The career of the young Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov has taken off since he won the Honens Prize in 2012. He issued a live recording and then a fine album of Tchaikovsky pieces that, while pleasures all, are not really everyday items. With this set of 24 of Chopin's 58 mazurkas, he makes what might be regarded as his debut in mainstream repertory. Twisting and turning the slightly tense rhythm of the Polish folk dance in a dozen different directions, they're an excellent pick for Kolesnikov's deliberate yet playful style. Kolesnikov observes all of Chopin's repeats, daring the listener to find them tedious and delivering with readings that diverge in small but telling details from the first time through. It's in the small details that Kolesnikov excels. The temperature of the entire recording is low, and Hyperion's engineers set just the right level at their favorite venue for this kind of recital, the Wyastone Estate concert hall. But the listener is drawn into Kolesnikov's unique handling of the unusual technical devices in which these pieces abound.
This 9-disc set pulls together Chopin recordings made between 1972 and 2008 by Maurizio Pollini. Works included are the etudes, the two familiar sonatas, the ballades, the scherzi, the preludes, the polonaises, and the nocturnes. Please note that this is far from a complete set of Chopin's piano works - missing are the concertos, most of the waltzes, most of the mazurkas, and most of the impromptus.
The Aeolian Quartet's epic cycle, originally released in the Seventies, was one of the gramophone's major contributions to Haydn's cause. Listening to the performances anew I find they have lost none of their freshness: they were based on the latest research, and the playing itself is always intelligent and thoughtful, with Emanuel Hurwitz's sweet-toned violin-playing a great asset throughout. (Misha Donat)
Esteemed pianist Samson Francois interprets pieces by Chopin. His performance is poised, powerful and exhilarating, driven by his deep appreciation for Chopin’s works. With astounding sound quality, Francois exudes pianism at its finest. A definitive collection for any audiophile.
In 1781 Haydn completed his first new set of string quartets in ten years and, trading on his growing fame, naughtily sold them ‘exclusively’ to three publishers simultaneously, while dedicating them to a Russian Grand Duke. For the latest instalment of their Hyperion series, the period instrument London Haydn Quartet has chosen the 1782 edition published by Schmitt of Amsterdam in which the scherzos of Nos 5 and 6 are printed before the slow movements.