Chopping up Chopin is a timely thing to do

Chopping up Chopin is a timely thing to do

Album Of The Week

norman lebrecht

August 13, 2021

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

…. For a pianist to stand out nowadays, s/he needs to do more than rattle off the Grieg and Schumann concertos on Naxos and Youtube. This kind of compilation sets a trend and raises the bar high for individualism…

Read on here.

And here.




  • KarenH says:

    > Three years from now, mark my words, Lang Lang will do a copycat album.

    Uncalled for swipe at Lang Lang, and Ott is hardly the first to interleave a whole work or a set usually played together with modern composers. Some examples off the top of my head: Kopatchinskaja:–schubert-death-and-the-maiden


    Are you going to call Ott a copycat now?

    • Petros Linardos says:

      This interweave of 18th-19th century with 20th-21st century music is very common in concerts too, orchestral or recitals. Quite a turn off for me, for reasons beyond modern music: I would have little interest in hearing, say, Schubert and Moteverdi in the same program, even though both are among my favorite composers.
      How I miss Fischer-Dieskau’s approach: one composer per program.

  • Marfisa says:

    Interestingly dismissive review (‘trophy artist’?).

    By the way, who is Nino Rita, and did s/he really write the soundtrack for Creation? I thought it was Christopher Young.

  • Pyotr says:

    I find this a review that almost works, and when it doesn’t it is interesting enough to read to the end.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    This kind of haute cuisine, serving Chopin chops with different sausages in between as plat principal, follows a current trend that lowers the bar for self-righteous menyer and narcissism-spiced eating habits.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Maybe a bit of an oddity for a recording which presumably one is intended to listen to more than once, but I have attended informal “party” concerts and when a thoughtful and inventive musician walks you through disparate pieces, isolated movements of larger works for example, and points out where the perhaps this idea came from or what it came to influence, or where the same composer came at the same idea from wildly different directions, or where a performer finds similarities “in their fingers” that are not evident to mere listeners, it can be compelling and highly entertaining. Some of Leonard Bernstein’s recorded “talks at the piano” were of that sort.

    It benefits even more in situations where similarly informed listeners can chime in with their own notions, or with questions, or with requests to make a point more clearly, or even step up to the keyboard to make their own point.

    But in any event it benefits most from at least brief talk to convey the point(s). Recorded lecture/performances are not popular, for good reasons. Thus the links or contrasts would have to be fairly forceful and clear to make a recording successful. Having not heard this one I withhold judgment, but I don’t dismiss the possibility of it being very worthwhile.