Music: Chopiniana

"Gentlemen, hats off! A genius!"

Thus Robert Schumann in his 1831 review introduced the young Polish composer Frederic Chopin. Chopin was a romanticist who detested the very word; Bach and Mozart were his gods. Nonetheless, the romantic volcano that he triggered continues to erupt over a century after his death. To many concertgoers, a great pianist still means a great Chopin pianist, and if the recent spate of Chopin recordings is an indication, the artists agree. Some of the best:

The Complete Polonaises (Garrick Ohlsson, Angel; $11.98). Ohlsson, 25, is a big man (6...

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