- Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47
- Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48
Christian Zacharias is a gifted German pianist who is too much a musician to remain "just" a pianist. While his playing as a soloist has always been superlative, his performances as a part of a chamber ensemble have also always been superb, and he has even conducted, having been appointed principal guest conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony. In this recording of both of Chopin's piano concertos with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Zacharias combines all three roles and combines them brilliantly. His playing of the solo parts is big-toned, tender-hearted, and note-perfect. Just as fine is his conducting, which balances orchestra with soloists and strings with winds and brass so that textures are always absolutely transparent, no small achievement in Chopin's heavy orchestral writing. And even better is his chamber-music-like interplay with the ensemble. One gets the sense that every player is listening to every other player and the result is a performance of rare clarity and rarer sympathy. Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm's sound is typically translucent and characteristically crystalline.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Christian Zacharias' lovely and translucent recording of the Chopin piano concertos was given a Rosette by the 2009 Penguin Guide. This is truly praiseworthy. Zacharias plumbs the romantic depths of both concertos without glossing over the strong Polish elements. First movements of each are played with a sweeping majestic intonation with just the slightest rubato. The romance of Concerto no.1 is played with great passion and sensitivity to its intended mood. But it is Concerto no 2 that stuns, with Zacharias taking over as both maestro and master. Vivaces are played with feather-light touches with rippling arpeggios. The marks of great craftsmanship! MDG's sound production is top notch and is enhanced by the meticulous balance of light and shade. Highly recommended!