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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from APR5660
Recording details: January 1951
Moscow, Russia
Release date: May 2007
Total duration: 36 minutes 55 seconds

Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor, Op 11
composer
first performed, by Chopin, on 22 September 1830; public premiere, again by Chopin, in Warsaw Town Hall on 11 October 1830; published in 1833

Allegro maestoso  [18'21]  recorded 1951
Romance: Larghetto  [8'46]  recorded 1951
Rondo: Vivace  [9'48]  recorded 1951

Other recordings available for download
Ingrid Fliter (piano), Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Jun Märkl (conductor)
Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Kazimierz Kord (conductor)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano), Philharmonia Orchestra, Heinrich Schiff (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Famously, Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto was written before the First. No 1 in E minor Op 11 is so designated simply because it was the first of the two to be published (1833). It is easy to think of these works as standing in isolation, without contemporary equivalents. However, thanks to the availability of recordings, the listening public can now more easily appreciate that the concertos of Hummel, Field, Weber and Moscheles in particular—and to a lesser extent Kalkbrenner, Herz and Ries—provided models for Chopin’s. Indeed, some of the thematic materials of Hummel’s A minor Concerto are strikingly similar to those of the E minor Concerto.

Op 11 has a lengthy orchestral exposition (twice as long as that of Op 21) marked Allegro maestoso. The touching second subject is archetypal Chopin and its first appearance a moment of exquisite beauty. The second movement, labelled Romanza, consists of a yearning nocturne-like theme in E major contrasted with a second subject in B major. He was still working on the Concerto when he wrote a letter dated 15 May 1830 in which he described his thoughts about this movement. It is one of the rare occasions that he made any allusion to the programme behind the music: ‘It is not meant to be loud, it’s more of a romance, quiet, melancholy; it should give the impression of gazing tenderly at a place which brings to mind a thousand dear memories. It is a sort of meditation in beautiful spring weather, but by moonlight. That is why I have muted the accompaniment.’ The final movement (Vivace) is a lively rondo with some resemblance to the krakowiak, a popular Polish folk dance. Despite the Concerto’s key signature, it is, like the Romanza, written in the key of E major. Chopin was the soloist in the first performance, heard privately on 22 September 1830, and again in the work’s public premiere in Warsaw Town Hall on 11 October. It was the last concert he gave before leaving Poland for good.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2008


Other albums featuring this work
'Moriz Rosenthal – The complete recordings' (APR7503)
Moriz Rosenthal – The complete recordings
'Chopin: Piano Concertos' (CDH55180)
Chopin: Piano Concertos
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55180  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Chopin: Piano Concertos' (CKD455)
Chopin: Piano Concertos
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD455  Download only  
'Chopin: The Complete Works' (CDS44351/66)
Chopin: The Complete Works
MP3 £45.00FLAC £45.00ALAC £45.00Buy by post £50.00 CDS44351/66  16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  

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