‘In the era of the great romantic pianists, it used to be the fashion at piano recitals to offer an improvisation in the same key as that of the piece that was scheduled to follow, in order to get the audience in the mood. To compensate for this lost art, I have thought of always playing one of the nocturnes before a major piano composition by Chopin. It makes these nocturnes appear more like an improvisation, to serve as counterweight to the very dense content of the Ballades, Scherzos, and Sonatas. This practice transfers smoothly the logic of a piano recital to a CD and makes more sense by allowing the listener to enjoy the contents in one stretch' writes Louis Lortie on his concept for the album.
'...He is also a pianist of our time when it comes to speed, energy and an unfussy approach to Chopin. His way of playing is like a sharply cut steel sculpture, super elegant and with not one single smudge. Lortie makes the scherzos sound fantastic with his energy, and his outer movements of Sonata No 2 are breathtaking.' Classic FM Magazine
'...These are full-blooded and eloquent performances. The recording quality does Lortie full justice ..." "...this is an auspicious start to what looks likely to become one of the finest of Chopin surveys.' Fanfare
'...His playing is very personal, his presentation scrupulously thought-out, his intelligence unmistakable, but he is not, as a performer, conspicuously intellectual. His playing is characterised by great warmth and lyricism, his virtuosity is formidable but unflaunted, his individuality communicative but never distractingly idiosyncratic. As an interpreter he is highly discriminating, playing no two pieces in quite the same way....This is Chopin playing of a high order.' Jeremy Siepmann, Grammophone