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Classical - Released March 10, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released January 8, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
The Deutsche Grammophon label has offered a series of teenage prodigies, not all of whom have lived up to their billing. This release by Polish-born Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, just 17 and looking not entirely unlike Justin Bieber, may make a bigger splash than most. You might guess from the sheer daring of the interpretations, especially that of the Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466, that you were dealing with extreme youth here, but no insufficiency of technique or tone gives it away. The Piano Concerto No. 20 is really impressive. Lisiecki and conductor Christian Zacharias, leading the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, set out to create a real old-school recording of this most stormy of Mozart's concertos, and they succeed in forging something that's quite detailed and coherently worked out. It might also be called over the top, but that's something to be decided by the individual listener Lisiecki deploys a big sound, and he and Zacharias add on tempo variations, ornaments, and sudden dramatic gestures, topping the whole thing off with Beethoven's underutilized cadenza for the first movement. It's sort of as if one of the big Russian-schooled pianists of the middle part of the last century had decided to record the work with Leopold Stokowski as conductor, and Zacharias' contribution is key: he ruffles the orchestra's strings into spiky little attacks. In the Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, they are not quite as distinctive, but the breadth and control of Lisiecki's playing is nevertheless impressive, and in a world in which young students are disinclined to take chances he deserves all kinds of credit.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
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Classical - Released March 10, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
Although only 21 when this album appeared in early 2017, Polish-Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki was no newcomer: he had already been on Deutsche Grammophon's roster since 2010 and released several recordings. The buzz surrounding Lisiecki, especially in Poland and its orbit, has been intense, and this recording will show the curious why. Lisiecki has yet to develop real power (and he's hampered by a rather distant NDR studio acoustic from DG), but the music on the program here, catching the moment when Chopin's distinctive style unfurled like a rare flower, fits his style uncannily well. These piano-and-orchestra works (and one posthumous piano nocturne) are not often performed. Probably the most popular piece is the Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op. 22. Its solo piano introduction was composed after the fact and seems imperfectly joined to the polonaise, but Lisiecki's utterly arresting reading will make you forget all about that. Even better are the other piano-and-orchestra pieces, all of them normally counted as second-tier Chopin. Lisiecki doesn't just make a case for them; he calls the whole ranking into question. Sample the two movements of the the Rondo à la Krakowiak, Op. 14, with Lisiecki setting up subtle tension between the opening pentatonic material and the lively krakowiak, Chopin's only essay in this dance form. The Lisztian Fantasy on Polish Airs, Op. 13, is a flashier work and is not quite as successful, but the Variations on "Là ci darem la mano," Op. 2, have an unusual dramatic sense. This is an extremely promising release from a young specialist in Chopin and Mozart.
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Classical - Released January 8, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
Pianist Jan Lisiecki, just out of his teens when this recording was released, might have been expected to take a safe path with his recording of one of the most popular concertos in the repertory, the Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54. He has done anything but. This recording is unusual in several respects. It eschews the almost universal pairing with the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, in favor of a pair of late Schumann works that are rarely performed. But the real news here is the antiheroic and completely counter-to-type Schumann concerto itself. Lisiecki takes as a point of departure a waggish remark by Franz Liszt that the work is a "concerto without piano." The comment was surely a bit backhanded, but it gets to something essential about the piece that most performances do not focus on: in comparison with the common run of Romantic piano concertos, there is comparatively little solo piano work here and quite a few passages in which the piano swirls around within or even underneath the orchestra in basically accompanimental material. Lisiecki's contribution is to tone down the heroic passages and to explore the passagework in a great deal of detail. He's ably backed in this enterprise by the indefatigable Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and also by Deutsche Grammophon's engineers, who coax from the Auditorium Parco della Musica a wide-open sound that exposes Lisiecki's basically interior vision of the work. Another point in the recording's favor is the inclusion of the late Schumann pieces, especially the Introduction and Concert-Allegro, Op. 134, written in 1853 in the twilight of the composer's sanity. This work, never before recorded on Deutsche Grammophon in its 100-plus-year history, was traditionally regarded as part of Schumann's decline, and the booklet notes here reproduce that view. But the young Brahms played the work often, and it had more than a little influence on his first piano concerto. Lisiecki gives a riveting performance, and doesn't try to make it fit the pattern he has laid down with the Concerto in A minor. Should this be the only Schumann A minor in your collection? Probably not: it's quite unorthodox. Does it portend great things from its youthful pianist? Absolutely.

Classical - Released December 18, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Classical - Released December 11, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released April 19, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released April 16, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet