopin's father was French and Chopin spent almost his adult life living and performing in France, composing "French-style" salon music, so it is French music. I confess that, until my discussions with this man, I never thought of Chopin as French. The polonaise, the mazurka, etc. were Polish, weren't they? But then, listen to the delicacy of the music. Is the music really the embodiment of Polish dances and folk songs, or is it something else, very different? Sense the truth: it's French music on the most sophisticated level imaginable. Then understand why I find this pianist, already known for his interpretations of other fine French music, so perfectly suited to live inside of the music of the greatest master of the piano. Jean-Yves Thibaudet has a prodigious technique which effortlessly executes the most difficult passages in the Revolutionary etude, the Scherzo number 2, the wonderful first Ballade, and the other etudes, but in the most delicate, sentimental sections of the noctures presented here, or in the whimsical, melodious mazurkas, or the noble Grande valse brillante in E flat major, he performs with sensitivity and care equal in importance in this music. I personally favor collections of Chopin which offer a complete set of the etudes, the preludes, the mazurkas, or whatever, and hope that sometime soon Mr. Thibaudet will issue sets of this kind, as he is definitely a performer who has something to say in this area. With the new complete Chopin edition from Deutsche Grammophon, the historic and compulsory offerings of almost all of Chopin's piano works by the "official spokesman" of the composer, Artur Rubinstein, and the various other fine sets of Chopin pieces from just about every pianist to listen to, it might seem that one more Chopin collection is unnecessary, but I believe there is much to be enjoyed from this pianist's personal insights into the music. Chopin himself admitted that he never played any of his pieces the same way twice, and if one listens to Vladimir Horowitz's rendition of the Mazurka Op. 17, No. 4, beside Rubinstein's, I am convinced you see what I mean. Thibudet's "Raindrop" prelude was especially memorable on this disc, and I loved hearing the four pieces played on one of Chopin's own pianos! As was to be expected, the antique piano struggled a little with sound generation, but the pieces sounded surprisingly good, and I almost think I liked them better than the sound available on the modern pianofortes: there was a quaint, warm, old-fashioned sound to the early instrument. Shutting my eyes, I imagined Chopin sitting at this piano, surrounded by loving friends and admirers in a cosy room in a villa in Paris, listening quietly as their frail romantic hero opened his soul to them through this incredible music. It is said that Chopin favored upright pianos over grands, and that he was inclined to avoid technical brilliance in favor of lyrical sound quality, but his music is not effeminate. Just listen to the strength and nobility in the more robust pieces on this disc for proof. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, or his producer, have chosen a rich selection of pieces which offer the very best mixture of essences of Chopin's musical outpouring. If there are any reservations about the disc, it might be the inclusion of the "heroic" polonaise, which, though a great work, is too-often included in these kinds of recitals, and perhaps also, the "minute" waltz. For the collector who is searching for a first recording of Chopin, however, this would present no problem, and the rest of us will still enjoy the performances of these two works. For me, though, the highlight of the disc was the 17th track which featured, from the Etudes, Opus 25, number 3 in F major, played on Chopin's own piano. Just to own the four tracks recorded on Chopin's piano is reason enough to buy the disc!"
MOVIE MAVEN | New York, NY USA | 12/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Thibaudet is rapidly becoming my favorite in the crop of current 'star' pianists. His recordings of Ravel and Debussy and Liszt are tops in the field and now this CD of Chopin piano solo music has been released and it is just as fine. This sampling of Etudes, Mazurkas and Nocturnes, etc. are all played so perfectly: this is heart-aching Romanticism at its peak. Decca has also been generous: the recording is actually more than 78 minutes long. The 4 bonus tracks played on Chopin's own piano prove to be more than just a clever gimmick. It is really interesting for an amateur like myself to compare the composer's piano with the pianist's. Thibaudet is quoted in the fine essay that comes along with the CD: "...the beautiful thing is that his (Chopin's) spirit is alive and in his music." Yes...especially in this lovely album. Very Highly Recommended."