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Thread: Having Some Trouble Deciding On Chopin Piano Concerto Recording

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    Default Having Some Trouble Deciding On Chopin Piano Concerto Recording

    I'm having trouble deciding on which Chopin Piano Concertos recording to get. It seem the the latest Krystian Zimerman/Polish Festival Orchestra recording has got the most positive feedback. What do you guys think? I know the Chopin Piano Concertos are some concert workhorses, but I don't even own one recording of them at all.

    Thanks to all who can help. As you all know, I normally don't have any problem picking out a recording, but this one has left me perplexed.

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    Air
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    Argerich is the one I prefer, though some don't like it. Zimmerman is good too.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    Quote Originally Posted by airad2 View Post
    Argerich is the one I prefer, though some don't like it. Zimmerman is good too.
    Which ones? She's recorded two sets of Chopin's Piano Concertos. One on Deutsche Grammophon (Abbado is conducting one recording I forget who conducted the other one) and the other is on EMI with Dutoit/MSO.

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    I haven't heard the EMI, but you can't go wrong with Argerich on these concerti. So if you want both, grab the EMI because it's more convenient. Ignore the lame hater reviews.

    Personally, I am not very qualified because I only have the DG one of the first concerto coupled with the Liszt. It is among my favorite of recordings.

    I've also been eyeing the Martha Argerich Collection on DG. It is quite expensive but includes all her signatures (though I have many of them already).
    Last edited by Air; Jul-01-2009 at 23:27.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    Well I'm a fan of Argerich anyway. She excels pretty much in everything she does, so I'm sure they're good performances.

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    I think somehow Rubinstein really captures the imperfection of Chopin. He makes the melodies sound so human like.

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    You can't get just one set of the concertos. Argerich, Askenase, Mewton-Wood, Pogorelich, Arrau, Rubinstein, Hoffman, Freire, Blechacz, Bolet, Gilels.... even that old Lev Oborin recording of the second concerto... all of them are fantastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YsayeOp.27#6 View Post
    You can't get just one set of the concertos. Argerich, Askenase, Mewton-Wood, Pogorelich, Arrau, Rubinstein, Hoffman, Freire, Blechacz, Bolet, Gilels.... even that old Lev Oborin recording of the second concerto... all of them are fantastic.
    I seriously doubt all of them are fantastic. Some of them had to be plagued with mediocre conducting. Sometimes I find the pianist and conductor to be out-of-sync and it really ruins the whole performance for me.

    I'm definitely looking at the Zimerman and Argerich sets. Rubinstein I heard was really good too. Thanks for your recommendations everyone.

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    I don't know if you would like Chopin's piano concertos. They are among the greatest in piano literature, but the orchestral writing is less than brilliant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdelykleon View Post
    I don't know if you would like Chopin's piano concertos. They are among the greatest in piano literature, but the orchestral writing is less than brilliant.
    Well I heard the orchestration isn't that good, but the same could be said of Liszt's orchestral writing as well, but I like Liszt a lot.

    Just because I'm a "Ravelian" doesn't mean that I don't enjoy music that doesn't have as good orchestration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirror Image View Post
    Well I heard the orchestration isn't that good, but the same could be said of Liszt's orchestral writing as well, but I like Liszt a lot.

    Just because I'm a "Ravelian" doesn't mean that I don't enjoy music that doesn't have as good orchestration.
    It is not only Chopin's lousy orchestration, but that the concerto is mainly a beautiful solo piano piece with orchestral intermezzi, like the concertos before Mozart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirror Image View Post
    I seriously doubt all of them are fantastic. Some of them had to be plagued with mediocre conducting.
    That's nothing but prejudice. I'll take that you know nothing about the pianists I listed or the orchestras accompanying them, and that you are not an informed source.

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    You may find some purpose for weak orchestration.
    Maybe the orchestration is a bit less on purpose to create contrast and have the piano exalt.
    A good example of this is the violin concerts of Paganini. Extreme simple orchestration in sharp contrast with the over complex violin parts. I love listening to it. I feel that the orchestration is there to fill up the empty spaces. Same with Chopin. Love to listen to the piano parts that takes up some brain processing time. Then have the mind do some freewheeling in the orchestrated pauses when the piano is at a brief rest.
    Maybe the simple orchestration (should not call it lousy) is even the key to the success of Chopin and Paganini. While their success is the fact that they still play the pieces on a very regular basis. The doom of a composer is to be forgotten.
    I like Rubinstein perform Chopin to stick on the topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YsayeOp.27#6 View Post
    That's nothing but prejudice. I'll take that you know nothing about the pianists I listed or the orchestras accompanying them, and that you are not an informed source.
    There's no way all of them are 100% great, sorry but I seriously doubt it. I'm just being realistic here and telling you that you are wrong, which you are.

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    Default Chopin Piano Concertos

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuntster View Post
    I think somehow Rubinstein really captures the imperfection of Chopin. He makes the melodies sound so human like.
    I would not say 'imperfection' but the spirit of Chopin is indeed captured definitively by Artur Rubinstein and a close second by Alexis Weissenberg.

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