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4.6 out of 5 stars18
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 4 October 2002
Most of those who buy classical music recordings will have these Concertos in some form or another, and may be wondering why they should purchase yet another rendition. Well the simple reason is that this CD is the only one that I have heard to do full justice to all parts of these often misunderstood works.
Chopin's piano concertos were written while he was still a young man, and are often criticised for the rather academic and self-concious outer movements. Indeed the long tutti that opens the first concerto is as far from 'Chopinesque' music as he ever got (it was even rumoured that the orchestration was carried out by a colleague), and the 'mazurka' embedded in the third movement is playful, but a world apart from any of the haunting and beautiful solo piano music.
However, the stoic and occasionally flat-footed writing of the outer movements in both concertos,frame two slow movements of such inspiration that they have (in my opinion) yet to be equalled by any composer since. These melodies are amongst the most evocative ever written, and are delicatley underpinned with a subtle orchestral score that lets every golden note hang in the air.
Argerich and Dutoit are absolutley aware of this, and while they dance, whirl and march round the outer parts with all the panache required, they melt into the inner sections with the utmost telepathic polish and grace. I am not Argerich's biggest fan (I think the Rachmaninov D minor concerto with Chailly is horribly over-rated), but her wonderful sense of timing and very subtle rubato turn these performances into pure gold.
The recording quality is good, but the intensity of the performance is the real reason to buy this CD. It is clear that they both love these works very much - I think anyone who has heard them would love them too.
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on 18 September 2010
I am more than amazed by the two star review given to this recording . Splendid as Argerich's recording coupled with the Liszt 1 from her youth is, it yields in no way to this recording in my opinion.

The Chopin 2 is I think a better and more characteristic performance than her recording with Rostropovich .

I have no fault to find with the orchestral accompaniment. Dutoit is sympathetic and responsive - indeed these are readings which show that Chopin was no means as bad an orchestrator as some would have you believe . Most of all, however , the recordings are about not Argerich but Chopin. Time and again her playing brings out the endless invention of this composer and unlike some plainer performances they never bore.

This is a great recording of marvellous works that will give purchasers tremendous joy and satisfaction . Up there with Pollini/Kletzki and Lipatti in No 1 and Rubinstein in both .

Superb.
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This disc, very well recorded in 1998, makes for an obvious and desirable coupling of the two Chopin concertos. That this is not often offered is perhaps due to the combined playing time of about 70 minutes which approaches the usual limit of CD content. However, as EMI clearly demonstrate with this recording, there is no really good reason not to so couple them and there is no audible degradation in sound that can be detected.

Martha Argerich made her reputation as a Chopin specialist, or at least as a pianist with particular empathies for Chopin, right from the start of her illustrious career. These two performances could be seen as a culmination of a lifetime's experience of fulfilling such a role. Consequently every filigree detail, turn of phrase or burst of energy after more reflective moments is scrupulously observed. This attention to such detail is also delivered by Charles Dutoit with his orchestra and a seamless pair of recordings is the final result.

A recent documentary DVD / Blu-ray has been issued with the unattractive title of 'Bloody Daughter' and one of the most lasting attractions of the disc is the bonus of a 'live' concert performance from 2010 of the first concerto with Martha Argerich in Warsaw. That performance has all the signs of spontaneous vigour and risk-taking that are not to be found on this well prepared pair of studio recordings, or indeed any other studio recording that I have so far heard. Additionally there is also a great deal to be said for being able to watch Argerich performing 'live' as well as hearing her.

This current disc is certainly able to be ranked with the best available and is a treasurable document. As such I would suggest that it warrants serious consideration by any potential purchaser. However, I would also suggest that the 'live' performance supplied as a bonus on the DVD/Blu-ray as mentioned above offers an extra perspective.
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on 24 July 2012
I already had a dated and uninspired CD of these two Chopin masterpieces, but wanted to see what the pieces would sound like on a better recording with a piano genius playing. The answer is poles apart. The sound quality and phrasing here is as near prefect as you can get, and I would recommend this recording to anyone.

As an introduction to Chopin's music, I would recommend this above the more famous Nocturnes,Waltz's and Mazurka's, wonderful though they are. Whilst music critics debate the standing of Copin's piano concertoes in the 'pantheon' of this genre, my personal view is that they don't sit too far behind Beethoven, Mozart and Rachmaninov
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Just endorsing the detailed praise for these outstanding accounts which I recently purchased. Argerich playing at her finest and well supported by Dutoit and the Montreal players in very good sound. These are imaginatively distinctive performances that make these scores sound so freshly conceived and not in any way confined to the recording studio. wonderful, cannot be recommended too highly!
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on 5 January 2012
This is a superb recording in it's sound quality and rendering of these two magificent works of a great composer
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on 16 March 2010
This is a classic performance of both concertos, thoughtful, quixotic and virtuosic. Argerich has all the technique, of course, for these concertos, plus heaps of whimsy. It is enchanting playing of the highest order, so buy it now!
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on 26 February 2013
I had a vinyl version of the chopin piano oncertos played by Claudio Arrau and i am not disappointed by the Argerich/Dutoit version
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 August 2011
This is one of Martha Argerich's most inspired performances on CD. It's a truly unique take on the Chopin Piano Concertos, more spontaneous and at the same time mature than Argerich's earlier interpretations. Her rapport with Dutoit and his orchestra is spellbinding - listen to the horn fanfares at the finale of No. 2, for once sounding really playful and challenging the pianist to play with even more wit.

A minor caveat is the murky acoustic, but it doesn't detract from the quality of the performances at all. For my money, this is the definitive Chopin Concertos.
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on 24 October 2014
Very happy with item I purchased, arrived promptly and in excellent as advertised.
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