About us / Contact

The Classical Music Network


Europe : Paris, Londn, Zurich, Geneva, Strasbourg, Bruxelles, Gent
America : New York, San Francisco, Montreal                       WORLD

Your email :



A gala occasion

Koerner Hall
03/03/2013 -  
Fryderyk Chopin: 12 Etudes, Opus 10 – 12 Etudes, Opus 25
Jan Lisiecki (piano)

J. Lisiecki (© DG/Mathias Bothor)

This recital (to a very full, highly expectant house) turned out extremely well – which should come as no surprise since Jan Lisiecki recorded the same program at Koerner Hall in January for Deutsche Grammophon. The CD will be released in April.

This will be his second CD for DGG – not bad for someone who turns 18 later this month.

Given his youth and astonishing technical ability he will stand accused of being yet another heartless, faceless prodigy. I’m sure he realizes this comes with the territory. But if you listen closely (as did the rapt audience) it becomes clear that he has a finely nuanced view of each of the 24 pieces on the program.

In his brief, well-chosen words to the audience he stated his aim: that, despite all the notes and intricacies in each piece, he was striving for simplicity. This seems paradoxical – but by and large he achieved it.

A description of each piece would make tedious reading. I eagerly await the CD to see if the performance is as successful as this one.

One is so used to hearing many of the extroverted Etudes as encore pieces – when they usually earn a storm of applause – that it was a bit odd to sit quietly and await the next piece. But this aided in appreciating just how appropriately varied his approach was to each Etude. As Keith Horner’s excellent (as always) program notes point out, neither set of études was designed to be played altogether, let alone both sets in one program. Still, an overall progression emerged.

I look forward to Jan Lisiecki’s further exploration of these pieces – preferably as part of a more varied program as he explores the vast piano repertory. It promises to an exciting journey.

Michael Johnson



Copyright ©ConcertoNet.com