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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

on 12 May 2015
loved the dvd, would recommend
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on 24 February 2011
Recital: 3/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Video: 4/5

The liner notes quote Barenboim as saying he played a lot of Chopin in his teens and began again a few years ago. In this recital presented by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute on the eve of the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth Barenboim is still finding his way with Chopin. The Fantasy sounds rather nervous and unsettled. The B-flat minor Sonata is jerky in the first movement and the last movement unfortunately does not convey any clear direction. The A-flat Polonaise has quite a few untidy moments but there is plenty of weight. In these pieces he seems rather hesitant in the more difficult passages and leaps and the agogic accents are generally overdone. He can make a very big sound when it is called for. As with Beethoven, some of the passage works aren't very clean-fingered. The smaller and quieter pieces come off better and show Barenboim's delicate touch effectively. The liner notes speak of spontaneity and 'as the composer may well have imagined it' in Barenboim's playing but compared to other contemporary pianists, his Chopin is not as refined as Perahia, precise as Pollini, incisive as Zimerman, unrelenting as Argerich or touching as Kissin.

For a while Barenboim has appeared in concerts without wearing a tie as some artists do but they at least have suitable alternatives. Leaving the top shirt button undone isn't the most elegant solution for a formal concert.

The recorded Steinway sound has a rich tone with plenty of bass and dynamics. Video (1080i60 AVC) shots are mostly directed at the keyboard. The back cover has Dolby Digital and dts logos but the disc only has 24-bit 48 kHz PCM stereo and dts-HD MA 5.1 and this reflects some production carelessness. The disc is region free and is one of the first batch from Accentus, whose producer is ex-EuroArts.

The Warsaw audience did give Barenboim a warm applause at the end, a standing ovation and demanded encores. There were smiles on some faces; overall it isn't in the same league as his Beethoven by a long shot. Students would find something to learn from but this is not for the connoisseur.
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on 1 June 2015
Wonderful, a joy to watch and listen to
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on 23 April 2011
Chopin has been ailed as the piano composer "per se"... Well it comes as no surprise that Barenboim's recital is a first class document to purchase.The thing that really astonishes is what he can do with the so called "delicacy" of the composer. Forget about the fragile small handed,small sounded, little flower of the Parisian "salon". Once again Barenboim has the audacity,and capacity( God knows where he gets it from) to splash the romantic volcano,the sensual man who so intensely loved his native poland and one finally understands why he composed mazurkas for instance (poland comes alive in sheer natural refined folklore) But much much more than that, Barenboim's reading is that a psychic launching a spell on both "in loco" listeners spreading to our living room filling us with that same passion Chopin felt ,that same drive,yet also the pure sweet cantabile melodic line that the greats from the past used to hypnotize the audiences but used here to make the composers real inspirational point of view. But then again, Mr.Barenboim does that with Chopin, Mozarts,Beethoven, Brahms,... well U name it,he some how gets inside their minds " post mortem". Creepy ,I know...,but worth every penny!!!
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on 24 February 2011
I'm writing to correct Springer's review rating, which is just not fair to anyone, incl. Mr Springer, who I am sure is capable of being more objective. He awards this disc 1 star because it "doesnt take off". No further detail is provided.

Now a 1 star review, given there's no provision for 0, means that a disc is utterly unacceptable and unlistenable. That is quite untrue in this case. Barenboim sounds a bit "samey" throughout the recital but is never less than competent.

Also untrue are Mr Springer's remarks about lack of interest among the audience. The audience is appreciative and loudly so througout the concert.

If people are going to review on amazon then they have an obligation to provide detail of their complaints and to consider where a disc falls along the judging scale from 1 to 5. Mr Springer has failed to do that and in so doing has failed the amazon audience as well as Mr Barenboim. His assessment should be disregarded.
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