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Hyperion Records

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Frédéric Chopin in concert at the Hotel Lambert, Paris (1840) by Antar Teofil Kwiatowski (1809-1891)
Bibliothèque Polonaise, Paris / Archives Charmet / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDS44351/66
Recording details: June 1990
Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, USA
Produced by Ward Botsford
Engineered by Ward Botsford
Release date: November 2008
Total duration: 24 minutes 44 seconds

'Hyperion's big deal … Ohlsson is a powerful and committed player, and is afforded very good sound by the engineers … this is almost certainly how these pieces were played in Chopin's time' (The Mail on Sunday)

'This is an oustanding achievement, which any genuine Chopin lover and student of Romantic music should own … a landmark in the recording of Chopin's music … Garrick Ohlsson and Hyperion deserve the greatest success in bringing this important undertaking to such a consistently impressive conclusion' (International Record Review)

'An attractively priced box set … Ohlsson is in a class of his own' (Pianist)

'The collaborative works receive particularly rewarding performances … Ohlsson arguably offers more consistent artistry than Biret, Ashkenazy, Magaloff, and Harasiewicz' (

'Garrick Ohlsson’s complete survey of everything Chopin wrote for piano (including chamber music, songs, and for piano and orchestra) will delight the completist and the Chopin connoisseur. Ohlsson (who won the Chopin International Piano Competition in 1970) gives us accounts of this wondrous repertoire in weighty and commanding style, aristocratic and impulsive (but not lacking light and shade or contemplative contrasts) and, at times, very sensitive and searching. These vivid recordings were made in the second half of the 1990s and have previously appeared on the Arabesque label. They now sit very well in Hyperion’s catalogue' (

Piano Sonata No 1 in C minor, Op 4

Allegro maestoso  [8'30]
Menuetto  [4'50]
Larghetto  [4'41]
Presto  [6'43]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Piano Sonata No 1 in C minor Op 4 was written while Chopin was still studying with Elsner at the Warsaw Conservatoire. It is generally reckoned to be one of his least successful compositions. There are no reviews or reports of it ever having been played in the nineteenth century, let alone by the composer. This work exhibits little of Chopin’s unique later style and is an effortful attempt to struggle with formal sonata structure. The opening Allegro, pianists will tell you, is technically awkward. Interest picks up in the pretty but derivative Minuet only to be quelled by the meandering Larghetto in 5/4. Perhaps the most successful movement is the Presto finale, almost a moto perpetuo in its constant quaver motion.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2008

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