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Track(s) taken from CDS44351/66

Variations on 'Là ci darem la mano' from Mozart's Don Giovanni in B flat major, Op 2

late 1827-early 1828; published in Vienna in 1830; first performed, by Chopin, in Vienna on 12 August 1829

Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Kazimierz Kord (conductor)
Recording details: June 1997
National Philharmonic Concert Hall, Warsaw, Poland
Produced by Andrzej Sasin
Engineered by Andrzej Sasin & Andrzej Lupa
Release date: November 2008
Total duration: 18 minutes 46 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

Nikolai Demidenko (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)
The Là ci darem variations, Op 2 (1827) are a Mozart hommage of particularly imposing gesture, written originally for piano and orchestra and first played in such form at the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna, on 11 August 1829, with the composer himself as soloist, this work has for its basis a well-known tune from Don Giovanni – the first act duet between Zerlina and the Don: ‘There we’ll take hands and you will whisper “Yes”. See, it’s close by; let’s leave this place, my darling.’ Combining grace with strength, poetic declamation with virtuoso bravura, the pageant of its imagination, the vibrancy of its creative flame, is remarkable. Writing in the Leipzig Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung (7 December 1831), the young Schumann was to hail it fancifully and famously: ‘Off with your hats, gentlemen – a genius!’

from notes by Ateş Orga © 1991

Les variations «Là ci darem», op.2 (1827) sont un grandiose hommage à Mozart, composées à l’origine pour piano et orchestre, et exécutées sous cette forme au Kärntnertortheater de Vienne le 11 août 1829, avec comme soliste le compositeur lui-même. Ces variations ont pour base un air fort connu de Don Giovanni, le duo du premier acte entre Zerlina et le Don: «Tu mettras ta main dans la mienne, et tu chuchotera, «Oui». Quittons ce lieu mon amour.» Elles unissent la grâce et la force, la déclamation poétique et la virtuosité. La cavalcade de l’imagination, le caractère vibrant de sa flamme créative en font une œuvre remarquable. Dans sa lettre célèbre et fougueuse au Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung de Leipzig (du 7 décembre 1831) le jeune Schumann la salua ainsi: «Chapeaux bas, messieurs – un génie!»

extrait des notes rédigées par Ateş Orga © 1991
Français: Hypérion

Dieses Werk, eine Mozart-Hommage von wahrhaft eindrucksvoller Gestik, die ursprünglich für Klavier und Orchester geschrieben und in dieser Fassung mit dem Komponisten als Solist am 11. August 1829 am Wiener Kärntnertortheater uraufgeführt wurde, beruht auf einer wohlbekannten Melodie aus Don Giovanni – dem Duett zwischen Zerlina und Don Giovanni im 1. Akt: „Dort reichen wir uns die Hand, dort gibst du mir dein Ja; du siehst, es ist nicht weit, gehn wir dorthin, Geliebte.“ Es verbindet Anmut mit Kraft, poetische Deklamation mit Bravourspiel, und die Strahlkraft seines kreativen Feuers ist bemerkenswert. In einem Artikel in der Leipziger Allgemeinen Musikalischen Zeitung (7. Dezember 1831) sollte der junge Schumann ihm das originelle, seither berühmt gewordene Lob aussprechen: „Hut ab, ihr Herren – ein Genie!“

aus dem Begleittext von Ateş Orga © 1991
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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Chopin: The Four Scherzi
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