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Track(s) taken from CDS44351/66

Polonaise-Fantasy in A flat major, Op 61

composer
1846

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: 14 minutes 20 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

Stephen Hough (piano)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Alfred Cortot (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)
The Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major Op 61 was Chopin’s last extended work, written in 1846, three years before his death. By both its title and structure, it is in a class of its own. It is an exploratory, original work which, judging from the manuscript, caused Chopin some difficulty before he arrived at a satisfactory version. Although the distinctive rhythm of the polonaise is present in the opening theme, elsewhere it is often absent altogether, the ‘fantasy’ part of the title implying a feeling of rhapsodic improvisation. Through thematic recall and his innate sense of form, pacing and proportion, Chopin manages to achieve a remarkably cohesive whole.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2010

Par son titre comme par sa structure, la Polonaise-Fantaisie en la bémol majeur op. 61 est unique. Il s’agit d’une œuvre exploratoire, originale, qui, nous révèle le manuscrit, donna bien du fil à retordre à Chopin. Le rythme distinctif de la polonaise ne ressort guère que dans le thème inaugural, la «fantaisie» sous-entendant comme une improvisation rhapsodique. Grâce au rappel thématique et à son sens subconscient de la forme, du tempo et de la proportion, Chopin réussit un ensemble remarquablement cohérent.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jeremy Nicholas © 2010
Français: Hypérion

Die Polonaise-Fantaisie in As-Dur op. 61 ist, sowohl was ihren Titel als auch was ihren Aufbau betrifft, ein Werk sui generis. Es ist ein originelles Werk, in dem Chopin experimentiert, und das ihm, wie man dem Manuskript entnehmen kann, einige Schwierigkeiten bereitet hat, bevor er zu einer befriedigenden Lösung kam. Obwohl bereits beim ersten Thema der charakteristische Polonaisen-Rhythmus auftaucht, fehlt er an anderer Stelle oft völlig, wobei der zweite Teil des Titels „Fantaisie“ wohl das Gefühl rhapsodischer Improvisation andeuten soll. Durch Wiederholung von Themen und seinen instinktiven Sinn für Form, Tempo und Proportion gelingt es Chopin, eine Einheit von bemerkenswerter Geschlossenheit zu schaffen.

aus dem Begleittext von Jeremy Nicholas © 2010
Deutsch: Ludwig Madlener

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