Performer: Dang Thai Son
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century
Conductor: Frans Brüggen
Composer: Frederic Chopin
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Fryderyk Chopin Social Institute
Size: 302 MB
01. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47: Allegro maestoso
02. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47: Romance. Larghetto
03. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47: Rondo. Vivace
04. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48: Maestoso
05. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48: Larghetto
06. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, CT. 48: Allegro vivace
Dang Thai Son and Frans Bruggen – commemorating the 200th Chopin Anniversary at Warsaw
On 1st March 2010, the ‘official’ 200th birthday of Chopin, Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son and Frans Bruggen’s 18th Century Orchestra were invited to perform Chopin’s No. 2 Piano Concerto at Warsaw’s special concert, together with Garrick Ohlsson and Yundi Li.
In 1980, Dang Thai Son and his conservatory colleague Ivo Pogorelich both entered the International Chopin Piano Competition at Warsaw. Pogorelich came out in the 3rd round under protest of Martha Argerich, on the panel of juries. Dang emerged as winner with three other major prizes, including ‘best concerto performance’.
Pogorelich later recorded with DG the second concerto under the baton of Claudio Abbado to great critical acclaim. Dang’s early release under the Victor label did not receive such attention. The present recording is Dang’s more recent attempt in period instruments of these two concerti by Chopin.
Relatively fewer pianist excel at the No. 2 Concerto than the No. 1. I would say, however, that Mr. Dang excels at both, with marked distinction in the 2nd.
Being the college roommate of Pogorelich, I wonder if Dang and Pogo had not, during student days, rehearsed the No. 2 Concerto together multiple times. I for one would like to compare the two’s No. 2.
Both versions are exceptionally fine, but on the whole, I opt for Dang’s. Dang took far less liberties with the tempi of the various movements. His sense of structure is even better than Pogo as a result, though relatively speaking, Pogo already grasped the piece’s structure quite well, and is clearly ahead of veterans like Tamas Vasary.
What I would like to draw on Dang’s performance is his keen attention to detail and nuances, even within the strict framework that he’s adopted. In terms of articulation, he is clearly on par with Pogorelich while in terms of style, clearly ahead of Pogo. His sense of rhythm, again, having a clear edge over most other exponents of this work.
It is therefore totally unsurprising and befitting that for the 200th Anniversary of Chopin’s birth, Mr. Dang and Bruggen were chosen to perform the No. 2 Concerto.