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Olga Kern, Warsaw Philharmonic, Antoni Wit - Chopin - Piano Concerto No. 1 (2006)

20-09-2016, 15:39
Classical Music | FLAC / APE

Title: Chopin - Piano Concerto No. 1
Year Of Release: 2006
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Genre: Classical
Quality: APE (image+.cue)
Total Time: 01:13:59
Total Size: 244 Mb


Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11
1 Allegro maestoso 20:07
2 Romanze: Larghetto 9:56
3 Rondo: Vivace 10:15

4 - Fantaisie in F minor, Op. 49 14:10
5 - Bolero, Op. 19 7:19
6 - Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op. 66 5:24
7 - Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 6:49

Olga Kern, piano
Warsaw Philharmonic
Antoni Wit, conductor

Chopin -- Olga Kern is the fourth CD from one of Harmonia Mundi's exclusive artists, pianist Olga Kern. If a performer is considered a "concert pianist," then invariably he or she will wind up having to address the tubercular specter of Frédéric Chopin, so ingrained is his music in the fabric of pianistic concert life. Not all Chopin players are created equal, and some pianists that are outstanding in other things don't necessarily have built-in the kind of heart-on-your-sleeve passion that goes beyond the notes in Chopin's music. This disc features Olga Kern, who has acquitted herself well in Rachmaninoff, in Chopin's first piano concerto and four filler pieces -- the F minor Fantaisie, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. 66, the ever barn burning A flat major Polonaise, Op. 53 and his early Bolero Op. 19.
Considering the solo works first apart from the concerto, it is obvious that Kern is drawn to the extremes in these pieces, and her audio engineers are complicit in such enterprise -- the soft parts are very soft, well below a comfortable listening level, and the loud parts come along and completely blow the listener out of the water. Whereas many skilled Chopin players work towards a sense of the ecstatic in Chopin's loud and excited passages, Kern seems to achieve a sort of neurotic energy that is more unnerving than purely pleasurable. Technically, it's all there -- every note is sounded and one could almost follow along with these pieces with the score in hand, if the listener could only really hear the piano in quiet passages. However, emotionally moving it is not, and Kern has managed to find a way to make the A flat major Polonaise Op. 53 sound rather undynamic and pedestrian, even as she plays all the notes upon the page.
Kern's interpretation of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op.11 is generally well done and has all of its parts in the right place. Yet it is unlikely to unseat one's favorite among the many, many recordings of this piece, for example that of Claudio Arrau or Fumiko Shiraga's ravishing chamber version on Bis. Kern's piano is balanced a little below the orchestra for the most part, and it's hard not to strain a little in listening to the soloist. The orchestral tutti, supplied by Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic, is sluggish and disinterested. Harmonia's recording in this instance is surprisingly subpar, sounding like an analog stereo recording made fifty years ago.

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