(featuring soloist Orazio Frugoni, backed by the Vienna Volksoper Orchestra, conducted by Michael Gielen. Cover painting : "Nympheas", by Monet)
The two Concertos presented on this album, were really the pieces with which Frederic Chopin (1810-49) set out to conquer Europe and, indeed, the world ... He had earlier made his debut, in Vienna, and had enjoyed a promising reaction, but he felt that these two more imposing and varied works, would augment and raise his reputation in the greatest European city of music. Therefore, he embarked from Warsaw, in late 1829.
To Chopin, writing a concerto meant furnishing a modest orchestral framework for a privileged instrument, the piano - which would keep its place in the foreground, not by means of vain and noisy pyrotechnics, but through the discreetness of the orchestral accompaniment. Notice, how efficiently and skilfully, the orchestra fills the unassuming role the composer assigns to it.
Chopin used as models for these Concertos, the equivalent works by Hummel and Kalkbrenner - he adopted sonata form, and the usual direction of three movements viz. "faster-slower-faster". The grandeur and originality of Chopin lays in his pianistic writing ; he transformed a percussive instrument into an expressive one, rediscovering the almost-forgotten possibilities of nuance, tone, light and shade.
Side One : Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor Op.11 by Chopin :-
1) I Allegro maestoso 2) II Romanze - Larghetto 3) III Rondo. Vivace.
Side Two : Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor Op.21 by Chopin :-
1) I Maestoso 2) II Larghetto 3) III Allegro Vivace.
Records graded visually to RRPG grades (record/sleeve) VG+/VG-.