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9 Poloniases, 23 Mazurkas


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O111 20002 (2 cd); OPUS 111 - Francia; Classica da camera Piano

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f4a3b28) out of 5 stars 1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f4a58ac) out of 5 stars One of the best Chopin players no one knows 4 Feb. 2010
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Introduced to most Chopinophiles in the 2002 film "The Pianist", Janusz Olejniczak is a Polish pianist whose hands substituted for those of actor Adrien Brody playing the piano as Wladyslaw Szpilman in the film. When I reviewed the score from that movie The Pianist: Music from the Motion Picture I called Olejniczak an extrovert Chopin pianist. The film score shows he is much more than that, a pianist with an ingrained understanding of the composer and a highly-developed sense of both the drama and tenderness in Chopin's music.

To hear more of this exceptional player's work, give an ear to this now eight-year-old collection of Chopin's polonaises and mazurkas, portions of his repertoire that capitalize on Polish dance rhythms, sometimes at the expense of the poety most want to hear in this composer. A perfect example can be found on the Op. 17 No. 1 mazurka, a barnstorming piece followed, ironically, by the more poetic Op. 17 No. 2 mazurka.

Olejniczak did not arrive with a bang in the world of classical music like an Argerich or Cliburn. Born 1952, he was educated in his homeland and won a sixth place prize in the 1970 Chopin competition in Warsaw, later studied with Malcuzynski, and has carved out a career for himself on Polish radio, as an actor in "The Pianist" and Andrzej Zulawski's film "The Blue Note", in Polish television, chamber and concert music.

Here, he is never less than idiomatic and often portrays these miniatures with integrity and sympathy, representing a lifetime of commmitment to Chopin. His focus is always on the composer, not himself or his significant technique, and the listener is always served. Anyone interested in a Chopin recital by an idiomatic interpreter of that composer should investigate this release. In my opinion, it will be the best $10 you spend today.
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