Chopin Scherzos

I recently recorded the Chopin Scherzos at the Menuhin Hall in Surrey in September 2009. You can listen to any of the Chopin Scherzi from this recording by choosing the appropriate track on the ipod on the right. (To choose a track click on the round button at the bottom of the ipod). These tracks are in 192khz MP3 and are below cd-quality.

Alternatively you can buy my CD of the four Chopin Scherzi - details here. For the hard-core technofiles, visit the download page to download the 96khz, 24-bit version!

Here follows an amended extract from the program notes from my CD:

"Chopin embodied the Romantic movement in Poland, although he went to great pains to absorb the music and discipline of previous classical and baroque masters. Most of his output is for solo piano, apart from 2 piano concertos and a handful of works for piano and orchestra, a cello sonata and some songs. Chopin's Four Scherzos, which were written between 1832 and 1842, contain some of his most red-blooded and turbulent music. This immediately places them apart from the elegant minuet and trio from the Classical world of Haydn and Mozart, as well as from the symphonic scherzi of Beethoven and Mendelssohn. The fact that the direct translation of the word scherzo is actually ‘a joke’, seemed to be of no consequence to Chopin. As Liszt observed, ‘his scherzi are the breathings of stifled rage and of suppressed anger’. Indeed, the Chopin Scherzos are accurately described as strong-fibred, dramatic and, at times, sombre.

The Chopin Scherzos place extraordinary demands on the player. David Dubal, in his book on the piano, said that these scherzos are ‘epics among Chopin’s works; and their instrumental brilliance has made them staples of the recital hall. Each one demands a highly polished technique.’ But, as with all good music, there is more to the interpretation than just technique. Concentration, a firm grasp of complex structure and encompassing all the mood swings with their colour changes are essential attributes for navigating the Chopin Scherzos."





©2010 Jonathan Oshry • joshry@hotmail.com