The opening foray, the 1834 "Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise brillante", glistens in the opening pages, a dragonfly approach rife with color . . . The silken rubato in the keyboard part has a velvet glove from conductor Urbanski . . . [Chopin / "Krakowiak"]: The counter-themes for this evanescent and charming rondo become tender and melancholic . . . Lisiecki adds his own occasional ornaments to the glistening line, to which flute and other winds lend their distinctive voices . . . [for this] splendid and elegant piece, we can admire Lisiecki . . . [Chopin / Fantasy on Polish Airs]: Lisiecki achieves these dance transitions with streamlined grace, effortless poise that maintain the work's nobility and folk roots, at once . . . [the Nocturne bears a melancholy stamp with which Lisiecki honors Chopin] in his rendition, ending this fine disc with a loving performance of rarified poem in sound.
The young Canadian makes the most of his star turns with playing that is technically dazzling; furthermore, while projecting the virtuosity that Chopin built into the music to show off his own talents and wow the crowds, he is also sensitive to what he calls Chopin's "bel canto style." While Lisiecki can toss off a proliferation of notes at top speed, he also takes the time to shape phrases and to maintain a singing line when required . . . the best piece on the CD is the "Rondo à la Krakowiak" . . . Chopin's variations on the Don Giovanni-Zerlina duet, "Là ci darem la mano", is also memorable . . .
. . . a very fine recording indeed . . . a triumph . . . Lisiecki's "jeu perlé" execution is a real delight. Moreover, his varied touch and tone have been superbly captured . . . I was equally impressed by some characterful wind solos . . . Time and again his buoyant rhythms, spontaneity and crisp articulation (try Vars 2 and 4 of the Mozart Variations -- altogether the best version I've come across) married to a touching lyrical introspection (listen to his handling of the Introduzione of the "Krakowiak" Rondo) leaves some distinguished competition trailing . . .
With a huge sound, enviable palette and undeniable technique, Lisiecki makes a strong case for many of these pieces. Strongest of all is the "Andante spianato e Grande Polonaise brillante", a piece not short of fine recordings . . . [it is also good to have] the "Krakowiak" and the "La ci darem la mano Variations" coupled in such polished performances . . . with fine, idiomatic support from orchestra and conductor in a natural, warm soundscape, this will appeal to listeners keen to explore . . .
. . . [everything on "Chopin Works"] depends on the soloist and Lisiecki rises to the challenge. His playing is full of imagination, poetic in the dreamy passages and with wit and caprice in the fast and brilliant ones. He is always elegant, with immaculate passagework which flows like oil and is brilliant without that steely hardness which can affect superb technicians. He is always willing to play quietly. His tone is never forced and his pedalling is light . . . [Lisiecki makes these early works] very attractive . . . Strongly recommended.
L'Andante Spianato trouve un toucher doux sous les doigts du jeune pianiste . . . Krzysztof Urbanski le dirige avec intelligence . . . La musicalité de Lisiecki, soulignée récemment à la Fondation Vuitton dans une partie de ces oeuvres, permet un très beau "Rondo À La Krakowiak" . . . la légèreté de la Fantaisie Polonaise opus 13 ravit, traitée dans une douceur particulière . . .