Director Roman Polanski's film The Pianist is based on the memoirs of Polish classical pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman about his harrowing experiences under the Nazi occupation of Warsaw during World War II. The soundtrack album consists almost entirely of Chopin piano pieces, most of them played by Janusz Olejniczak. Most of those, in turn, are solo performances, although Olejniczak is joined by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Tadeusz Strugala, for Grand Polonaise for Piano and Orchestra. The sole non-Chopin track is the excerpt from Wojciech Kilar's score, "Moving to the Ghetto October 31, 1940," a klezmer-like piece running only 1:45 in which Hanna Wolczedska plays clarinet, accompanied by the Warsaw Philharmonic. Appropriately, the album ends with an actual recording by Szpilman of the Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 17, No. 4.
Dinu Lipatti- the Master Pianist plays Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Mozart, Grieg, Schumann, Bartok and Schubert on this seven CD set. Dinu Lipatti (1917- 1950) was a Romanian classical pianist and composer whose career was tragically cut short by his death from Hodgkin's disease at age 33. Despite his short career and a relatively small recorded legacy, Lipatti is considered one of the finest pianists of the 20th century.
The great British piano virtuoso Solomon Cutner (known professionally by his first name alone) was born in the East End of London in 1902. He was best known for his performances of the music of Beethoven, of which there are many examples in this 7 CD set…
Pianist Youri Egorov first came to international prominence as the clear favorite among the 1977 Van Cliburn Competition’s semi-finalists. When Egorov failed to make the finals, outraged audience members raised funds to match the $10,000 first prize and present their hero in his New York recital debut. The critics raved, and Egorov’s career took off, flourishing for 10 years until his tragically early death from AIDS in 1988 at age 33.
This Pierian CD, advertised in the May 2012 Naxos catalog as an “also available” disc, is the label’s first issue from 2000 featuring the complete recordings of Debussy as pianist. All of his records were made in two sessions, a series of four short 78-rpm sides with soprano Mary Garden (his first Mélisande) at the Paris G&T studio in 1904 and 14 Welte-Mignon piano rolls recorded on November 11, 1913. Both are famous groups of recordings, restored and reissued over the decades, but this release is the best I’ve ever heard them.
Collection includes: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, Nobuyuki Tsujii, Makoto Ozone, Nobuyuki Nakajima, Fazil Say, Takashi Kako, Michel Camilo & Moriya Saito.
Being a Concert Pianist gets under the lid of this extreme form of musicianship. Celebrated pianists, including Yevgeny Kissin, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Chinese wunderkind Lang Lang, talk intimately about their lives, their work and their motivation. The film gives a frank and personal perspective on a profession for which the only real qualification is genius, richly illustrated with specially recorded rehearsal and performance.