Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Other Works

Antoni Wit, Olga Kern, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

(1 customer review)
Original Recording Format: DSD 64
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Pianist Olga Kern is accompanied by the Warsaw Philharmonic conducted by Antoni Wit in a performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Other Works. The album from Harmonia Mundi is available in Stereo and 5 Channel DSD Surround Sound at NativeDSD.

In his art at its finest, Chopin represents the marriage of public and private, a reconciliation of extrovert and introspective. Often, in both solo compositions and concerted works, contemplative pages balance and bank the fires of virtuosity, and this potent amalgam helped make the composer into society’s darling and a favored pianist of the Parisian tout le monde. With a gift to not just create stylistic polarities but effortlessly to meld them – technical extravaganzas can have moments of pathos, and inward-looking works are rarely lacking in panache – he was not merely poet or showman, but both of these at once.

Chopin’s breakthrough work, his passport from the provinces to Paris, was the Piano Concerto No. 1, in E minor (1828). Its idyllic slow movement shines with lyrical ardor, with sentiments to be later explored in the Nocturnes and other miniatures, and its finale is a rousing krakowiak, but the first movement pushes boundaries. Opening with an assertive orchestral introduction of symphonic sweep, it forsakes conventional sonata form with its customary expectations for a more idiosyncratic scenario that reveals itself gradually, incrementally, over time.

If the movement’s plan was in some ways experimental (for more, see Chopin, Jim Samson, p. 49, Oxford University Press, 1996), Tovey, ever astute, called it “suicidal” (Donald Francis Tovey, Essays in Musical Criticism, vol. 3, p. 103, Oxford University Press, London, 1936), and though his observation has merit, we are struck less by the movement’s blemishes than by “the beauties of (its) individual moments… for particular felicities of melody, harmony, and texture which we identify retrospectively as Chopinesque…”

Olga Kern, Pianist
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit, Conductor


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 - I. Allegro maestoso
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 - II. Romanze: Larghetto
Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 - III. Rondo: Vivace
Fantaisie in F minor, Op.49 - Fantaisie in F minor, Op.49
Bolero, Op.19 - Bolero, Op.19
Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op.66 - Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op.66
Polonaise in A-flat major, Op.53 - Polonaise in A-flat major, Op.53

Total time: 01:13:55

Additional information





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Mastering Engineer

Brad Michel




Original Recording Format


Robina G. Young

Recording Engineer

Brad Michel, Chris Barrett

Recording Location

Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine Cal. trk 1-3, Lyndhurst Hall, London trk 4-7

Recording Software


Recording Type & Bit Rate


Release DateJuly 3, 2014

Press reviews

The Guardian

Only five years into her professional career, Russian pianist Olga Kern has already wowed ’em in the US, but has yet to make the mark she deserves here. Judging by this recording of a perennial favorite, Kern has more than enough virtuosity, poise and interpretative charm to enchant British audiences.

Made on the hoof during a 2004 tour, with the Warsaw Philharmonic under Antoni Wit, her sublime Chopin concerto is supplemented with accomplished accounts of the Fantaisie in F minor, Bolero, Fantaisie-Impromptu and Polonaise in A fl at major.

1 review for Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Other Works

    I have owned this album of Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in 24/88 format for years. The performance and recording are top notch, better than other albums of Piano Concerto No. 1 that I have owned but removed from my local hard drive, including Zimerman with LA Phil released by DG, and a Linn Records album.

    On this album by the Warsaw Philharmonic it sounds warm and enveloping. Harmonia Mundi captures a wide soundstage and places the piano nicely within the sound field. In my 2-channel Stereo system, the DSD 64 format is just cleaner throughout. The piano is more crisp and stands apart from the orchestra at ease, even in the competing waves of orchestral emotions just after halfway into the first movement.

    Olga Kern’s notes are remarkably clean, uncluttered. Every note from the left and right hand is there to paint the soundscape. The Fantasy-Impromptu track has a dynamic range of 20.6. Lesser playback systems may have difficulty conveying the varying moods of the piece. Kern’s virtuosity is displayed in abundance here.

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