Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

‘My Young Years’: Rubinstein’s Enchanting Prelude
Washington Post – United States

Book critic and columnist Jonathan Yardley’s “Second Readings” series shines the spotlight on a long out-of-print autobiography by the Polish piano master…

It was written in English, one of several languages in which Rubinstein was fluent, and it is written remarkably well, with scarcely a trace of the diction of his native Polish or the other languages (Russian, German, French) he spoke during his youth. I first read it about 30 years ago — my copy is the third printing of the 1973 paperback — when I was in the midst of a Rubinstein binge, gobbling up his recordings of Chopin, his fellow Pole, one after the other. I make no claim to particular knowledge of classical music, but I was drawn then (as I am now) to the lyricism and abundant feeling of Rubinstein’s Chopin, and I simply wanted to know more about the man who made the music. I was enchanted by the book then, and I remain enchanted by it today. […]

He writes:

“Two major Beethoven sonatas, short pieces by Brahms and Schumann, and the great B minor Sonata of Chopin were added to it in less than two weeks. As before, and as would prove true for many years after, the processes of my means of approach to the music at hand were made up of a peculiar combination: a clear conception of the structure of a composition and complete empathy with the composer’s intentions were always within my reach, but because of my lazy habits, I would neglect to pay attention to detail and to a finished and articulate performance of difficult passages that I hated to practice. I used to put the whole weight on the inner message of the music.”

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Pianists Garrick Ohlsson and Craig Sheppard perform this week
Seattle Times – United States

Preview of pianist’s appearance with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra…

The genial and good-natured Ohlsson, who also is a perennial favorite among his musical colleagues, has been at the top of his profession ever since a 1970 gold medal at the Chopin International Piano Competition. He’s still a great Chopin interpreter, but now Ohlsson’s repertoire includes more than 80 concertos from several centuries, which he plays with an array of top conductors and orchestras on several continents. A regular in the recording studio, Ohlsson recently won a 2008 Grammy for “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance” with the third of his recordings of Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas for Bridge Records.

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