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Track(s) taken from CDS44351/66

Polonaise in A flat major, Op 53

composer
1842; nick-named 'Heroic'

Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Recording details: August 1993
Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York, USA
Produced by Adam Abeshouse
Engineered by Adam Abeshouse
Release date: November 2008
Total duration: 7 minutes 0 seconds

Cover artwork: 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
 
1

Other recordings available for download

Artur Pizarro (piano)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski (piano)
Grigory Ginzburg (piano)
Walter Gieseking (piano)

Reviews

'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' (ClassicsToday.com)

'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' (ClassicalSource.com)
‘Héroique’, the Polonaise in A flat Major, Op 53, took form at the same time (1842-43) as the fourth ballad and the fourth scherzo. Already the contemporary accounts of its performance invoked images of patriotism, nationalism and the call to arms. Chopin seemed to be unhappy when the piece was played fast and did not increase volume much in the octaves (Gutman/Niecks). According to Liszt, the composer often played the episode in F minor (bars 138-151) ‘like the muffled rumbling of a distant cannon’. In this polonaise, Chopin no longer used the form of the early Warsaw ones and instead reinterpreted it as an evocation of past splendour and a symbol of Poland, a true agent of cultural nationalism. Indeed, works like this one became a model for composers who referred to their own native folk music and thus launched the so-called ‘national schools’.

from notes by Robert Andres © 2005

Other albums featuring this work

Chopin: Reminiscences
Studio Master: CKD248Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Chopin: The Great Polonaises
CDH55382
Grigory Ginzburg – His early recordings – 2
APR5672Download only
Paderewski – His final recordings
APR5636Download only
Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings
APR7501Download only
Walter Gieseking – The complete Homocord recordings and other rarities
APR6013for the price of 1 — Download only
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