After his Gold Medal win in the Tchaikovsky Competition, pianist Boris Berezovsky managed to consistently turn out one successful recording after another, proving over and over again that he has an incomprehensibly masterful technique coupled with a deep, sensitive musical understanding of the works he performs. This album of the Chopin piano concertos in the Mirare album, however, is a little bit of a misstep. This is not because of his own performance, which is deeply nuanced, technically precise, musically gratifying, and energetic throughout. The downside of this album is the actual recording quality and the orchestra with whom Berezovsky plays. Mirare's sound is muddy throughout the entire album, almost erasing Berezovsky's intricate playing in heavily scored sections. Chopin's orchestral writing is in no danger of winning any awards, and any orchestra that plays his sometimes-cumbersome tuttis with too much gravity and weight runs the risk of overshadowing the contrasting role the piano plays. This is unfortunately exactly what the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris does. Coupled with the muddy sound quality of the recording, this weighty playing in tutti sections translates into an unpleasant wash of sound. While Berezovsky's execution remains unimpeachable, listeners can only hope that he will one day choose to re-record these concertos under better circumstances.
Chopin: Concertos Pour Piano No. 1 & 2 Review
by Mike D. Brownell
|Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47|
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48|