• Alexander's Playlist: Dang Thai Son's Chopin Recordings

    By Alexander Neef

    General Director Alexander Neef shares his favourite music recordings in this series of weekly recommendations.

    Dang Thai Son's Chopin Recordings
    Dang Thai Son, pianist
    Deutsche Grammophon, 2009

    Last week, I recommended the work of Annie Fischer, whom I called an “insider pianist” – an artist of mesmerizing talents and emotional depth who has not received her proper due in our collective knowledge.

    This week, I’d like to highlight a similar artist: Dang Thai Son, a Vietnamese-Canadian pianist who began his studies in Hanoi with his mother, continued on to the Moscow State Conservatory, and in 1980, won the illustrious International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Since then, he’s played all over the world to great acclaim and praise, yet Son has not received due recognition for his astonishing achievements. The fact that he’s now a Canadian citizen and calls Montreal home makes it all the more important, in my eyes, to redress his absence from our popular consciousness’ notion of great Canadian artists. In short, Son is a living national treasure.

    In his Deutsche Grammophon recordings of Chopin, Son has an amazing delicacy and masterful dynamic control as a pianist, bringing out the undercurrents and colours of Chopin’s work with vital immediacy. Instead of bombast and showmanship, Son captivates by making us hear the inner materials of Chopin with new ears: every note emerges with clarity and meaning in his interpretation. He’s truly the best Chopin pianist, even if this is your first time hearing him.

    ––Alexander Neef

    Music credit: Dang Thai Son's Chopin Recordings; Dang Thai Son, pianist; Deutsche Grammophon, 2009

    Posted in Alexander Neef Playlist


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