Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Chopin: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Gianluca Luisi - Steinway 1901
with Ensemble Concertant Frankfurt (String Quintet)

MDG 903 1632-6

The E minor concerto has had a successful earlier recording by Jean-Marc Luisada [- - Naturally, Chopin’s Concerto can’t possibly have the same degree of power in its chamber version, but offsetting benefits of intimacy and insight into the human condition are abundant as are the work’s rapture, urgency, and tension], and here is another persuasive one - which eschews "power" - and which benefits from the more authentic instrument chosen, a Steinway D of 1901.

It is questionable whether Chopin himself even orchestrated his concertos, and certainly he would have often performed them at the "salons of nobility" in chamber versions.

The Ensemble Concertant Frankfurt located the German first editions of the versions with string quintet and this allows a far more subtle accompaniment than we are used to, and from the soloist a musicality which is often lost in orchestral concerts where projection into large halls is a paramount consideration.

I loved it, whilst usually I find these concertos unrewarding; a very successful release, warmly recommended.

Peter Grahame Woolf