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Monday, May 8, 2017

Frédéric Chopin - Piano Works (Nikolai Demidenko)


Composer: Frédéric Chopin
  • (01) Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57
  • (02) Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1
  • (03) Tarantella in A flat major, Op. 43
  • (04) Bolero in A minor, Op. 19
  • (05) Rondo in C minor, Op. 1
  • (06) Rondo in E flat major, Op. 16
  • (07) Allegro de concert in A major, Op. 46
  • (08) Polonaise in D minor, Op. 71 No. 1 [WN 11]
  • (09-16) Variations in B flat major on 'Là ci darem la mano' from the opera Don Giovanni by Mozart, Op. 2

Nikolai Demidenko, piano
Date: 2009
Label: Fryderyk Chopin Institute




Reaching completion, the Frederyk Chopin National Institute’s Real Chopin series recorded on instruments of the composer’s day is mopping up corners of the repertoire, so although Nikolai Demidenko opens his recital with a gentle masterpiece, the Berceuse, the programme is not the most logical or consistent.

Yet the Russian pianist, not normally associated with period-conscious performance, makes a valuable contribution to the project, and unifies this miscellany with his interpretative authority.

The programme ranges from two well-known Mediterranean-inspired dances, the Tarantella and Bolero, to the rarely heard Op. 46 Allegro de concert. Demidenko is illuminating in the early works, which include the Rondo in C minor, Op. 1. One of the most original of composers, whose style was set from the very beginning, Chopin is heard here as an already authentic voice.

Though it sometimes carries a high opus number, the D minor Polonaise, unpublished during his lifetime, also dates from the composer’s teenage years, and Demidenko captures its refreshing delicacy.

Even if the Variations on Mozart’s ‘Là ci darem’ seem preferable in their version with orchestra, they round things off attractively – indeed, it’s impossible to resist anything played on this 1848 Pleyel, one of the best-recorded period pianos on disc.

-- John Allison, BBC Music Magazine


Frédéric Chopin (22 February or 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as one of the leading musicians of his era, whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation". Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his association (if only indirect) with political insurrection, his love life and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era in the public consciousness. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying degrees of historical accuracy.


Nikolai Demidenko (born July 1, 1955, Aniskino) is a Soviet-Russian-born classical pianist. Demidenko studied at the Moscow Gnessin School with Anna Kantor and at the Moscow Conservatoire under Dmitri Bashkirov. In addition to a vast amount of the standard Germanic and Russian repertory, he is a specialist of Frédéric Chopin and a noted champion of the works of neglected composers, such as Carl Maria von Weber and Nikolai Medtner, as well as neglected works of well-known composers.


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