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4.3 out of 5 stars11
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 13 February 2013
Deutsche Grammophon's legendary recording quality is apparent on this fine CD of Chopin Piano Concertos. Add in Daniel Barenboim's superb playing and interpretation and the result is very special indeed.

With beautifully clear sound this performance seems fresh and exciting every time you hear it. Although it has been recorded live, you are not aware of this until the applause at the end of each piece and you will feel like joining in.

Barenboim conveys the beauty of Chopin’s Concertos with every note. A real winner!
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on 2 November 2013
This is an easy winner. Both concertos are beautifully played with great cooperation between Barenboim and rising star Andris Nelsons. Recording quality is excellent. Enjoy!
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on 30 January 2015
I am a great admirer of Daniel Barenboim, both as a pianist and a conductor. This recording of Chopin’s piano concertos brings together Barenboim as a pianist with an orchestra for which he has been chief conductor for some 20 years. The conducting has been delegated to a rising star, Andris Nelsens.
The reviews both in the press and here in Amazon have heaped praise on this recording, in terms of sensitivity, energy, poise, phrasing, and rapport between soloist and orchestra as well as Barenboim’s remarkable accuracy and consistency in a live recording. I cannot disagree with this. However I was also left somewhat disturbed by something I could not quite understand, but possibly related to the extraordinarily bright and overbalancing sound of the piano in this recording. The problem of playing Chopin is to achieve the delicacy of touch and dynamic contrast that Chopin requires: marks like fortissimo and con forza have to be interpreted conservatively. The dynamics required by Chopin range from something like forte or mezzo forte down to vanishingly low yet perceptible levels of pianissimo, or at least it should sound like that. However, my discomfiture possibly does not have anything to do with the playing and interpretation. After listening to the CD, I decided to recalibrate my ear by listening to a vinyl recording with a great pianist of the past, Emil Gilels, as soloist, and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy (CBS 61799). As on the Barenboim recording, the orchestra remains firmly in its accompanying role, yet the piano is somehow softer and less aggressive in tone, while the fioritura passages are nevertheless sparking and clear.
So perhaps the problem boils down to the way the recording has been engineered: possibly the piano has been too closely miked. I am put in mind of a recording experience with French radio recounted by the late Charles Rosen in his book “Piano Notes”. He recalls recording almost an hour of Schumann, with reasonable recording results and then going back the next day to record Schoenberg’s opp. 18 and 25 and being astonished at the ugliness of the sound in the playback, although it was the same studio and the same instrument. When questioning this, he was told that they were using their usual setup for “contemporary” music. Rosen put his foot down and insisted on the same sound setup for Schoenberg as for Schumann. Rosen then goes on to describe the disastrous effect of recording Ondine from Ravels’s Gaspard de la Nuit too closely miked. Thus on grounds of recording quality, I’ve taken away two stars: sadly for me I doubt that this recording will bear much repeated listening.
Incidentally while a simple star rating system works fine for books, for classical music recordings separate ratings are needed for performance and recording quality.
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on 30 October 2011
I first heard a couple of movements from this CD on Classic FM, and was bowled over by the quality. Having now bought the CD and listened to it a few times, I would say it is one of the highest quality recordings I have ever heard, despite the fact that it is a live recording! (I was astonished to hear applause at the end of each concerto, as I had assumed they were recorded in a studio.) The sound engineers have done a superb job here - barely any noise can be heard from the audience throughout both concertos. The piano is captured beautifully, and the orchestra sounds terrific, with a fine balance between the two.

Don't be put off by the fact that Barenboim was in his late 60s when he performed these concertos in 2010 - his playing of these Chopin works is absolutely first rate in my opinion, both in terms of expression and technical prowess. He plays with a crisp touch, full of feeling, with no wrong notes as far as I can tell. Highly recommended.
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on 7 October 2013
I have come to these concertos late in my life but it has been well worth the wait. They are beautiful and moving. Barenboim plays then with such clarity and skill and seems to be as near to Chopin as he is to Beethoven. Anybody who has enjoyed Barenboim playing the Beethoven piano sonatas or concertos will love listening to this recording of Chopin.
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VINE VOICEon 14 January 2014
This is the best version of Chopin piano concertos I have ever heard. There are plenty of wonderful pianists to listen to who can play Chopin beautifully, but somehow Daniel Barenboim reaches depths and breadths of Chopin's music which others just can't reach. I love this album and love the way in which you can hear every piano note, every breath, every nuance of Chopin's gorgeous music. If you want one copy of the Chopin piano concertos, then this is it.
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on 19 March 2012
This is a most beautiful recording of the Chopin piano concertos - sensitive, elegant, fluid playing. I did not expect to find such a recent recording of Barenboim's so that was a bonus. I cannot stop humming the beautiful themes from the F minor concerto. I like to play it every day!
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on 27 March 2015
One word - ¡ sublime ! Delicacy of touch, expressive force, absolutely thrilling.
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on 6 April 2015
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on 20 April 2015
received as requested
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