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's Letters

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Frédéric Chopin. Chopin’s letters to his Polish friends reveal a lively intelligence and ever-present sense of humour. His accounts of the musical and social occasions he attended are incisive and witty. According to Henryk Opienski’s book, Chopin’s Letters, Chopin wrote in October 1830 to his very close friend Tytus Wojciechowski: “I needed your letter to calm me down; …After the orchestral rehearsal of the second concerto, it was decided to give it in public, and next Monday, i.e. the 11th of this month, I bring it out. On one hand I am sorry; on the other, I am curious to see the general effect. I think the Rondo will impress everyone. About that Rondo, conductor Soliwa said to me: Il vous fait beacoup d’honneur.” Chopin writes again to Tytus on Tuesday the 12th of October 1830: “Yesterday’s concert was a success; I haste to let you know. I inform your Lordship that I was not a bit, not a bit nervous, and played the way I play when I’m alone, and it went well. Full hall. First Goerner’s Symphony. Then my noble self’s Allegro E minor, which I just reeled off; one can do that on the Streycher piano. Furious applause. Soliwa was delighted; …After the aria came the Adagio and Rondo; …big applause, after which – the usual farce – I was called up. No one hissed, and I had to bow 4 times.”

Piano Concerto No. 1, in E minor, op. 11. In 1829-30, during Chopin’s last year in Poland, his attention was mainly focused on writing his two piano concertos, the E minor, op.11 which was, in fact, composed after the F minor, op.21. It is obvious that Piano Concerto No.1 depends considerably on the pianoforte and Chopin occasionally played it without the accompaniment of an orchestra. The solo part in the slow movement is typical of Chopin and was described in his own words as: “reviving in one’s soul beautiful memories.” Some have found the orchestration faulty and others have considered the orchestral display too long. Whatever the opinion, from its very first performance by Chopin, when it was received with great applause, it has continued to this day to be a hugely popular concerto.

Piano Concerto No.2, in F minor, op. 21. At the time of composing his two piano concertos, Chopin was in love with the young mezzo-soprano, Konstancia Gladkowska.  The larghetto in the F minor work was clearly inspired by his passion for Konstancia and was, as he described it, “like dreaming in beautiful spring-time – by moonlight.” Stylistically, the F minor concerto is reminiscent of the work of Hummel, an early influence on Chopin, as it projects its first dramatic theme into a much gentler second movement. In the mood of a nocturne, the romantic larghetto is briefly introduced by the orchestra after which the piano takes over. The allegro vivace bears the hallmark of a mazurka and the piano brings this most harmonious concerto to a beautiful conclusion.


 Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)


 Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11
                      Orchestration M. Balakirew

1. Allegro Maestoso 
2. Romanza: Larghetto
3. Rondo: Vivace


Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21
Orchestration K. Klindworth
4. Maestoso
5. Larghetto
6 Allegro Vivace



Total Time 73:14

Oxana Yablonskaya, Piano
Winner of the Liszt Society Grand Prix du Disque

Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Dmitry Yablonsky, Conductor

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Free MP3 sample from Piano Concerto no. 2,  track no. 5.

 DDD Digital Recording. Master recorded in 5.1 DVD-Audio Dolby Surround sound.
Moscow Radio Studio Five,  10/2002 
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