Written by a young and ambitious Chopin as self-promotional vehicle to demonstrate his performance capabilities and, to a lesser degree, his compositional skills, the two piano concertos have remained as an important part of the instrument's repertoire. Often derided for their somewhat trite orchestral parts, these concertos are nevertheless beautiful, thoroughly enjoyable works. While there are countless recordings of the piano works of Beethoven and Mozart on period instruments, this inclination has found its way to Chopin's works with less frequency. This album, produced by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute, makes use of an 1849 Erard fortepiano made in Paris, very similar to the instruments Chopin himself would have used. While it lacks the same resonance and projection as the modern concert grand piano, it more than makes up for this with its clarity and intimacy of tone, unique sound colors, and expressivity of dynamics. In the hands of pianist Dang Thai Son, this instrument casts a whole new light on Chopin's concertos with which many listeners may be completely unfamiliar. Son's intricate, detailed interpretation is translated into a much more personal, intimate listening experience. Accompanied by the sensitive and refined Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Son and conductor Frans Brüggen give listeners a splendid and unique reading of these lush concertos.
AllMusic 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|