"This is an oustanding achievement, which any genuine Chopin lover and student of Romantic music should own … A landmark in the recording of Chopin's music … Garrick Ohlsson and Hyperion deserve the greatest success in bringing this important undertaking to such a consistently impressive conclusion" (International Record Review)
'Garrick Ohlsson’s complete survey of everything Chopin wrote for piano (including chamber music, songs, and for piano and orchestra) will delight the completist and the Chopin connoisseur. Ohlsson (who won the Chopin International Piano Competition in 1970) gives us accounts of this wondrous repertoire in weighty and commanding style, aristocratic and impulsive (but not lacking light and shade or contemplative contrasts) and, at times, very sensitive and searching. These vivid recordings were made in the second half of the 1990s and have previously appeared on the Arabesque label. They now sit very well in Hyperion’s catalogue'
Stephen Hough joins the celebrations for Chopin s 200th birthday with a disc containing much of the composer s most extraordinary music, written in the last years of his life where the expressive possibilities of his art were constantly unfolding and he imbued his favored forms with previously unknown levels of complexity and emotional depth. This disc includes the intoxicatingly ornamented Berceuse Op 57 and the sublime Barcarolle in F sharp major as well as the Polonaise-Fantasy in A flat major and the towering Piano Sonata No 3 in B minor. Also included are two late Nocturnes that demonstrate how Chopin s art had evolved since he first composed in that genre in his youth. The program is completed by a selection of Mazurkas, each a tiny jewel, containing no less mastery than their larger counterparts, and providing moving sonic evidence of the contemplative profundity of Chopin s late style. Stephen Hough s extraordinarily sensitive playing is informed by his limitless technique and engaging musical imagination.
The Polish pianist Halina Czerny-Stefanska (1922 - 1982) enjoyed a more substantial reputation among piano buffs than among music-lovers in general until she was unexpectedly shot to prominence by a mistake that got her talked about all around the world. In the early 1950s she had performed the First Concerto of Chopin under Vaclav Smetacek in a recording issued by the Czech label Supraphon; when EMI reissued the performance in 1965 it was attributed to Dinu Lipatti, the Romanian pianist whose premature death in 1950 robbed classical music of one of its brightest stars.
In 2004, EMI released The Perlman Edition, a limited-edition 15-CD box set featuring many of his finest EMI recordings as well as newly compiled material and RCA Red Seal released a CD titled Perlman reDISCOVERED which includes material recorded in 1965 by a young Itzhak Perlman.
Almost four hours of music constitutes exceptional value especially when, tucked away among a selection of Mazurkas, is Chopin's early "Variations on a German National Air". Vásáry charms you into wondering why it is so rarely heard.