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Eric Himy

Chopin 200th Anniversary Celebration Concert DVD

Review by Dan Fredrickson

Eric Himy is an incredible pianist, and his DVD celebrating Chopin takes viewers on an entertaining, educational trip that encompasses a wide variety of Chopin’s works.   For someone who is already a connoisseur of Chopin, however, I recommend that you bypass this disc in favor of some of the world’s best Chopin players, such as Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Rafal Blechacz, or Krystian Zimmerman, as Eric Himy does not quite play to their level.   For someone who is not very familiar with Chopin’s compositions though, and is unlikely to have a basis for comparison, this DVD is perfect.   Besides playing eleven pieces by Chopin, he plays five pieces by major composers who either knew Chopin or were heavily influenced by him, as well as dozens of snippets of pieces that Himy uses as examples to illustrate the points of the educating little talks he gives between the numbers.   It is these talks that set this DVD apart from others; in this performance, Mr. Himy strives to not just play a setlist of Chopin, but to bring the audience with him into an understanding of what made Chopin so special and so unique among his contemporaries.   The performer here has a genuine fondness for the Chopin repertoire that he seeks to make contagious, and because of this, I highly recommend this DVD for people who are not familiar with Chopin but who would like, perhaps, to get their feet wet.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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