Pentatone Exclusive

Chopin – Piano Concertos

Sa Chen

Original Recording Format: DSD 64
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More than an hour of glistening jewels pouring forth from the piano lain upon the luxurious, silken blanket of the orchestral background. No more, but certainly no less, is what one expects when listening to Frédéric Chopin’s two piano concertos. And yet, both works have retained their place in the concert repertoire up to this day and age: incidentally, as the only truly heavyweight virtuoso concertos. 

Once again, this fact speaks for itself, and proves the uniqueness of the music by Chopin on this recording. A profound discussion on the standing and worth of both works in the “piano concerto” genre does not even arise, as both pieces completely invalidate the approach to the symphonic concerto (with its sophisticated dialogues between the soloist and the orchestra as two equal partners), which was laid down perfectly by Mozart and Beethoven.

This is a pure representative of the “virtuoso concerto” category, in which nothing is allowed to divert the listener from the performance of the soloist


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. Romanza
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, III. Rondo, Vivace
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, I. Maestoso
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, II. Larghetto
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, III. Allegretto vivace

Total time: 01:14:27

Additional information





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van den Hul

Digital Converters

EMM Labs Meitner ADC-8


Original Recording Format


Job Maaarse

Recording Engineer

Erdo Groot

Recording location

Grande Auditorio of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon

Recording Software

Pyramix, Merging Technologies

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DSD 64


B&W Nautilus

Release DateJuly 31, 2015

Press reviews

Audiophile Audition

This is the vintage Chopin recording by the young Chinese priestess of the keyboard. Listeners will find this PentaTone Classics recording a welcome inclusion to her discography.

The Chopin Concerti were signatures in the musical canon that highlighted Ms. Chen at the peak of her artistic excellence: from her fluent exchange of alternating dialogues with the orchestra in the first movement of the E Minor Concerto to her splendid sense of the folk mazurka in the exuberant finale movement of the F Minor Concerto, sandwiched between two sugar-sweet Larghetto movements where our pianist released the emotional high points with nascent unrequited love, full-bodied with endless poetry.

How stunning also was the orchestral tremolandi in the Larghetto of the F Minor Concerto, as an anxious storm of emotion swirled by the poet’s songlike recitative. Throughout the two compositions, the music danced and ebbed as required; here was a level of musicianship from Ms. Chen as “playing like an angel from heaven.

A vintage recording not to be missed!


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