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On sale at HD for $13.95, includes Ballades. Great reviews; couldn't find any dissenting ones.
Youtube is set up to start right before my favorite stretch in all of Chopin. Cho's playing is pure, gorgeous and for the most part no affectations...it's just those slight hesitations before moving on. To be fair, pianists from Sokolov Pollini to Argerich can't seem to leave the simple melody alone either. Even Rubinstein plays with it a bit. Maybe it's me.
Youtube also offers Cho's PC 1 from the Warsaw competition. The pacing at the same moment is nigh-on perfect. Too bad this one's not available.
One dimensional, or dare I say...digital. During the Concerto for Left Hand, soloist and orchestra sound as if they're all piled into a small 5 sq ft area.
I wonder if the Piano Concerto in G is better? Anyone? We're talking stereo here.
Certainly not "flat" at all (at least as I hear it). Another thing I like about that album is the solo piano selections in multichannel (Massenet Toccata, etc.) - really three-dimensional!
My goodness, Ansermet's old recording with Ricci opened up a good 12 ft beyond the back of my room.
I'll likely go with the old EMI GROC Francois/Cluyten over at HD. When it's on sale.
You might want to point out examples of this "hesitation"..... I personally have not picked this up, and I listen to him quite a bit.
I would call Cho the best pianist in the world, at this very moment. His Chopin Scherzo 2 is in Antonio Barbosa territory.
measures of lovely ascending melody that I cued up. Others are far worse, or "poetic": try Sokolov in same place!
I didn't like his Chopin discs. I had to use Rubinstein (a lot more straightforward) to cleanse the palate.
Just perfect, IMHO.
. . . although Madeline (my wife) called it correctly (i.e., that Cho would be the winner) in the final round. I haven't heard Cho's commercial recordings yet. The link below deals with our 2015 discussion here about the results, just after the jury votes were published. One thing about Cho I find interesting is that, during the competition, he was playing a Steinway, but his post-competition recordings were made on a Yamaha.
BTW, the Van Cliburn Competition is going on right now. I've been so busy that I haven't managed to hear ANY of it. (It's on the Medici.tv site.)
Liu was superb, but Cho is in that rarefied "once-in-a-lifetime" category. He might already have cracked my personal all-time top five.
surpass his contest performance, which IMHO surpasses all others I've heard.
I'm not a big fan of Chopin's First Concerto.... But Cho's performance brings out some delicate phrases that are just an afterthought with most pianists. It's the only performance of this work that hold my attention.
I think his best performance was the one he performed with NHK. Vladimir Fedoseyev conductor. The secondary melody in the final movement took on a personality that IMO is something really special. His melodic line is as good as it gets. I do not recall encountering a better performance of this concerto.
Performance starts at 6:45 of the video clip. (Has intro in Japanese prior to that.)
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