In the third of three new landmark albums on the Decca label, Nelson Freire marks his 70th birthday year with a stunning recording of Chopin’s lyrical and brilliant Piano Concerto No. 2. The recording was made in Cologne with the Gurzenich-Orchester Koln and Lionel Bringuier, one of the most talked-about of the younger generation of conductors. The release also features some favorite Chopin solo works including a Ballade, Berceuse, Polonaise and three Mazurkas.
Jean Roger-Ducasse was born in Bordeaux on 18 April 1873. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1892 and in 1895, along with Ravel, joined the composition class of Gabriel Faure. In 1902 he won the second Grand Prix de Rome with his cantata Alcyone, with Ravel gaining fourth prize. He had a very active role in musical life in Paris founding the Societe Musicale Independante in 1909 and gaining the position of inspector general for the teaching of singing in Paris schools in 1910.
Yundi, the Chinese dazzling pianist acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal for his - poetic depth and patrician elegance - continues his award-winning exploration of the works of Chopin with a new recording of the Ballades, and by embarking on a major international tour. If precedent is a guide, both are expected to cause massive excitement among his fans. For his new all-Chopin recording, Yundi performs the Opus 17 set of four Mazurkas, the Berceuse (Op 57), and all four Ballades. The latter works were composed between 1831 and 1842, and contain some of the composers most operatic writing, as well as his most challenging technical demands.
Frédéric Chopin's songs, in Polish, certainly stand to one side of his piano repertory. The 19 songs presented here were composed for personal use, addressed either to friends and lovers or to emigrés who, like Chopin, sympathized with Polish nationalist causes. There was no market for Polish-language songs in Paris, and these were not published until after the composer's death. Yet they are recognizably products of his muse, and their specialized quality sheds the light of insight onto the composer's piano music.
Andris Nelsons is one of the most sought-after young conductors on the international scene today and once again served notice of his extraordinary talent in Summer 2011 when he conducted two concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam at the prestigious Lucerne Festival. This concert, available on DVD and Blu-ray features, amongst a programme of Rimsky-Korsakov, Beethoven and Dvořák, the Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman performing Beethoven’s majestic Fifth Piano Concerto and Chopin’s Etude in F major.
For the 100th anniversary of Sviatoslav Richter, Firma Melodiya presents its arguably biggest project in its semicentennial history: a 50-CD set of Sviatoslav Richters concert recordings! This collection is far from the complete phonographic legacy of the great musician. Nevertheless, the set includes plenty of exclusive, previously unreleased recordings that will make the hearts of even most erudite connoisseurs and collectors rejoice.