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Frédéric Chopin: Préludes, op. 28: No 15 in D-Flat major “Raindrop”, No 20 in C minor, No 6 in B minor, No 7 in A major & No 4 in E minor – Souvenir de Paganini – Polonaise in C-Sharp minor, op. 26 No 1 – Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp minor, op. 66 – Wiosna in G minor, op. 74 No 2 – Contredanse in G-Flat major – Valse in A minor, op. 34 No 2 – 3 Ecossaises, WN 27 – Cello Sonata in G minor, op. 65: Largo (arrangement Alfred Cortot) – Etudes, op. 10: No 12 in C minor “Revolutionary” & No 3 in E major “Tristesse” – Mazurka in B-Flat major, op. 7, No 1 – Allegretto – Mazur – Four Mazurkas, op. 67 – Nocturnes in G minor, op. 15 No 3, in E-Flat major, op. 9 No 2, & No 20 in C-Sharp minor – Concerto No 2, op. 21: Larghetto (arrangement Chopin)

Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Recording: Chigasaki Civic Hall, Chigasaki City (September 23, 2010), Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg (June 11, 2010, December 12, 2003 & November 4, 2010), Festival International d’Echternach (June 20, 1999), Paris (1978), Tsuda Hall, Tokyo (December 20, 1989), Liederhalle, Hegel-Saal, Stuttgart (September 7, 1991), Tonstudio Teije van Geest, Heidelberg/Sandhausen (December 2010), Hamarikyu Asahi Hall, Tokyo (October 8, 2010) & Stadthalle Göttingen (February 23, 2007) – 78’48
Piano 21 # P21 043-N – Booklet in English, German and French

Since picking up piano at age four in Cameroon, Cyprien Katsaris has led a life creating inspiring interpretations of works by Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg and the incalculable Frédéric Chopin. Breaking the mold of expected repertoire, Chopin Live Recordings is an amalgam of the Polish born composer’s genres featuring selections of varying lengths...there’s a little bit of everything.

Initiating the album are five Préludes played with sensitive sincerity, followed by beautiful lightness of variations from Souvenir de Paganini. One of the refreshing aspects of the CD is the capture of Chopin’s more obscure pieces: Wiosna (albeit short), Contredanse in G-Flat major and the valued fluidity of 3 Ecossaises, WN 27. All are marked with excellence. The French-Cypriot plays the Études (specifically the ”Tristesse”) and Mazurkas with an exceptionally demanding tempo, adding emotional bounce and unerring verve.

After years of collaboration with many established recording houses, the new millennium encouraged Cyprien Katsaris to form the PIANO 21 label. Under his personal brand, the title Katsaris Plays Chopin Live Recordings, says it all: although a handful of tracks are derived from the studio, most are live and include background noise, coughing, snickering and proverbial respectful applause. For some, this translates into a more intimate atmosphere, but for others it’s daunting and distractive. Bearing decent sound quality, overall, it makes an enjoyable Chopin edition.

Christie Grimstad




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