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Chopin- Piano Concerto no. 1 in E minor, op. 11 played on an 1848 Pleyel piano

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Published on Apr 30, 2013

0:00- Allegro maestoso
20:29- Romance
30:30- Rondo. Vivace

Chopin composed relatively infrequently for the orchestra, and when he did it was only for orchestra in collaboration with solo piano. Some consider his orchestrational skills to be poor. While I don't know if I agree entirely with that, I do think that they pale in comparison with his ability to compose for the piano - the setting in which he was most "at home". Among his piano and orchestra works were two piano concerti, both of which are incredibly popular. The first concerto in E minor is typical of Chopin's early writing style - it's big, brilliant and flashy, with a lyrical, song-like second movement. The Romance is one of my favorite movements in all of Chopin's output. It's based on variation and ornamentation, and a piece that can so easily carry you away when you're listening to it.

This particular recording was made by Dang Thai Son, winner of the 1980 International Chopin Competition, on an 1848 Pleyel piano, in collaboration with the Orchestra of the 18th Century under the direction of Frans Bruggen. It comes from a box set entitled "The Real Chopin". Compiled by a Polish record label in 2010 to commemorate the great composer's bicentennial, the box set includes recordings (often multiple recordings of the same piece) of his entire works done on authentic period instruments. The recording quality is tremendous, and the playing is spectacular as well. Hearing Chopin played this way really casts his music in a different light. My personal opinion is that recordings on modern instruments are equally as legitimate, but it's incredible to hear the music the way Chopin himself would have in his day.

It should be noted that in this recording, not only is the piano authentic to Chopin's period, but the orchestra is as well, and their style is very different from what you would get from larger orchestras of today. Their tone is straight with no vibrato, and surprisingly crystalline. It's a unique experience to listen to the concerti like this.

This recording may be purchased on amazon.com here: http://tinyurl.com/d5olktv

Thanks for listening. Hope you enjoy!

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