FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN The Warsaw Recital 4779519

. . . to admire [are] the almost Brahmsian shaping of the Op 49 Fantasia, which is revealed again as one of Chopin's most remarkable formal structures; the crystalline beauty of the line spun through both the Berceuse and the Barcarolle; the inwardness of the D flat major Nocturne, carefully nuanced yet crisply defined.

[Fantasy]: his grasp of the work's architecture -- given his digital prowess that consumes metric and dynamic challenges -- embraces its mood shifts and rhythmic adjustments with a singular unity of effect. The girth of Chopin's compositions Barenboim restores by the broad symmetries of phrase and the unhurried vocal lines he fashions without mannerism . . . [Piano Sonata no. 2]: The first movement's "Doppio movimento" fusion of speed and gravitas receives its full due without the sacrifice of the poetic instinct that infuses the piece with tragic restraint . . .

A remarkable thing happens at the end of this all-Chopin recital . . . As an encore, Daniel Barenboim delivers a "Minute" Waltz in D flat major that is individual (note the articulated turns, or the sudden fortissimo in the middle), easy, and charming but with the right degree of masculine firmness. If there is a better version, by anyone, one hasn't heard it.

What struck me was the orchestral force of Barenboim's playing -- I've never heard Chopin approached from that angle before . . . He brings colours to the piano that I've never heard from any other pianist.

Barenboim widdmet sich der berühmten h-Moll-Sonate, mehreren Walzern und anderen Delikatessen so, wie Chopin komponierte: mit Sensibilität, Finesse -- und Hingabe.

. . . wie absichtslos blühen ihm da farbige Belcantowunder unter der Hand auf, im Trauermarsch-Mittelteil oder am Schluss des Nocturnes in Des (op. 27/2); und in welch ätherisches Leuchten verwandelt sich der Schluss der f-Moll-Fantasie . . . Eine warme, innige, klanglich unerhört subtil ausgehorchte "Berceuse" und eine "Barcarolle", deren "langer Abschied" mit seinem sehrenden Schmerz einmal nahezu vollkommen eingefangen ist . . . So verbeugt man sich -- wieder einmal -- vor der Gottesgabe einer unbeschreiblichen Musikalität . . .