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Eldar Nebolsin records Chopin Piano Concertos for Naxos

September 26, 2009

From 1 to 5 September 2009, acclaimed pianist Eldar Nebolsin joined the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Antoni Wit to record Chopin’s much-loved Piano Concertos and other works for piano and orchestra.

Eldar Nebolsin, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit

Pianist Eldar Nebolsin writes:

‘There are many challenges about recording in a studio, but recording Chopin pieces for piano and orchestra is more demanding than usual. Everybody knows his concertos—there are maybe hundreds of recordings. And it’s not easy to forget this when you record them. How to make them sound fresh without being eccentric, staying faithful to Chopin’s text and keeping the natural emotional flow of his great music?

‘When preparing them I tried to avoid “over-listening” to other existing recordings and I discovered, to my surprise that, on many occasions, looking carefully and analyzing Chopin’s music from inside (harmonic and formal structure, subtle differences in the repeated material, etc) you can discover many beautiful and new ideas that are often neglected.

‘Recording the other four pieces was equally exciting. There are:
Variations on Mozart Theme “La ci darem la mano” op. 2
Grand Fantasy on Polish Airs op. 13,
Krakowiak op. 14
and Andante Spianato followed by Grand Polonaise Brillante.

‘Actually Krakowiak and the Grand Fantasy were new pieces for me and I think it’s a pity they are neglected and played so seldom. I especially fell in love with his Fantasy, which is incredibly passionate and at the same time a well-balanced piece. For instance, the slow part of Charles Kurpinsky’s theme is, if I may use this comparison, almost Polish Flamenco!!

‘It was a treat to record in such a great hall as Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw and true pleasure to work with the orchestra and Maestro Wit. He knew all the pieces perfectly and his very sensitive and supportive accompaniment was very rare—those who say that Chopin is easy for the orchestra never conducted his concertos. Of course, they may seem easier for the mere instrumental execution than, let’s say Brahms’s concertos, but the orchestra and the conductor have to provide a very “interactive pillow” for the soloist’s material, not being merely a background sound, and sometimes truly leading the music while the piano is in the shadow.

‘I also want to mention fantastic job of the engineers, Andrzej Sasin and Alexandra Nagorko. They also knew the pieces very well and their help was truly creative and musical.’

CHOPIN Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2, Variations on La ci darem la mano, Fantasy on Polish Airs, Krakowiak, Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante will be issued on Naxos 8.572335 & 8.572336

Read an interview ‘Eldar Nebolsin—Romantic Pianist Extraordinaire’

Artist Biographies & Discographies

Eldar Nebolsin, piano
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit, conductor

  • Eldar Nebolsin’s recording with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vassily Petrenko of LISZT Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2, Totentanz on Naxos 8.570517 has been critically acclaimed:
    ‘The myriad technical difficulties are awesomely overcome by Nebolsin who is, as in the concertos, always thoughtfully and ably partnered by Petrenko’s orchestra.’
    (Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International)
  • The Warsaw Philharmonic and Antoni Wit have gained countless impressive reviews for their many Naxos recordings.


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