Chopin Evocations

Chopin Evocations

by Daniil TrifonovDaniil Trifonov

CD(Special Edition)

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There's a lot packed into this double-CD set by Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov. The album is entitled Chopin Evocations, but it consists of more than that. There are the two early piano concertos, premiered in new orchestrations by Mikhail Pletnev, who plays the role of conductor this time out. There are three actual Chopin compositions, two of them rather rare. And there are four pieces that could indeed qualify as Chopin evocations, although one of them, the "Nocturne" of Samuel Barber, was explicitly designated as an homage to Chopin's model in the nocturne genre, Irish composer John Field. So, it's sort of a mixed bag, but what makes it work is that Trifonov is an excellent Chopin interpreter, and that much of the music is extraordinarily interesting. The Pletnev orchestrations can certainly be debated, but there have been suggestions since the 19th century that the original orchestrations were not entirely Chopin's own, and others, including Alfred Cortot, have tinkered with the music. Pletnev's versions leave the piano part alone and slim down the orchestra, creating a more varied, transparent texture, and they work reasonably well. The chief interest is found in some of the less commonly encountered works, most of all the "Variations on a Theme by Chopin" of Catalan composer Frederic Mompou, a set of variations that fascinatingly weaves in and out of the melodic material and tonality of the original (the "Prelude in A major, Op. 28, No. 7") and quotes a different work, the "Fantaisie-Impromptu," in the middle (this work is also included). Sergei Babayan, another member of Trifonov's circle, joins him for an especially brilliant performance of the youthful and difficult "Rondo for two pianos in C major." The program may be connected only by the general relevance of Chopin, but the music is consistently interesting.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/06/2017
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947975182
catalogNumber: 002725402


  1. Fantasy-Impromptu for piano in C sharp minor, Op. 66, CT. 46
  2. Variations sur une thème de Chopin, for piano or orchestra
  3. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47
  4. Rondo for 2 pianos (or solo piano) in C major, Op. 73, CT. 196
  5. Morceaux (18) for piano, Op. 72: No.15. Tempo di Mazurka
  6. Nocturne "Hommage to John Field", for piano, Op. 33
  7. Studie, for piano ("Hommage à Chopin"; Stimmungen No. 5), Op. 73/5
  8. Carnaval No. 12 ("Chopin") for piano, Op. 9/12
  9. Variations on "La ci darem" from Mozart's Don Giovanni, for piano & orchestra in B flat major, Op. 2, CT. 225
  10. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48

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