Fantastic piano concertos by Frederic Chopin
Eric S. Kim | Southern California | 10/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, it's true. Chopin did, in fact, write orchestral music as well. There are only a few works that don't primarily place the piano on the center stage, but these two piano concertos are a bit of both orchestra and piano. When one listens to them, it is easily clear that Chopin was not an expert at writing notes for orchestra. They're not very even at times and pretty much lack originality as a whole. Overall, it's fairly decent orchestral music, but one simply cannot forget the music that's heard on the piano. Like his sonatas and etudes, this is beautiful and stunningly haunting. I haven't heard such riveting compositions since Tchaikovsky's own set of piano concertos.
Nikolai Demidenko gives a magnificent reading; he really knows his Chopin. Heinrich Schiff, a cellist from Austria, shows that he's a very invulnerable conductor. His talent reaches a high level as his control over the orchestra never damages itself. The Philharmonia gives a splendid performance, while the Helios sound quality is completes this feast for the ears."