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Chopin: Rondos and Variations
Frederic Chopin, Fryderyk Chopin, Idil Biret
Chopin: Rondos and Variations
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1


CD Details

All Artists: Frederic Chopin, Fryderyk Chopin, Idil Biret, Martin Sauer
Title: Chopin: Rondos and Variations
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Naxos
Original Release Date: 1/1/1999
Re-Release Date: 9/28/1999
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 636943453728

CD Reviews

niveditahr | CHENNAI,INDIA | 09/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is just exquisite Chopin.I have never heard anyone play the piano like this!i have heard that Chopin's contribution is unique in that he made the piano SING!i have listened to some great pianists like rubinstein,Perahia,Ashkenazy.they all sound grand,magnificient.where is the SONG?here ms biret demonstrates the singing of the piano like no other pianist has done.
i just put this CD on my player and was attending to my usual chores.i could notice that this piano sounded different but 5 minutes into the first rondo i had to dump everything and just listen to the beautiful playing full of tenderness and longing.
quite the same with the pieces that followed .JUST HEAVENLY!
Ms Biret has a deep insight for Chopins works as is evident from her excellent notes in the CD Sleeve.She clearly explains how chopin's Piano works are different from Liszt's and requires a different approach.Liszt's piano represents an ORCHESTRA whereas Chopin's piano represents a human voice and hence much more intimate.accordingly she says she has toned down the sonority of the piano to facilitate legato playing!SHE HAS EXECUTED THIS PERFECTLY!
other great pianists have given us their wonderful recordings BUT Ms BIRET HAS BROUGHT CHOPIN TO MY DRAWING ROOM!
Just a note of caution to learned may have your favourite versions of Chopin.DON"T MISS THIS ONE!DO NOT STOP WITH THE FIRST LISTENING!GIVE IT MORE TIME.YOU WILL BE RICHLY REWARDED!"
Obscure Chopin at a great price
Hexameron | 03/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Volume 11 in Idil Biret's massive survey of Chopin's music contains virtually obscure if not unknown Chopin music. While the Rondos may have a small place in the repertoire, the BI Mazurka's and the Variations (with the exception of the Hexameron and Souvenir de Paganini) are almost never recorded. Since Chopin's oeuvre is a compact sea of pearls, it's understandable why these lesser pieces have been relegated to obscurity. For the Chopinite's out there, though, this recording is invaluable for offering such sumptuous rarities like the Rondo Op. 73 and the Variations in D major for two pianos.

The four Rondo's featured here cover a wide range of emotions and exhibit Chopin's florid piano style. Always astonishing to my ears, the Rondo Op. 1, written when Chopin was 15, is a wonderful salon piece. The tuneful filigree of the Rondo theme and the beautiful tenderness in one of the episodes makes this work quite significant. Chopin's Op. 5 Rondo a la Mazurka is also an entertaining romp: capricious melodies and lavish dance rhythms, with a shade of intensity, are the main characteristics. More serious in mood, the Rondo Op. 16 showcases Chopin's inexhaustible pool of original themes and episodes. Without a doubt, the work conveys all the drama and exquisite beauty we can expect from the master. Moving into more pyrotechnical grounds, the Rondo Op. 73 demonstrates Chopin's success with virtuosic works. His unlimited supply of substantial ideas seem poured into every bar. Listen to the breathtaking coda, a surging 'perpetuum mobile' played to perfection by Idil Biret. For those who have already heard these Rondos, I recommend Biret for her masterful approach and comprehension of the music. Her passion and technique is never abated, and her phrasing is always agreeable.

Less notable, but certainly no less important, are the six BI Mazurka's that make up the center of this recording. Chopin's miniature dances that comprise the Mazurkas are considered to be miraculous gems. However, these six posthumous published Mazurkas are not Chopin at his best. The two Mazurkas in B flat major are the most endearing of the six, I think. Their delightful tunes are sometimes difficult to extinguish from memory; I've found myself humming them many times. While the D major Mazurka is also fascinating, the rest are rather unmemorable. Despite this, I think the fact that these trifles are from the pen of Chopin makes them worth considering.

The next large chunk of neglected pieces are the Variations. And this is where Biret and this particular recording shine, along with the four Rondos. In the Variations brillantes Op. 12 on Herold's Ludovico opera, Chopin brandishes some excellent ideas. There are periods of quiet repose, frisky thoughts, and angelic melancholy. Chopin's predilection for contrasting moods is easily seen in the Variations on 'Der Schweizerbub,' where the addition of Chopin's usual ornamentation and splurges of bel canto-inspired melody enhances the work's appeal. Chopin's contribution to the Hexameron variations involves a lush nocturne-like treatment of the Bellini march theme from Il Puritains. I prefer to hear it in the context of the entire work, but it's a nice lyrical piece regardless. Chopin's Variations, the 'Souvenir de Paganini' is similarly evocative in a quiet and melodious way. Lastly, with the help of pianist Martin Sauer, Idil Biret records Chopin's Variations in D major for two pianos. Chopin's wealth of original material and achingly beautiful music is abundant; the fourth Variation, in particular, is stunning for the emotional yearning the music expresses. Altogether, these Theme and Variations of Chopin are outstanding and unjustly forgotten.

Bottom line: Idil Biret continues to impress me with her enthusiasm, poise, and careful readings of Chopin. She has occasionally lost her edge in some of these Naxos volumes, notably in the Ballades and Scherzi, but her tremendous efforts in this recording are remarkable."