Frederic Chopin – Piano Concertos Nr 1 & 2 (Krystian Zimerman) (1986)

FrontCover1Without a doubt, Zimerman’s performances are a triumph of technique and style. I agree with a previous reviewer who noted Zimmerman’s superb technique and lyrical playing. Zimmerman isn’t quite as flashy as Argerich, yet he gives performances that are as emotionally stirring as hers, without forsaking technique.

And I find that his technique is as flawless as Claudio Arrau’s, yet Zimmerman plays more warmly than does the late Chilean master. Maybe it’s fitting that a Polish pianist gives two of the finest performances of Chopin’s main orchestral works, since Zimerman knows exactly when to change the volume of his warm, expressive playing. During his brief tenure with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carlo Maria Giulini Zimermantransformed this underrated American orchestra into a world-class ensemble capable of playing as well as its peers in Berlin and Vienna.

Here both he and the orchestra are sympathetic accompanists to Zimmerman’s exceptional playing, recognizing that Chopin regarded both works as masterpieces for virtuoso pianists such as himself. This is among Deutsche Grammophon’s best engineered recordings of the early digital era. Of all the versions of Chopin’s concerti available, this is the one that belongs in your collection. (ny John Kwok)

Recorded in 1979 + 1980


Krystian Zimerman (piano)
Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini


Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11:
01. Allegro maestoso 19.58
02.Romance (Larghetto) 10.46
03.Rondo (Vivace) 9.41

Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor, Op.21:
04.Maestoso 14.12
05.Larghetto 9.12
06.Allegro vivace 8.26