Ekaterina Litvintseva began playing the piano at the age of four, and studied music from 1994 to 2001 at the Children's Music School in the remote Russian town of Anadyr, on the Bering Straits. At 15, her family moved to Moscow, and she attended the State Chopin Music School. Having since moved to Europe, she has become much admired for her performances and recordings of Romantic classics by Chopin, Brahms and Rachmaninoff, though she has also explored the work of lesser-known composers from the period such as the Croatian pioneer Dora Pejačević (PCL10226).
The present release marks her second recording of the Chopin concertos, made in the Czech town of Pardubice in October 2022, and it completes her recorded survey of the composer’s works for piano and orchestra after the Piano Classics album of the lesser-known Variations on Mozart, Fantasia, Krakowiak and Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise.
Litvintseva has extensive experience of working with conductor Vahan Mardirossian: ‘We are a perfect team,’ she says. ‘For me, if you want to express your feelings in the deepest way as apianist, you have to learn the music of Chopin. This is a unique opportunity for me, being able to re-record the concertos six years later, and I have re-thought many aspects of my interpretations. I think I have something to say in this music. It flows so naturally, and it’s written in a brilliant style shared by many other composers of Chopin’s day, but only he could also bring such poetic expression to the brilliance. My job is not to destroy the music with artificial intervention, but to let it flow through my mind and through my hands. I simply want listeners to be touched by this music.’
- Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), the renowned Polish composer and pianist, composed two exquisite piano concertos that became pillars of the concerto repertoire and continue to captivate audiences to this day. The Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, displays the unmistakable brilliance of Chopin's Romantic style. Composed when he was just 20 years old, it showcases his virtuosity as a pianist and his ability to infuse profound emotion into his compositions. The concerto is characterized by its lyrical melodies, dramatic flourishes, and intricate technical passages, all perfectly balanced within the orchestral framework.
- Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, holds its own unique charm. It reveals a maturing composer exploring new depths of musical expression. The concerto radiates a sense of poetic introspection, with its melancholic themes and intimate piano passages. It seamlessly weaves together tender lyricism and grand virtuosic displays, offering a delicate balance between introspection and brilliance. Both concertos exemplify Chopin's mastery in composing for the piano, combining technical brilliance with heartfelt lyricism.
- Ekaterina Litvintseva is one of the most remarkable pianists of her generation. Her recordings won her enthusiastic acclaim in the international press: “a notable moment in the history of Chopin interpretation” (Fanfare); “a sense of spontaneous invention” in Mozart’s K.271 (Gramophone) and “an expressive depth” in Brahms’s 1st Piano Concerto (BBC Music Magazine). She previously recorded for Piano Classics an album with piano works by Dora Pejačević (PCL10226), as well as the Works for Piano and Orchestra by Chopin (PCL10142).