Chopin - Don Giovanni Variations, Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise, etc. | Bel Air Music BAM2031

Chopin - Don Giovanni Variations, Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise, etc.


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Label: Bel Air Music

Cat No: BAM2031

Barcode: 5705604020311

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 22nd December 2008



The Variations on ĎLŗ ci darem la manoí from Mozartís Don Giovanni, op.2, clearly emphasizes Chopinís considerable admiration for Mozart. During Chopinís visit to Vienna in 1829 he aimed to get the Variations and his First Piano Sonata published. The Variations were the main work in the concert performed at the Kšrntnerthor Theatre to a tumultuous reception. The Introduction to the Variations allows the soloist an impressive display of colourful, decorative notes while playing with fragments of the well known theme. The following five Variations lead to the finale with Chopinís transformation of Mozartís duet in a magnificent conclusion.

The Fantasia on Polish Airs, op.13, was composed in 1828 and first published in Paris in 1834. The orchestra provides a grand opening to the Fantasia ahead of the piano that without doubt carries the musical expressions of Chopin. The air Już miesiąc zeszedł is introduced by the soloist and repeated by the orchestra, with elaborate piano adornment. The second theme, chosen by Karol Kurpiński the principal conductor at the Warsaw Opera, is thoroughly Polish in form and inspiration. In the final Kujawiak, the piano introduces a theme typical of the Kujawy region north west of Warsaw.

The Krakowiak, Grand Rondeau de concert, op.14, opens in the most harmonious and melodic Andantino and enters the Rondo thorough a sudden sparkling passage.  Through the rhythm of the Krakowiak, the orchestra introduces the dance of Krakow in an extended passage where the first F major theme alternates with the second theme in D minor and Poland momentarily slips into the background. Chopin also provided a piano solo version of Krakowiak.

Chopin composed the Andante spianato in 1834, already having completed the Grande Polonaise in 1831 during his unhappy stay in Vienna. Both works were published together in Paris in 1836. Chopin performed the complete work in Paris on the 26 April 1835. The introductory Andante spianato for piano solo, in its poetic harmony, is Chopin at his best. Chopinís life-long love of Polish dance forms were used in his Polonaises of sometimes heroic dimensions. Here the orchestra opens the Grande Polonaise, briefly pausing and the soloist comes in with Chopinís own version of the native Polish dance.

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