The Chronicle

This 3CD box set (Super Audio CD) is self-explanatory by the title, and it seems pointless to type out Schliessmann’s extensive sleeve notes, which range from the technical to the more understandable to laymen such as ourselves (“Chopin was a gifted tunesmith”).

Schliessmann writes at length about Chopin’s genius and technical brilliance and while Schliessmann might not be able to compose to Chopin’s standards, he can play. (In fact he’s an annoying over-achiever, not only being able to hold his own on the keyboard but a professional scuba diver and ambassador for the Protecting Of Our Ocean Planet programme, as well as being a philosopher and photographer).

Unaccompanied, anything can drag after a while but Schliessman’s performance is so good that we’ve been easily able to listen to one or two of the CDs without tiring, thanks to Schliessmann’s delicate changes in mood and tempo. The works presented show Chopin’s musical development over time, including the 24 preludes, Op 28, the complete scherzi and ballades and other work (say the Press notes).

Excellent, played and recorded to the highest standards.

—Jeremy Condliffe