Although a few major pianists, notably Glenn Gould, have dismissed his music as excessively ornamental and trivial, Frédéric Chopin has long been recognized as one of the most significant and individual composers of the Romantic age. The bulk of his reputation rests on small-scale works that in other hands would have been mere salon trifles: waltzes, nocturnes, preludes, mazurkas, and polonaises (the last-named two groups reflecting his fervent Polish nationalism). These works link poetically expressive melody and restless harmony to high technical demands. Even his etudes survive as highly appealing concert pieces by emphasizing musical as well as technical values. His birth date is a matter of controversy; the town registration of his birth specifies February 22, but Chopin always gave the date as March 1. His father was French, his mother Polish; he was raised in Warsaw by a family that mingled with intellectuals and members of the middle and upper classes, and as a teenager he spent two summers in the country, where he was exposed to Polish folk music. By the age of eight he was recognized as a child prodigy, performing in elegant salons and beginning to write his own pieces. Early on he studied composition with Josef Elsner, then took classes in various other music subjects as well as art and literature at the Warsaw Lyceum. In 1826 he enrolled at the University of Warsaw. He gave his first recital in Vienna in 1829, and over the next few years he performed at home and through much of German and Austria as well as in Paris. Feeling limited by Warsaw's cultural provincialism and uncomfortable with the publicity surrounding his performances there, he settled in Paris in 1832 and established himself as an exorbitantly paid piano teacher. In Paris he composed extensively, but limited his performances mainly to private salons. In 1838 he began an affair with French novelist George Sand. The couple, along with Sand's children, spent a harsh winter in Majorca, where Chopin's health plummeted and he was diagnosed with consumption (tuberculosis). Chopin settled in with Sand in France, composing steadily although his increasing perfectionism slowed his output. By the mid-1840s, though, his health and romantic situation both had deteriorated. The affair ended in 1847 after, among other things, Sand had portrayed their relationship unflatteringly in her 1846 novel Lucrezia Floriani. Chopin then made an extended visit to the British Isles, but returned to Paris to die in 1849.
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Classical - Released December 13, 2017 | Love Time Recordings
Classical - Released December 8, 2017 | Claves Records
The Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (OCL), founded in 1942 by violinist Victor Desarzens, has continued to spread its wings to become one of today’s most sought-after chamber orchestras in Europe. The OCL’s latest tour de force was the appointment in 2015 of US citizen Joshua Weilerstein, one of the most promising young directors of the new generation, as its artistic director. The OCL is a classical orchestra (an orchestra with about forty instrumentalists) influenced by the Mannheim school, covering a vast repertoire ranging from early Baroque to contemporary music. From its beginnings, the OCL was invited abroad, participating at the the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence from the second edition on. The concert tours first in Germany and then in the United States were a resounding success, as were its more recent performances at the Theatre of Champs Elysées in Paris or at the BBC Proms in London, the Musikverein in Vienna and the BBC Proms in London. Among the OCL’s recent guest appearances, it is worth mentioning the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Rostropovich Festival in Moscow and the Istanbul Festival. In 2017-2018, the OCL will performe for the first time at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at the Wiener Konzerthaus. The OCL’s concerts showcase the work of great soloists of the past and of rising stars, including pianists from Clara Haskil, Alfred Cortot, Walter Gieseking and Edwin Fischer to Murray Perahia, Radu Lupu, Martha Argerich and Nikolai Lugansky; violinists from Arthur Grumiaux to Frank Peter Zimmermann; cellists from Paul Tortelier to Truls Mørk; and flutists from Jean-Pierre Rampal to Emmanuel Pahud. The biggest names have contributed to its renown, and continue to do so, which is testimony of the trust they place in the OCL. © Claves Records
Classical - Released December 8, 2017 | GBMUSIC