Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition - 1980

The International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition takes place in Warsaw since 1927. Promotion of great composer’s legacy was the leading idea for the group of musicians concentrate around prof. Jerzy Żurawlew. Although the source idea of competition came out from his teacher in Warsaw Conservatory prof. Alexander Michałowski, Żurawlew was the one who taken whole duties onto his shoulders. There were two basic aims of this festival – to connect various Chopin interpreters from all over the world and to preserve romantic way of playing Chopin’s music. 
First editions of the Warsaw Chopin Competitions became the great festival of romantic culture. Some participants were more amateurs than professional artists, but still it was significant event in European music. After series of extremely talented laureates – Maurizio Pollini in 1960, Martha Argerich in 1965, Garrick Ohlsson in 1970 and Krystian Zimerman in 1975, became clear that artists who wins are almost automatically the personalities of international scale. It is not an incident, Deutsche Grammophone is signing recording contracts with 1st Prize winners of every edition of Warsaw Chopin Competition.

Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition 1980 Sound Chronicle

Side effect of growing denotation of International Chopin Competition were increasing doubts about who should be the winner and how objective was the verdict. Since 1980 few editions of the competition rouses controversies and turbulent discussion on jury’s verdict. It took place once in press, then in radio and television and nowadays goes on internet forums. Probably this is the best way for expressing social concern and deep emotional relationship with Chopin’s music. But still the best way is to listen every competitor personally and if it’s impossible, it’s good to listen at least these who’s recordings were marked out and published on one of the chronicle records. 
On series of recordings with 1980 Sound Chronicle we can find very interesting in it’s ideas and well balanced performances of Chopin’s sonatas played by Arutyun Papazyan (Sonate B-flat Minor, Op. 35) and Tatyana Shebanova (Sonate B Minor, Op. 58). Also some smaller pieces played by a group of pianists on far places – Ewa Pobłocka (who has taken 5th place with Akiko Ebi – ex aequo et bono) and two ex aequo et bono 6th prizewinners – Irina Pietrowa and Eric Berchot. Also some artists out of official ranking: Angela Hewitt, Bernard d’Ascoli, William Wolfram. Some recordings from the 1980 Chopin Competition Chronicle has been published in next years in bigger choices. This means the complete of live recordings of 1st Prize winner Dang Thai Son and two volumes of live recordings by Ivo Pogorelic who was favorite artist of the audience and the legend in next years. In ’80s there was also republished the album with collected competition appearances by William Wolfram.

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