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Track(s) taken from CDS44351/66

Scherzo No 4 in E major, Op 54

composer
1842/3

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 31 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)
Vladimir Horowitz (piano)
Jorge Bolet (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)
When Chopin is at his happiest, most outwardly serene, then, for the pianist, he is at his most treacherous. The Fourth Scherzo is the only one in a major key and its mercurial brilliance and whimsy are notoriously hard to control. Significantly, this Scherzo was Saint-Saëns’s favourite (it is, after all, the most urbane, Gallic and sparkling of the set) and both he and Pierné later used its potential to dazzling and mischievous effect in their G minor and C minor piano concertos. A later mix of duple and triple time evokes the A flat Waltz, opus 42, and a gentler, less animated syncopation characterizes the central più lento, a pensive and rhapsodic interlude after so much scintillating light and shade. The coda confirms the Scherzo’s overall high spirits and the final ‘flutter of silvery scale’ is a far cry from the grimly determined conclusion to the earlier Scherzos.

from notes by Bryce Morrison © 2004

C’est lorsque Chopin dévoile une humeur des plus heureuses, des plus ouvertement sereines qu’il est pour le pianiste le plus trompeur. Le Quatrième Scherzo, le seul en majeur, fait preuve d’un brio et d’une fantaisie notoirement difficiles à contrôler. Il faut d’ailleurs noter que c’était le préféré de Saint-Saëns (voici, après tout le plus urbain, français et pétillant des quatre). Lui et Pierné exploitèrent par la suite ses effets époustouflants et espiègles dans leurs concertos pour piano en sol mineur et ut mineur. Un mélange ultérieur de mesures à deux et trois temps évoque la Valse en la bémol majeur opus 42 tandis que des syncopes plus douces, moins animées caractérisent le più lento central, un interlude pensif et rapsodique après tant de lumière et d’ombre scintillants. La coda confirme l’esprit généralement enjoué du Scherzo et le finale faisant « virevolter une gamme argentée » est bien loin de la conclusion résolument sévère des scherzos antérieurs.

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

Wenn Chopin sich nach außen heiter und fröhlich zeigt, dann ist er für den Pianisten am verräterischsten. Das Vierte Scherzo steht als einziges in Dur und es ist offenkundig schwer, die lebendige Brillanz und Launenhaftigkeit unter Kontrolle zu halten. Interessanterweise mochte Saint-Saëns dieses Scherzo besonders (es ist natürlich auch das mondänste, gallischste und schillerndste der vier) und sowohl er als auch Pierné griffen es bei der Arbeit an ihren g-Moll und c-Moll Klavierkonzerten auf, um ähnliche glitzernde und koboldhafte Effekte zu erzielen. Etwas später wird durch eine Mischung aus Zweier- und Dreiertakt der As-Dur Walzer op. 42 evoziert und eine ruhigere, weniger lebhafte Synkopierung charakterisiert das zentrale Più lento, ein nachdenkliches und rhapsodisches Zwischenspiel, das nach dem funkelnden Spiel mit Licht und Schatten erklingt. Die Coda ist eine Bestätigung der größtenteils hochgemuten Stimmung und die „wirbelnde Bewegung der silbrigen Tonleiter“ am Ende ist von den grimmig entschlossenen Schlusspassagen der früheren Scherzi weit entfernt.

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

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Chopin: Four Ballades & Four Scherzos
Studio Master: CDA67456Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Chopin: The Four Scherzi
CDH55181Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Jorge Bolet – His earliest recordings
APR6009for the price of 1 — Download only
Vladimir Horowitz – The complete solo European recordings
APR6004for the price of 1 — Download only
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