This is Nikolai Lugansky’s fourth recording
on Naïve / Ambroisie after praised Liszt,
Rachmaninov and Grieg / Prokofiev discs.
Nikolai Lugansky offers a new refined and
brilliant version of Chopin’s piano concertos,
with the orchestra that probably has the
best connection to the soul and the spirit of
French-Polish composer, Sinfonia Varsovia,
under Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov.
As ever, Nikolai Lugansky displays a perfect
balance between virtuosity and poetry
through a perfect technique and an amazing
range of colors. Together with the orchestra,
sometimes through almost chamber character,
they achieve to enhance both immediacy
and sophistication of those works
“At the time of the Congress of Vienna (1814 -1815) the
pianoforte, promoted to the rank of a concert instrument
like the violin, gradually became the medium for virtuosos
vying to show off their bravura, and sometimes inventive,
skills. Concertante works in particular bore the
stamp of the stile brillante, characterised by sparkle,
verve and vivacity, with a whole arsenal of formulas,
runs and ornaments, all commonplace in a genre that
had little ambition of being handed down to posterity.
Such works, written by the most famous pianists and
composers of the time – Dussek, Hummel (a pupil of Mozart),
Field and Kalkbrenner (students of Clementi), Ries
(a pupil of Beethoven), and also Henri Herz, Ignaz
Moscheles and Carl Maria von Weber – formed an important
part of the repertoire that Chopin played in
Warsaw, then Vienna, and into the early years of his stay
in Paris. And it was with the intention of showcasing his
virtuosity that the young Fryderyk Chopin composed his
own works for piano and orchestra: the Variations on
“La ci darem la mano” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni (op.
2), a Fantasy on Polish Airs (op. 13), a Rondo à la Krakowiak
(op. 14), the Piano Concerto no. 1 in E minor (op.
11), the Piano Concerto no. 2 in F minor (op. 21), then
the Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante (op.
22); a projected third concerto remained unfinished, but
surfaced partly in his Allegro de concert (op. 46).”
-- Excerpts from the inside notes