Mozart & Chopin - Dialogue (2014)

Mozart, Chopin

Josep Colom

Who knows what Mozart and Chopin might have played had they actually come face to face in or around 1830, if the former had not died so prematurely. They might both have improvised on a given theme, or played together on two pianos. And, given the custom of the day, each would very probably have performed something the other had written. Had that happened, the results might not have been that far removed from what we hear on this recording: a journey towards an imaginary encounter made reality by the exceptional vision and artistry of Josep Colom: with an improvised ornamentation laden with cross-references, an articulation always at pains not to blur this music’s cantabile nature, and a timbre that rather than maximising the polarity between the composers highlights a coherent and overarching narrative within which the two go hand in hand. The album leads us gradually from the dazzling luminosity of the first works towards a gathering, mystery-shrouded darkness, and it doesn’t seem to matter much who wrote which piece: along the way Mozart often, literally, turns into Chopin, and vice versa.

Luca Chiantore, from the album’s liner notes.

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Josep Colom

I was born in Barcelona in 1947. Unusually for that period in Spain, music was a big part of our everyday family life, as far back as I can remember. Thanks to this, and the unconditional emotional and financial support I received from my parents, who were not themselves professional musicians, I was able to choose my career path at an early age, and have enjoyed it ever since.

In my youth, I won a number of competitions. The Jaén and Santander International competitions (1977 and 1978 respectively) helped me begin to make a name for myself in Spain; many years later, the Spanish Ministry of Culture awarded me the National Music Prize, an accolade I’m particularly proud to have won because it represents the appreciation and endorsement of my colleagues in the profession. During the 1980s I gradually made more and more public appearances, and these days, as well as performing as a recital soloist and chamber musician, I play regularly with virtually all the Spanish orchestras under the baton of excellent conductors, at the country’s leading venues and festivals. I also play abroad quite frequently, especially in France, where I lived for a number of years during the 70s while studying at Paris’s École Normale de Musique, founded by Alfred Cortot. I’ve also made most of my recordings in France, for the Mandala label, with albums of music by composers as diverse as Brahms, Franck, Blasco de Nebra, Mompou and Falla, among others. RTVE has recently released both a DVD of a performance I gave of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto and a CD of works by Chopin, Debussy and Ravel – live recordings from the Radio Clásica archive issued as part of a series entitled Grandes pianistas españoles. Despite the occasional imperfection here and there, I prefer live recordings for the greater authenticity they offer.

Throughout my career many other musicians have influenced my artistic development. One in particular that I’d like to mention is the composer (and, at the time, pianist) Joan Guinjoán who, when I was only nineteen, helped me develop a much more rational and structured way of approaching music and performance.

My reserved, introverted temperament means I feel most at home in the world of recital and chamber music, although I’ve never wanted to forego the chance to enjoy the wonders of the concerto repertoire. I’m not going to try to list all the orchestras, conductors, quartets and other musicians with whom I’ve shared great moments of music-making, because inevitably I’d leave some of them out, but I value each and every one of them immensely.

Teaching has become an increasingly important part of my life. Coming into contact with younger musicians has enabled me to rediscover the great piano repertoire with renewed enthusiasm. As well as giving regular masterclasses, I’ve also taught at the University of Alcalá de Henares since its music department opened in 1990, and at the Saragossa Conservatory and Valencia’s Musikeon, while in September 2012 I took up a post at Barcelona’s Liceu Conservatory.

I consider it a great privilege to be able to make music, and I am grateful to all those who have made the effort over the years to come and share this daily miracle with me.

Josep Colom

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Mozart & Chopin - Dialogue (2014)

Mozart, Chopin

Josep Colom

    Audiophile Audition

“Josep Colom is a veteran Spanish pianist, renowned for his recordings of De Falla, Mompou and Brahms. […] On this recording, he surely enjoys the finest sound engineering of his career as he debuts for a small but outstanding Madrid-based audiophile label, Eudora. […] this project confirms the sonic wizardry of Gonzalo Noque, producer and engineer. […] We can also imagine what it would have been like for Mozart, 73 years old in 1829, the year of Chopin’s first public appearance (which happened to be in Vienna), to have taken in this evocation of otherworldly beauty. As played so brilliantly by Josep Colom, there is no doubt that this music would have been both intelligible and deeply pleasing to Mozart.[…] This SACD will definitely reward those willing to suspend normative performance standards in favor of an open-ended and deeply creative approach to a body of work that, perhaps, has become just a bit too familiar and routine.”

Fritz Balwit[read full review]

    Revista Segarra

Beauty of sound, warmth, eloquence and subtlety are Josep Colom's tools, a pianist who finds himself in a sweet state of artistic maturity. An SACD which catches you from the first notes.

Santi Riu

    Pizzicato

"[...]Not only interesting, but also a very personal recording which will guarantee a beautiful and enriching experience to any opened-minded listener."

Remy Frack[read full review]

    SA-CD.net

"The product of Colom's original narrative-based programme, his stunning interpretations and the artistry of Eudora's DSD recording together produce a truly unique musical experience. Even the booklet's beautiful photographs of roses on a dark leafy background hint at the narrative of the music, the pianistic sequence involving the flux of light and dark. [...] This disc give pure joy, and induces the listener to immediately play it again."

John Miller[read full review]

    Opusklassiek.nl

Gemakshalve gooit Colom de bestaande uitvoeringspraktijk in dit repertoire even overboord, met heel veel nadruk op dichterlijke en vooral ritmische vrijheid. Interpretatieve normen worden zo door Colom herschreven tot een raamvertelling waarbij de een heerlijk zal wegdromen en de ander briesend de virtuele zaal verlaat. De opnamekwaliteit is zonder meer voortreffelijk.

Siebe Riedstra[read full review]

Mozart & Chopin - Dialogue (2014)

Mozart, Chopin

Josep Colom

Digital Converters:Merging Horus Converter
Mastering Engineer:Gonzalo Noqué
Mastering Equipment:Neuman KH120A
Microphones:Sonodore, Schoeps
Producer:Gonzalo Noqué
Recording Engineer:Gonzalo Noqué
Recording location:Conservatori del Liceu Concert Hall, Barcelona
Recording Software:Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD256

Quality & Channel Selection Digitized at DSD256
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Channels

This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
For albums, lower DSD bit rates (128 and/or 64) are available at no surcharge. This does not apply for DXD selection.
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EUDDR1402: Mozart & Chopin - Dialogue
01:19:03   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
Fantasy in D Minor, K. 397
Mozart
00:07:10   Select quality & channels above
2.
Ecossaise in D Major, Op. 72, No. 1
Chopin
00:01:13   Select quality & channels above
3.
Rondo in D Major, K. 485
Mozart
00:05:12   Select quality & channels above
4.
Ecossaise in G Major, Op. 72, No.2
Chopin
00:00:54   Select quality & channels above
5.
Gigue in G Major, K. 574
Mozart
00:01:13   Select quality & channels above
6.
Prelude in G Major, Op. 28, No. 3
Chopin
00:01:41   Select quality & channels above
7.
Prelude in B Minor, Op. 28, No. 6
Chopin
00:02:24   Select quality & channels above
8.
Adagio in B Minor, K. 540
Mozart
00:09:21   Select quality & channels above
9.
Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4
Chopin
00:02:34   Select quality & channels above
10.
Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2
Chopin
00:05:58   Select quality & channels above
11.
Prelude in A Major, Op. 28, No. 7
Chopin
00:00:57   Select quality & channels above
12.
Rondo in A Minor, K. 511
Mozart
00:09:25   Select quality & channels above
13.
Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 17 No. 4
Chopin
00:04:27   Select quality & channels above
14.
Prelude in F Minor, Op. 28, No. 18
Chopin
00:01:09   Select quality & channels above
15.
Prelude in C Minor, Op. 28, No. 20
Chopin
00:01:52   Select quality & channels above
16.
Fantasy in C Minor, K. 475
Mozart
00:13:28   Select quality & channels above
17.
Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23
Chopin
00:10:05   Select quality & channels above

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