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Symphonies - Released August 24, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik - 5 étoiles de Classica
The Second Symphony by Leonard Bernstein, The Age of Anxiety, based on a poem of the same name by W. H. Auden, is a work of the composer-conductor's relative youth, dating from 1948-1949, when he was just turning thirty. The symphony is presented as a series of variations, but not variations around an initial theme. No: each variation takes on elements of the previous variation, varies in turn, and so on. It brings to mind an unbroken metamorphosis. As one might imagine, Bernstein mixes classical symphonic elements with jazz, in particular in the solo piano passage – tackled here by Krystian Zimerman, who had the good fortune to perform with Bernstein several times. In its own way, it is a kind of homage to the centenary of the composer's birth: as Zimerman mentions in the liner notes, Bernstein asked him if he wanted to play this symphony with him for his hundredth birthday. And he almost keeps the promise, although the orchestra is the Berlin Philharmonic, under Sir Simon Rattle. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released September 8, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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With his 60th birthday approaching, the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman thought it was time “to find the courage for works such as these and the last Beethoven sonatas. I’ve played these pieces for 30 years, but always feared them tremendously because of my unbelievable respect for the composers. Perhaps I worried that if I left them any longer, it would be too late.” Zimerman has used a normal piano, but fitted with a keyboard made by himself, designed to create qualities Schubert would have known in his instruments. Compared to a modern grand piano, the hammer strikes a different point of the string, enhancing its ability to sustain a singing sound – though it does also set up different overtones and the piano might sound strangely tuned. Also, the action is lighter. On a modern grand piano the many repeated notes in Schubert could turn into Prokofiev. According to Zimmerman, these two last Sonatas contribute significantly to our view of Schubert’s greatness, as “he switches into a different gear, daring radically to use new ideas in harmony and polyphony. Compared to his earlier sonatas, they could almost be by another composer.” The album was recorded in January 2016.
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Classical - Released August 14, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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It's perhaps difficult to speak of a state-of-the-art recording of the music of Witold Lutoslawski, given the influence exerted on this Polish composer by the aleatoric procedures of the American John Cage, but this Deutsche Grammophon release might qualify. The Piano Concerto of 1988 is performed by the player for whom it was written, Krystian Zimerman, and he and conductor Simon Rattle have the well-oiled quality necessary to bring out the shifts in the piano-orchestra relationship over the course of the work's four movements and the neat combination of Lutoslawski's modernist idiom with his earlier Bartók-influenced style. And you get a good representation of the phases of Lutoslawski's career, missing only that early phase: the Symphony No. 2 is a prime example of his aleatoric style (you might expect it to cause problems for Rattle and the tradition-bound Berlin Philharmonic, but their realization seems confident and fresh), while the Piano Concerto exemplifies the more accessible late Lutoslawski style. Beautifully recorded, this is a place where those curious about Lutoslawski can begin with confidence. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 15, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released November 18, 1993 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Keyboard Concertos - Released May 15, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
The Second Symphony by Leonard Bernstein, The Age of Anxiety, based on a poem of the same name by W. H. Auden, is a work of the composer-conductor's relative youth, dating from 1948-1949, when he was just turning thirty. The symphony is presented as a series of variations, but not variations around an initial theme. No: each variation takes on elements of the previous variation, varies in turn, and so on. It brings to mind an unbroken metamorphosis. As one might imagine, Bernstein mixes classical symphonic elements with jazz, in particular in the solo piano passage – tackled here by Krystian Zimerman, who had the good fortune to perform with Bernstein several times. In its own way, it is a kind of homage to the centenary of the composer's birth: as Zimerman mentions in the liner notes, Bernstein asked him if he wanted to play this symphony with him for his hundredth birthday. And he almost keeps the promise, although the orchestra is the Berlin Philharmonic, under Sir Simon Rattle. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 9, 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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The scarcity of the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman's studio recordings is a result of his high standards and, at the same time, makes for an excellent sales pitch. The pianist leaves nothing to chance, scrutinising scores in search of answers to his musical and organological questions concerning the style, the mechanics and possibilities of his instrument. He travels the world with his own Steinway pianos exclusively, dismantling them and reassembling them himself for each concert.A first complete set of Beethoven's Concertos was started for the same publisher in Vienna with Leonard Bernstein in 1989, but this was unfortunately interrupted by Bernstein's death, which obliged Zimerman to conduct the first two concertos from his keyboard. The closeness of his Beethovenian vision to that of Sir Simon Rattle has led him to undertake a second complete collection with the latter, this time recorded in London with the London Symphony Orchestra. Krystian Zimerman's hyper-articulate playing, which gives exceptional legibility to Beethoven's lines, shines in this varied corpus, which starts at the end of the eighteenth century and goes straight into Romanticism. Around him, the fabulous English musicians sing and carry on their dialogues under Rattle's very lyrical direction. This conductor is particularly attentive to the pianist's slightest intentions, and there are many cues to watch out for.While the global pandemic did not change musical approaches, it did profoundly alter the physical layout of the orchestras. In their splendid home of St. Luke's, an eighteenth-century church in the heart of London that was abandoned in the early 1960s after a terrible landslide and rehabilitated for the London Symphony Orchestra in the early twenty-first century, the musicians were forced to spread out according to strict health regulations. The protective screens between the music stands, the social distance of 1.5 metres between the strings and 2 metres between the woodwinds and the brass did not, however, detract from the coherence and sonic splendour of this recording. “Sometimes it feels like blowing smoke signals over a mountain, but there’s something about the effort that almost suits Beethoven. The struggle is part of his style,” Rattle said. “After all the anxiety and uncertainty that the pandemic gave us, it was such a release and such a joy for us to play Beethoven again. We were able to do this at a time when so many musicians had been prevented from working. It’s something I think we will never forget.” The musical message is communicated with an ineffable, expressive intensity. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released December 17, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1998 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1991 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1992 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

In the notes for this release, pianist Krystian Zimerman has distinctly unkind things to say about his 1983 recording of Brahms' First Concerto, complaining first about the weak piano and then about the muffled recording. About the eccentric conductor -- the incredibly slow Leonard Bernstein -- the idiomatic orchestra -- the unbelievably beautiful Vienna Philharmonic -- or his own sub par playing -- uncharacteristically heavy and unbearably ponderous -- Zimerman is understandably silent. The great speaks for itself and the less said of the less than great, the better. In this recording, Zimerman corrects most of his previous mistakes. The piano sounds magnificent -- a monster of an instrument fully capable of matching the orchestra fortissimo for fortissimo. The recording is about half magnificent. Patched together from sessions in September 2003 and December 2004, portions of the recording are vivid and portions of the recording are muted and distant. The conducting by the often eccentric Simon Rattle is wholly magnificent, deeply in the tradition but feisty and fiery. The playing by the Berlin Philharmonic is not as idiomatic as the Vienna but it is easily as virtuostic and far more aggressive. But the big question is: how's Zimerman? He's not uncharacteristically heavy. He's immensely muscular with a blistering technique, a massive tone and complete command of every note in the score. And he's not unbearably ponderous. He's incredibly agile with overwhelming power in the outer Maestoso and Rondo and unbearable concentration in central Adagio. Anyone who knows Zimerman's earlier recording owes it to him to hear this recording. Anyone who loves Brahms' First Concerto, owes it to themselves to hear this recording. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 9, 1982 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1993 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Krystian Zimerman in the magazine