Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

Eye on Poland: Country at the Crossroads

CNN – USA

Announcement of an in-depth five-part series on Chopin’s native land to air in October:

“Eye on Poland: Country at the Crossroads” is a week-long CNN International series focusing on the color and contrast of one of Europe’s fastest developing nations; from business and politics to pop culture. CNN offers a series of wide-ranging reports on this complex country tackling a time of transition; from Warsaw to Sopot, to Gdansk, Krakow and Lodz.

Solidarity Avenue, the Chopin Monument, and the Palace of Culture and Science are just some of the backdrops for CNN’s live broadcasts during a week of programming hosted from Warsaw by Fionnuala Sweeney.


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How the classical concert took shape.

New Yorker – United States

The publication of two new books tracing the history of concert manners prompts the latest column from critic Alex Ross:

The audience sometimes participated without any prompting from the stage. Once, when Liszt was beginning a performance of the “Kreutzer” Sonata with the violinist Lambert Massart, listeners began calling out “Robert le Diable!”—meaning that they wished to hear instead Liszt’s fantasy on themes from the Meyerbeer opera. Liszt acceded to the demand and launched into his “Robert” fantasy. Imagine what would happen today if, just as Maurizio Pollini was playing the first of Chopin’s Études, concertgoers were to shout, “ ‘Claire de Lune’! ‘Claire de Lune’!”


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Prom 60: Lang Lang/Marc Yu at the Albert Hall/Radio 3

Times Online – UK

The Chinese superstar teams up with the 9-year old “Little Mozart” for a recital at the Royal Albert Hall; London critic suggests the “Little Mozart” deserves a better mentor….

As for Lang Lang, the remainder of his glitzy recital encompassed the full range of his freewheeling brilliance and completely infuriating mannerisms.

When it worked, it was tender, supple and, even in the cavernous Royal Albert Hall, surprisingly intimate.

Mozart’s Piano Sonata in B Flat Major unfolded with dream-like spontaneity.

Two thunderous Rachmaninov preludes, by contrast, were as bold and invigorating as a shot of double espresso. But, frothed into a gilded soufflé, Chopin’s Andante Spiniato and Grande Polonaise can have seldom sounded so empty.


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