Frédéric Chopin's music is closely associated with the piano and as a matter of fact most of his music is written for this instrument. French harpist Coline-Marie Orliac did not want to miss playing Chopin?s inspiring music and took the audacious task to transcribe it for harp. Among Chopin's signature works is her arrangement of the Ballade op. 23 No. 1, displaying to the listener her breathtaking virtuosity while always adding a fresh and more transparent sound to Chopin's music.
Like other titles in this substantial Decca series, Ultimate Chopin is a box set devoted to recordings drawn from the label's prestigious backlist, designed to give beginners and casual listeners a well-rounded introduction to this Romantic master of piano music. The affordable package of five CDs includes Chopin's two concertos for piano and orchestra, as well as his solo keyboard works, such as the nocturnes, ballades, preludes, impromptus, and waltzes.
Tatiana Shebanova, who also features in the Fryderyk Chopin Institute’s on-going Real Chopin series (see review special, p83), gets her own complete, modern instrument (as opposed to Real Chopin’s historic instruments) cycle on the Polish label Dux. Arranged in opus order, it presents a satisfying survey of Chopin’s development, and it spares the listener from (for example) a lack of variety in the usual hour-long sequence of waltzes.
Chopin, Piano Concertos No. 1 and 2, performed by pianist Sa Chen and the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon, Lawrence Foster, conductor (Pentatone Classics). Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra followers will remember Sa Chen from a year ago. In October 2007, she joined the orchestra for an unusual work, a piano concerto by Clara Schumann. Chen looks about 12 on her album cover here, but she's 29. She is a promising pianist.
Polonaise: almost always, as soon as the word is uttered, it conjures up the name of Frédéric Chopin. And what could be more natural with a creative genius who was constantly attracted to the genre? His first work, published in Warsaw, was entitled `Polonaise for pianoforte dedicated to her Excellency the Countess Victoire Skarbek by Friderik Chopin, aged eight years'; and right up to the concluding Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op.61, fourteen other similar compositions had punctuated the all-too-brief career of the Polish maestro.