Chopin's two piano concertos have long been admired more as pianistic vehicles than as integrated works for piano and orchestra. But in his revelatory new recording, Krystian Zimerman suggests otherwise: The opening orchestral tuttis have so much more light, shade, orchestral color, and detail, you wonder if they've been rewritten. Every gesture, every instrumental solo is so specifically characterized that by the time the piano makes a dramatic entrance, the pieces have become operas without words.
The complete original LP More of the Greatest Piano of Them All (Verve MGV-8347), showcasing the brilliant pianist unaccompanied. This album, which includes original liner notes by André Previn, was part of the marathon sessions jazz producer Norman Granz planned for Tatum, who at that time was seriously ill and neglected by record companies due to stylistic changes in the music industry. He would die on November 5, 1956 at the age of 47. As a bonus, we have added the complete album Still More of the Greatest Piano of Them All (Verve MGV-8360), which includes original liner notes by Teddy Wilson, plus one extra track, all recorded during the same sessions.
…It's intriguing to imagine how a very slow performance would come off, but Schleiermacher's is a fully persuasive version of a piece that could have a number of very different but valid interpretations. MGD's natural, unprocessed sound is, as is typical for the label, immaculate and vivid.