Frédéric Chopin is a composer to whom Cyprien Katsaris has returned time and again throughout his career, notably with his recordings of the complete Sonatas, Ballades, Preludes, Waltzes, Scherzos and Polonaises and with his memorable “Homage to Chopin” recital at the Carnegie Hall on 17 October 1999, the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death. There have also been numerous concerts in which the Franco-Polish composer’s works have featured. This new recording bears witness to Cyprien Katsaris’ devotion to the prodigious pianist and composer. Distilled from various recitals, the programme comprises a set of universally loved pieces garnished with lesser-known compositions and some rare transcriptions.
1 Prelude in D flat major, op. 28 no. 15, “Raindrop”
2 Prelude in C minor, op. 28 no. 20
3 Prelude in B minor, op. 28 no. 6
4 Prelude in A major, op. 28 no. 7
5 Prelude in E minor, op. 28 no. 4
6 Souvenir de Paganini
7 Polonaise in C sharp minor, op. 26 no. 1
8 Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, op. 66 *
9 Wiosna in G minor, op. 74 no. 2
10 Contredanse in G flat major
11 Valse in A minor, op. 34 no. 2
12 3 Ecossaises, WN 27
13 Largo (from Cello Sonata in G minor, op. 65)
Transcription: Alfred Cortot
14 Etude in C minor, op. 10 no. 12, “Revolutionary” *
15 Etude in E major, op. 10 no. 3, “Tristesse” *
16 Mazurka in B flat major, op. 7 no. 1 *
19 Mazurka in G major, op. 67 no. 1
20 Mazurka in G minor, op. 67 no. 2
21 Mazurka in C major, op. 67 no. 3
22 Mazurka in A minor, op. 67 no. 4
23 Nocturne in G minor, op. 15 no. 3
24 Nocturne in E flat major, op. 9 no. 2
25 Nocturne no. 20 in C sharp minor
26 Larghetto (from Concerto no. 2 op. 21)
Arrangement for piano solo: Frédéric Chopin
* Studio Recordings
This latest is compiled judiciously from a number of live recitals 1978-2010, with the opportunity to hear Katsaris play Yamaha CFX & CFIIIS and Steinway C & D instruments in various German locations, in Chigasaki & Tokyo and in Paris, where he lives.
The whole is beautifully put together as a seamless recital of Chopin favourites and interesting rarities, finishing with a magical account of the slow movement of the Concerto No. 2 in Chopin’s own arrangement for solo piano.
Treasurable and unreservedly recommended; we really cannot afford to not have Cyprien Katsaris invited regularly to play in England, which he would welcome...
The production is excellent, with every piece and its performance carefully documented […].
www.musicalpointers.co.uk (United Kingdom), March 2012
Initiating the album are five Préludes played with sensitive sincerity, followed by beautiful lightness of variations from Souvenir de Paganini. One of the refreshing aspects of the CD is the capture of Chopin’s more obscure pieces: Wiosna (albeit short), Contredanse in G-Flat major and the valued fluidity of 3 Ecossaises, WN 27. All are marked with excellence. The French-Cypriot plays the Études (specifically the ”Tristesse”) and Mazurkas with an exceptionally demanding tempo, adding emotional bounce and unerring verve.
Composé à partir de diverses captations (principalement en concert) étalées entre 1978 et 2010, l’album consacré à Frédéric Chopin alterne tubes et raretés. Un style franc et sûr, des tempos qui ne s’alanguissent pas […], un doigté souvent motorique, une musicalité jamais prise en défaut : telles sont les qualités de ce Chopin sans faute de goût...
[…] l’arrangement pour piano du Larghetto du Second Concerto émeut sincèrement, résumant à lui seul toute la science de l’interprétation de l’artiste franco-chypriote.