Chopin Piano Concertos Benjamin Grosvenor
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- Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849): Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11
- 1Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11: I. Allegro maestoso19:07
- 2Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11: II. Romance. Larghetto09:47
- 3Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11: III. Rondo. Vivace09:32
- 4Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21: I. Maestoso14:10
- 5Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21: II. Larghetto09:11
- 6Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21: III. Allegro vivace08:35
Info for Chopin Piano Concertos
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor presents a new recording of two concerto favourites: Chopin’s Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on 21st February 2020 on Decca Classics/Universal Music Canada, the country's leading music company. Recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), the record marks Benjamin’s fifth album on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
These works have been an active part of Grosvenor’s repertoire since his early teens: “Chopin was the first composer to whom I felt a strong connection as a child. I have always been drawn to his music, and his piano concertos are among some of the finest in the repertoire.” Of the new recording, which came to fruition following a successful performance of the Piano Concerto No.2 with Elim Chan and the RSNO in 2018, Benjamin notes: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Elim and the outstanding musicians of the RSNO.” In spring 2020 Benjamin will appear in the USA, Europe and the UK performing the Piano Concerto No.1.
Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.2, Op.21, written in 1829, and Piano Concerto No.1, Op.11 completed the following year, were written before the composer had turned 21, and before he left his native Poland. The F minor Concerto (No.2) offers echoes of the concertos of Hummel, Moscheles, Kalkbrenner and Field. The work’s first public performance on 21st March 1830 was a moderate success – Chopin’s piano was too soft-toned and could hardly be heard over the assembled instrumentalists. The second performance a day later, performed on a more aggressive Viennese instrument, was a triumph.
Although the energetic orchestral introduction of the E minor Concerto (No.1) is twice as long as that of the F minor, there are few more bewitching slow movements than the Larghetto section which follows. Chopin labelled it ‘Romanza’, the only time he used the label and the only composition of his to which he attached a programme. The finale is a rondo of infectious gaiety which resembles the fast, syncopated Polish dance form, the Krakowiak. On 22nd September 1830, Chopin tried out the work at his home (with a small orchestral ensemble) before arranging the first public performance in the Warsaw National Theatre on 11th October.
Winner of the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition at the age of eleven, Benjamin Grosvenor is now an internationally regarded pianist performing with esteemed conductors and orchestras across the world. A BBC New Generation Artist from 2010-2012 Benjamin has performed at the BBC Proms on a number of occasions and in 2015 starred at the Last Night. Exclusively signed to Decca Classics, the youngest British musician to do so, his recordings have received numerous awards and in October 2016 he was announced as the inaugural recipient of the Ronny and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize at the New York Philharmonic. Playing since the age of six, Benjamin graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2012 with the ‘Queen’s Commendation for Excellence’.
Recent and forthcoming concerto highlights include engagements with the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich-Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Filarmonica della Scala. Among Benjamin’s major recital dates this season are London’s Wigmore Hall, Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Cologne Philharmonie, Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, New York’s distinguished Peoples’ Symphony Concerts, and Vancouver Recital Series.
The first female winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition 2014, Elim Chan is internationally regarded as one of the most sought-after young conductors. She leads the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in her role as Principal Guest Conductor, in what is her first ever recording. One of the most sought-after young conductors, Elim has now been appointed Chief Conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra from this season.
Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Elim Chan, conductor
Benjamin Grosvenor - Piano
Nineteen year old British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and penetrating interpretations. An exquisite technique and ingenious flair for tonal colour are the hallmarks which make Benjamin Grosvenor one of the most sought-after young pianists in the world. His virtuosic command over the most strenuous technical complexities never compromises the formidable depth and intelligence of his interpretations. Described by some as a ‘Golden Age’ pianist (American Record Guide) and one ‘almost from another age’ (The Times), Benjamin is renowned for his distinctive sound, described as ‘poetic and gently ironic, brilliant yet clear-minded, intelligent but not without humour, all translated through a beautifully clear and singing touch’ (The Independent).
Benjamin first came to prominence as the outstanding winner of the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition at the age of eleven. Since then, Benjamin has become an internationally regarded pianist performing concerti with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, and Brazilian Symphony in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Muza Kawasaki and Carnegie Hall (at the age of thirteen). In 2011, having just turned nineteen, Benjamin performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the First Night of the BBC Proms to a sold-out Royal Albert Hall. His performance of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 dazzled critics, with The Times commenting on ‘the clarity and poetry of his panache, the airy grace of his arpeggios, the lack of flash buckles and bows'. Benjamin works with numerous esteemed conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jiří Bělohlávek and Vladimir Jurowski.
An accomplished recitalist, Benjamin performs to acclaim across the world. A regular at the Wigmore Hall in London, he has also made recital debuts at venues including the Victoria Hall in Singapore and the Philia Hall in Tokyo. In the USA, Benjamin has appeared at the Gilmore Festival and is a favourite in Saint Paul at the Chopin Society in Minnesota. Benjamin has recently given a highly successful fifteen-concert tour across Germany, for which he was labelled a ‘piano visionary’ by the Süddeutschen Zeitung. Benjamin continues to work chamber music collaborations into his busy schedule and enjoys working with other members of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme, of which he is a member during 2010-2012. Highlights of this season include engagements with the RAI Torino and Semyon Bychkov, Singapore Symphony and Okko Kamu, an extensive tour to North America including appearances in Washington and New York, and recital debuts in Berlin and Prague. In 2011/12 Benjamin is Associate Artist with Orchestra of the Swan.
In 2011 Benjamin signed to Decca Classics, and in doing so has become the youngest British musician ever to sign to the label, and the first British pianist to sign to the label in almost 60 years. His first recording for Decca includes Chopin’s Four Scherzi and Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. Critics have marvelled at Benjamin’s musical character as displayed in this recording; ‘Grosvenor, you can tell, is a Romantic pianist, almost from another age. He doesn't deconstruct, or stand at a distance. He jumps inside the music's soul’ (The Times) and ‘Grosvenor's balance of oratory and ornament, gesture and poetry – evident, too, in Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit – are moving as well as impressive’ (The Observer). Benjamin’s previous recordings include Chopin rarities for the 200th anniversary edition of Chopin’s complete works (EMI, 2010) in which he was lauded for his ‘sensitivity of touch, general musicality and affection for the music’ (BBC Music Magazine) and a debut solo recording ‘This and That’ (Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound/EMI, 2008), in response to which Bryce Morrison remarked that ‘even the most outlandish difficulties are tossed aside not just as child’s play but with a seemingly endless poetic finesse and resource’ (Gramophone). During his brief but sensational career to date, Benjamin has been featured in two BBC television documentaries, and his performances have been broadcast widely across the world.
The youngest of five brothers, Benjamin Grosvenor began playing the piano aged 6. He currently studies with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music on an affiliated scholarship and has also studied with Leif Ove Andsnes, Stephen Hough, and Arnaldo Cohen amongst others.