Chopin - Piano Concerto No.1 & other works (2006)

Chopin

Olga Kern

Antoni Wit

In his art at its finest, Chopin represents the marriage of public and private, areconciliation of extrovert and introspective. Often, in both solo compositions and concerted works, contemplative pages balance and bank the fires of virtuosity, and this potent amalgam helped make the composer into society’s darling and a favored pianist of the Parisian tout le monde. With a gift to not just create stylistic polarities but effortlessly to meld them – technical extravaganzas can have moments of pathos, and inward-looking works are rarely lacking in panache – he was not merely poet or showman, but both of these at once. 
Chopin’s breakthrough work, his passport from the provinces to Paris, was the Piano Concerto No. 1, in E minor (1828). Its idyllic slow movement shines with lyrical ardor, with sentiments to be later explored in the Nocturnes and other miniatures, and its finale is a rousing krakowiak, but the first movement pushes boundaries. Opening with an assertive orchestral introduction of symphonic sweep, it forsakes conventional sonata form with its customary expectations for a more idiosyncratic scenario that reveals itself gradually, incrementally, over time. 
If the movement’s plan was in some ways experimental (for more, see Chopin, Jim Samson, p. 49, Oxford University Press, 1996), Tovey, ever astute, called it “suicidal” (Donald Francis Tovey, Essays in Musical Criticism, vol. 3, p. 103, Oxford University Press, London, 1936), and though his observation has merit, we are struck less by the movement’s blemishes than by “the beauties of (its) individual moments… for particular felicities of melody, harmony, and texture which we identify retrospectively as Chopinesque…” 

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Olga Kern

Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001, Olga Kern has performed as soloist and with many of today’s major conductors and orchestras, including an extensive 2004 tour of the United States with the Warsaw Philharmonic, led by Antoni Wit. Appearing on all 5 continents, she has captivated fans and critics alike with her passionate artistry and magnetic stage presence. Immediately following her acclaimed New York recital début at Carnegie Hall’s new Zankel Hall on May 1st, 2004 – “A Pianist on her way up” (The New York Times) – she was invited back to play a return engagement in Carnegie Hall’s main Stern Auditorium only eleven days later; the evening was a triumph. 
Ms. Kern’s busy 2005/2006 schedule includes a number of débuts, among them a performance with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan and a recital at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The 2005/2006 season will also feature her return to the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico where she will be heard in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos No. 2 and 4, and the Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini – all in one night. Olga Kern records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa.

Antoni Wit

Antoni Wit, the General and Artistic Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic, is one of the most highly regarded Polish conductors. A 1971 prize-winner of Berlin’s Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition, Maestro Wit studied conducting with Henryk Czy? and composition with Krzysztof Penderecki at the Academy of Music in Cracow; he subsequently continued his studies in Paris with Nadia Boulanger.
Maestro Wit has led many first performances of new works by his compatriots Penderecki, Lutos?awski and Wojciech Kilar, to name a few, and has appeared in the major capitals of Europe, the Americas, and in the Near and Far East. His discography exceeds 100 recordings, many of which have garnered prestigious international awards. Maestro Wit is a professor at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra played its inaugural concert on November 5, 1901 in the newly- opened Philharmonic Hall. Led by its first artistic director and principal conductor Emil M?ynarski, the performance featured the world-renowned pianist and composer Ignace Jan Paderewski as soloist. The orchestra quickly became the main centre of musical activity in Poland in the years preceding and following World War I. Nearly all the leading conductors and soloists of the day appeared with the orchestra, including Grieg, Honegger, Klemperer, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Horowitz, Rubinstein, and Sarasate.
The outbreak of World War II temporarily halted the activities of the Philharmonic; its auditorium was destroyed. In the first post-war years, the Philharmonic was led by Straszy?ski and Panufnik who were superseded in January 1950 by Witold Rowicki as its director and principal conductor. Despite difficult working conditions, the orchestra was reorganised and began touring abroad. On February 21, 1955 the rebuilt Philharmonic Hall was re-opened and the orchestra received the status of the National Orchestra of Poland.
In January 2002 Maestro Antoni Wit assumed the post of General and Artistic Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic – The National Orchestra and Choir of Poland. Today both the Orchestra and Choir have wide-reaching popularity and acclaim. Both ensembles have completed over one hundred tours on five continents and appear in major musical venues worldwide. Each season the Philharmonic presents over 80 symphony concerts. The orchestra has made numerous recordings which have garnered multiple awards and distinctions.

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Chopin - Piano Concerto No.1 & other works (2006)

Chopin

Olga Kern

Mastering Engineer: Brad Michel
Producer: Robina G. Young
Recording Engineer: Brad Michel, Chris Barrett
Recording location: Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine Cal. trk 1-3, Lyndhurst Hall, London trk 4-7
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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907402DI: Chopin - Piano Concerto No.1 & other works
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Tracks.
1.
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 - I. Allegro maestoso
Chopin
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2.
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 - II. Romanze: Larghetto
Chopin
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3.
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 - III. Rondo: Vivace
Chopin
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4.
Fantaisie in F minor, Op.49 - Fantaisie in F minor, Op.49
Chopin
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5.
Bolero, Op.19 - Bolero, Op.19
Chopin
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6.
Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op.66 - Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op.66
Chopin
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7.
Polonaise in A-flat major, Op.53 - Polonaise in A-flat major, Op.53
Chopin
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