CD Review: Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 – Scherzi (Deutsche Grammophon)


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Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 21;
Scherzos (4); Etude Op. 10 No. 12
(“Revolutionary”); Impromptu No. 1
in A flat major Op. 29; Nocturne in E flat major Op. 9 No. 2

Seong-Jin Cho, piano

Deutsche Grammophon DG 28948604395


The 27-year-old South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho won the Warsaw Chopin Competition in 2015 and made a DG recording shortly thereafter devoted to Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Ballades. This new CD is a companion volume and one expects there will be more Chopin to come from this outstanding artist. Each time out he displays dazzling technique and an exemplary command of lyricism and the long line. The Concerto No. 2 is by far the longest piece on the program and it is very well played. But it is in the four Scherzi that Cho really grabs our attention. Make no mistake: While this is breathtaking virtuosity, it is never about speed and volume for their own sake. Cho can play fast and with precision but he takes time to smell the roses too. Note that the three shorter pieces listed above are only available in the digital version of this release. Cho will be in Toronto next March to play the Scherzi at Koerner Hall in a program that also includes music by Ravel and Janáček. For Chopin-lovers Koerner Hall has even more to offer this season: all-Chopin recitals by Jan Lisiecki (Dec. 12) and Ivo Pogorelich (April 24).

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About Author

Former conductor and broadcaster, Paul E. Robinson, is the author of four books on conductors, Digital Editor for Classical Voice America, and a regular contributor to La Scena Musicale.

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