Chopin News, Reviews & Previews:
Albany Times Union – Albany,NY,USA
The Philadelphia Orchestra launches its 43rd summer season in Saratoga Springs. Bravos for the Beethoven, but the orchestra’s reading of a Chopin concerto with Emanuel Ax is in need of some Posturpedic treatment…
Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 featured soloist Emanuel Ax, whose pearly tone and always elegant touch can show off the composer’s solo repertoire to wondrous effect. But with Chopin’s billowy soft orchestration, it was just too much cushy comfort. One needs some firm back support as well as a soft place to rest the head.
Schenectady Gazette – Schenectady,NY,USA
Same concert by Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra; different takeaway from the Schenectady paper…
Ax was a superb interpreter of the Chopin. His fluid streams of notes were flawless and he gave the phrases much room to breath.
His dynamics were especially delicate and he didn’t hesitate to be forceful when the music called for it.
That energy lent a vigorous quality, which was a nice balance to the filagree.
In the slow second movement, Ax etched the sublime melody like the craftsman he is.
There was much delicacy in his very finished phrases.
The final movement was virtuosic, speedy and very charming in its sometime use of dance styles, such as the mazurka.
Throughout, Dutoit was the perfect partner.
The orchestra knew how to keep its balances and yet provided exuberant support when called for.
Ax was very pleased with the result as was the crowd, which gave everyone a standing ovation, long applause and several curtain calls.
Variety – Los Angeles,CA,USA
Expect to see lots of stories on this subject in coming days…
Lang, who records for Deutsche Grammophon, has famously been filmed playing Chopin using an orange. With daring references to kung fu and videogames peppering his discussions of the great composers, Lang has made classical music accessible to many in China, which has some 30 million piano students.