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Track(s) taken from CDS44351/66

Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor, Op 31


Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Recording details: June 1992
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: 12 minutes 21 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

Other recordings available for download

Stephen Hough (piano)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Artur Pizarro (piano)
James Rhodes (piano)


'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' (Classics Today)

'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' (Classical Source)
For Schumann the Second Scherzo (1837) had all the high flown passion of Byron, and Chopin insisted that the opening sinister triplets could never be sufficiently tombé in performance: like a charnel house. Chopin’s volatile question and answer blossom, surprisingly, into one of his most expansive melodies and the A major trio, a marvel of economy, evolves into the most urgent and florid virtuosity. The subsequent ‘development’ is heaven-storming, indeed, and after a nearly exact repetition of the chief material (it is suitably and rhetorically embellished at key points) the fast and furious coda unites many seemingly disparate elements in a final whirl of glory.

from notes by Bryce Morrison © 2004

Pour Schumann, le Second Scherzo (1837) possédait toute la passion torride et fleurie de Byron. Chopin soulignait qu’on ne pouvait jamais suffisamment exécuter les sinistres triolets du début, en «tombé», tel un cietière. La question-réponse volatile de Chopin s’épanouit, étonnamment, en une de ses mélodies les plus expansives tandis que le trio en la majeur, une merveille d’économie de moyens, évolue vers une des virtuosités les plus ornées et pressantes. Le «développement» qui suit frappe aux portes du paradis. Après la reprise quasiment exacte du matériau thématique principal (embelli de la manière rhétorique qui convient aux moments clés), la coda rapide et furieuse rassemble ces éléments d’apparence hétérogènes en un tourbillon final de gloire.

extrait des notes rédigées par Bryce Morrison © 2004
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Für Schumann hatte das Zweite Scherzo (1837) die hochtrabende Leidenschaft eines Byron, und Chopin beharrte darauf, dass die finsteren Triolen am Anfang nie ausreichend Tombé aufgeführt werden könnten – dem Eindruck einer Leichenhalle nicht unähnlich. Chopins impulsive Frage und Antwort blühen auf und entwickeln sich – überraschenderweise – in eine seiner ausgedehntesten Melodien, und aus dem Trio in A-Dur, ein Meisterwerk der Sparsamkeit, entsteht eine ungeheuer drängende und blühende Virtuosität. Die darauffolgende „Durchführung“ ist sehr stürmisch und nach einer fast wörtlichen Wiederholung des Hauptmaterials (die Schlüsselstellen werden rhetorisch ausgeschmückt) vereint die schnelle und furiose Coda in einem letzten glanzvollen Wirbelwind viele scheinbar unvereinbare Elemente miteinander.

aus dem Begleittext von Bryce Morrison © 2004
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Chopin: Four Ballades & Four Scherzos
Studio Master: CDA67456Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Chopin: Reminiscences
Studio Master: CKD248Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Chopin: The Four Scherzi
Inside tracks - the James Rhodes mix tape
SIGCD425Download only
James Rhodes 5
Studio Master: SIGCD371Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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