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Cat. No. CHAN 10588 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10588 - Chopin: Nocturnes, Scherzos and Sonata, Volume 1
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Available From: 01 May 2010
Chopin: Nocturnes, Scherzos and Sonata, Volume 1

‘In the era of the great romantic pianists, it used to be the fashion at piano recitals to offer an improvisation in the same key as that of the piece that was scheduled to follow, in order to get the audience ‘in the mood’. To compensate for this lost art, I have thought of always playing one of the nocturnes before a major piano composition by Chopin. It makes these nocturnes appear more like an improvisation, to serve as counterweight to the very dense content of the Ballades, Scherzos, and Sonatas. This practice transfers smoothly the logic of a piano recital to a CD and makes more sense by allowing the listener to enjoy the contents in one stretch’ writes Louis Lortie on his concept for the album.

The immensely respected French-Canadian virtuoso Louis Lortie celebrates the Chopin anniversary with an album of Nocturnes and Scherzos for solo piano, concluded with the famous Sonata in B flat minor, often referred to as the Funeral March. These works stretch the pianist’s technique in every possible way.
Louis Lortie has long had an association with Chandos, and is recognised as one of the finest interpreters of Chopin. He first recorded Chopin’s Études for Chandos more than 20 years ago; it was named as one of the ‘50 great performances by superlative pianists’ by BBC Music Magazine. Since then he’s enjoyed an exceptionally rich performing and recording career. He’s been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. A recent performance at Carnegie Hall elicited the following review, ‘Those who bought a ticket to hear Louis Lortie play on Saturday night must have been extremely glad they did so. The pianist from Montreal gave a recital at Carnegie Hall that was filled with beauty, brains, and virtuosity.’
 

Chopin, Volume 1: Nocturnes, Scherzos, Sonata in B flat minor – Louis Lortie (piano)

On his concept for this album, Louis Lortie writes: ‘In the era of the great romantic pianists, it used to be the fashion at piano recitals to offer an improvisation in the same key as that of the piece that was scheduled to follow, in order to get the audience “in the mood”. To compensate for this lost art, I have thought of always playing one of the nocturnes before a major piano composition by Chopin. It makes these nocturnes appear more like an improvisation, to serve as counterweight to the very dense content of the Ballades, Scherzos, and Sonatas. This practice transfers smoothly the logic of a piano recital to a CD and makes more sense by allowing the listener to enjoy the contents in one stretch.’

The immensely respected French-Canadian virtuoso Louis Lortie celebrates the Chopin anniversary with an album of Nocturnes and Scherzos for solo piano, concluding with the Sonata in B flat minor, including the famous ‘Funeral March’. These works stretch the pianist’s technique in every possible way.

Louis Lortie has long had an association with Chandos, and is recognised as one of the finest interpreters of Chopin. He first recorded Chopin’s Études for Chandos more than twenty years ago; his was named one of the ‘50 great performances by superlative pianists’ by the magazine BBC Music. Since then Lortie has enjoyed an exceptionally rich performing and recording career. He has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Knight of the National Order of Quebec.

Reviews

Definitive Recordings
“An unexpected and pleasant surprise during the year marking the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin’s birth. The prodigious Canadian pianist Louis Lorte returns with a fabulous recording of music by Chopin on the Chandos label... Quite simply a tremendous achievement with a recorded piano sound to match.”
Jean-Yves Duperron – Classical Music Sentinel.com

“...His [Lortie] gorgeous tone, lucid phrasing and musical insight make this a masterclass in Chopin playing.”  *****
                                               
Jeremy Nicholas   

Classic FM Magazine - March 2011

“…He [Lortie] is also a pianist of our time when it comes to speed, energy and an unfussy approach to Chopin. His way of playing is like a sharply cut steel sculpture, super elegant and with not one single smudge. Lortie makes the scherzos sound fantastic with his energy, and his outer movements of Sonata No 2 are breathtaking.”
 

Pianist Magazine - December 2010/January 2011

“…This disc is just superb.” “…I think Louis Lorte is one of our finest pianists, and this new disc displays him at his formidable best. The album is titles Volume 1; I eagerly await subsequent releases."
Dave Saemann


Fanfare - November/December 2010

“…These are full-blooded and eloquent performances. The recording quality does Lortie full justice …” “…this is an auspicious start to what looks likely to become one of the finest of Chopin surveys.”
                                            
Nicholas Salwey
 

International Piano Magazine - July/August 2010

“…Lortie prefaces each of the scherzos with a nocturne in a related key as well, providing moments of relieving calm between the cascading pyrotechnics, and ends the disc with the sonata. It’s all tremendously fluent, the technical hurdles easily cleared…”  “Lortie gets the final peroration of the B flat minor Scherzo exactly right – tremendous performance – and is pretty persuasive throughout the sonata too…”
                                                   
Andrew Clements

 

The Guardian - 2 July 2010

                     Performance ****    Recording ****
“Lortie’s musicianship is imaginative but never eccentric, with a technique that is always at the service of the music.”
 
John Allison
 

BBC Music Magazine - July 2010

“Thoughtful programming, rich colouring and a treasurable recital for Chopin year.” “…This is Chopin playing of a superior order.”
Jeremy Nicholas

Gramophone - July 2010

“…His [Lortie] playing is very personal, his presentation scrupulously thought-out, his intelligence unmistakable, but he is not, as a performer, conspicuously intellectual. His playing is characterised by great warmth and lyricism, his virtuosity is formidable but unflaunted, his individuality communicative but never distractingly idiosyncratic. As an interpreter he is highly discriminating, playing no two pieces in quite the same way….This is Chopin playing of a high order.”
Jeremy Siepmann
 

International Record Review - May 2010

 

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