- Preludes (24) for piano, Op. 28, CT. 166-189 - Frédéric Chopin - Evgeny Kissin
- Sonata for piano No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, CT 202 - Frédéric Chopin - Evgeny Kissin
- Polonaise for piano in A flat major, Op. 53, CT 155 - Frédéric Chopin - Evgeny Kissin
Chopin: Preludes, etc.by Evgeny Kissin
Why does Evgeny Kissin play some of these préludes so fast? The most likely answer is: Because he can. This Russian pianist -- not yet 30 when this recording was made in 1999 -- possesses what is arguably the most astonishing technique on record. Further evidence of his legerdemain is on display here. The whizzing left-hand runs in the G Major Prélude are absolutely perfect; he spews out the F Minor Prélude in a single breath; and he negotiates the treacherous swooping melody of the final D Minor Prélude with aplomb. On first hearing, one might notice that Kissin seems loath to linger in the slower pieces, but repeated listening reveals that his aim is to present these 24 miniatures as a unified and organic whole. It's a daring feat, and even if he skimps on charm in some details here and there, the payoff is cumulative. Kissin also gives a bold interpretation of the B-flat Minor Sonata: The first two movements are unrelentingly frenetic, and the famous Funeral March is taken at a dramatically deliberate pace. The march's central trio section is almost painfully slow, like a sweet memory so distant that recollection offers more sorrow than solace. The stark, stormy finale -- perhaps the strangest and most ingenious music to come from Chopin's pen -- is painted in a nightmarish, impressionistic haze. Closing the program on a brighter note is the ever-popular Polonaise, Op. 53. Kissin's performance is suitably muscular and exuberant, with an exhilarating sense of unshakeable youthful confidence. Kissin has the ability to play anything -- and to play it exactly the way he wants to. Each new recording shows him developing into an individual artist who can make even the most familiar music vital and compelling.
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Performance CreditsEvgeny Kissin Primary Artist
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Finally there¿s a solo piano album in my collection that can match John McArthur's HIDDEN (1999). It¿s Kissin's Chopin. Haven¿t heard such a great piano solo album in years. Chopin ¿released in 2000- was a revelation to me. This guy¿s playing takes your breath away. His playing is daring and adventurous, and because he has a perfect sense of structure as well, he never gets lost and keeps everything in perfect balance. And on top of this, his playing is deeply moving. I hear a lot of McArthur and Horowitz in Kissin's playing, but, much more important, I hear foremost a pianist with a distinct style of his own. He is distinct.