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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: 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: 5 minutes 12 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' (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)

Fantasy Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op 66
composer
1834; published posthumously, contrary to Chopin's wishes, by Julian Fontana in 1855

Other recordings available for download
Angela Hewitt (piano)
Artur Pizarro (piano)
Wilhelm Backhaus (piano)
Harold Bauer (piano)
Grigory Ginzburg (piano)
Irene Scharrer (piano)
Irene Scharrer (piano)
Eileen Joyce (piano)
Moura Lympany (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Fantasy Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op 66 was published posthumously in 1855 by Chopin’s lifelong friend and fellow musician, Julian Fontana. It is not known why Chopin didn’t publish it himself, but has been suggested that he was a bit too conscious of its resemblance to Moscheles’s Impromptu Op 89. It certainly has become one of his most popular compositions. The outer sections are a moto perpetuo marked allegro agitato. Even in the midst of all those notes, however, there is a melody that sings out clearly. The middle section does indeed have one of those tunes that somebody always puts words to (in this case, ‘I’m always chasing rainbows’), but it is also beautiful in its simplicity. In fact, that is what Chopin sought in the end:

‘Simplicity is everything. After having exhausted all the difficulties, after having played immense quantities of notes and more notes, then simplicity emerges with all its charm, like art’s final seal. Whoever wants to obtain this immediately will never achieve it: you can’t begin with the end. One has to have studied a lot, even tremendously, to reach this goal; it is no easy matter.’

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2004


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