Music And Vision

Ever since music started being recorded way back at the end of the nineteenth century, Chopin’s piano works have always been blessed with an unending torrent of interpretations by some of history’s greatest performers. To our great joy and delight, these legendary renditions have been captured on disc or some other musical medium to be left for posterity; so, one may ask, what is so new about this 3 CD set under review? From a musical point of view, Burkard Schliessmann interprets the various pieces with a lovely and singing tone, and his phrasing, which in Chopin is wholly pivotal, is imaginative and deeply probing.

What makes this project so interesting is the sequence of how these works were planned for taping, hence the name of the album. Chronological Chopin offers the listener fourteen masterpieces from Chopin’s oeuvre in the historical order of composition, thus giving one the opportunity to delve into the spirit of one of history’s most fragile and sensitive composers, and discover bit by bit the evolving process of his art and innermost emotional turmoil as they unfolded throughout his short life.

Schliessmann’s music making has much to admire, and his pianistic finesse and keyboard gentleness suit Chopin’s poetic inventions to perfection. Indeed, his flawless pianistic sheen has an unfailing poise and lucidity that puts him at the forefront of today’s leading pianists. The soloist must also be lauded for his exhilarating essay that encapsulates both the technical and historical aspects of the music with unbridled mastery.

An innovative Chopin adventure in luscious sound and presentation which I recommend unreservedly, even to the composer’s most ardent admirers.

—Gerald Fenech