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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CKD248
Recording details: June 2004
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Philip Hobbs
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: February 2005
Total duration: 9 minutes 59 seconds

'Pizarro's playing is distinctive, however: lean and muscular, rather than sentimentally refined. Occasionally, he veers towards a mood of dark, high Romanticism more associated with Liszt than Chopin, but his approach pays off in the brooding introspection of his performances of the nocturnes, while there's an earthiness in some of the valses and mazurkas that reflects on their origins in folk music' (The Guardian) » More

'Classical music purists and Chopin aficionados should not be put off by the Classic FM-type title of this disc of Chopin piano music, or by the repertoire chosen by Artur Pizarro, a very distinguished pianist (though I'm not convinced how widely that fact is realised). Pizarro's choice of pieces might resemble a selection of Chopin favourites and pops, but he brings to the most familiar music a spellbinding array of insights in this set of performances, which admirably display his intelligence and originality of thought, along with breathtakingly sensitive playing which allows Chopin's music to breathe. Listen to the heartstopping, hushed versions of the Nocturnes in B Major and C sharp minor, the achingly beautiful performance of the D flat Nocturne, and Pizarro's dry, light, super-articulate playing of that perennial barnstormer the 'Grande valse brillante', to see what I mean. Even alongside legendary recordings by such pianists as Rubinstein, this collection features some of the finest Chopin playing on record' (The Herald)

'The sound is certainly spectacular, with the distinctively rich bass and bright upper register of his favoured Blüthner grand beautifully caught by the Linn engineers. Pizarro's playing itself is interesting and makes you take notice … his Mazurkas are excellent, as is his passionate rendition of the famous Polonaise. Indeed, this could be, for me, the pick of the disc, with the pent-up tension and superbly even left hand octaves making for thrilling listening' (MusicWeb International) » More

Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor, Op 31
composer
1837

Other recordings available for download
Stephen Hough (piano)
Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
York Bowen (piano)
Jorge Bolet (piano)
Irene Scharrer (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
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 İ 2004


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'Chopin: The Complete Works' (CDS44351/66)
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