Chopin: Prelude Op. 28 No. 2 in A minor

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Hélène Tysman plays Chopin

Hélène Tysman plays Chopin


Chopin:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 'Marche funèbre'

Preludes (24), Op. 28


Hélène Tysman (piano)

Hélène Tysman has the ability to take the listener’s hand, at the outset of a Prélude or of a Sonata movement, and to lead and hold your attention until the very last bar, due to the outstanding range of colours she conjures up. She studied at the Paris Conservatory and has performed with many orchestras including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Oehms - OC752

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Ophelie Gaillard & Edna Stern play Chopin

Ophelie Gaillard & Edna Stern play Chopin

arranged for cello & piano by Edna Stern and Ophélie Gaillard


Chopin:

Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65

Prelude Op. 28 No. 2 in A minor

Nocturne No. 12 in G major, Op. 37 No. 2

Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 in E minor

Nocturne No. 11 in G minor, Op. 37 No. 1

Introduction and Polonaise Brillante in C, Op. 3

Nocturne No. 19 in E minor, Op. 72 No. 1

Waltz No. 19 in A minor, Op. post., KKIVb:11, B 150


Ophélie Gaillard (cello) & Edna Stern (Pleyel piano 1843)

Edna Stern has been teaching at the Royal College of Music in London since September 2009. Her playing has prompted Diapason to say “Her piano playing bears the mark of three great pianists who formed her and of whom she managed to create an improbable synthesis : The panache of Martha Argerich, the musicality of Leon Fleisher and the impeccable finish of Krystian Zimerman.”

Forthcoming releases from Ophélie Gaillard will include Dreams: a collaboration with producer Craig Leon, whose album for Joshua Bell of transcriptions for violin and orchestra was unanimously acclaimed.

Aparté - AP003

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Sheila Arnold plays Chopin

Sheila Arnold plays Chopin


Chopin:

Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23

Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52

Preludes (24), Op. 28


Sheila Arnold (piano)

Sheila Arnold’s performances show Chopin’s works in a new light; through the thrilling grasps of the perfomer, born in India and now a German pianist, who grapples intensively with historical instruments on all levels, producing a different sound and a complete new dimension on the pieces. She performs on an Érard Fortepiano (Paris 1839).

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Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op. 28

Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op. 28


Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

Nocturne No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1

Nocturne No. 8 in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2

Mazurka No. 10 in B flat major, Op. 17 No. 1

Mazurka No. 11 in E minor, Op. 17 No. 2

Mazurka No. 13 in A minor, Op. 17 No. 4

Waltz No. 12 in F minor, Op. 70 No. 2

Waltz No. 13 in D flat major, Op. 70 No. 3


Christina Bjorkoe (piano)

Classico - 220561

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Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op. 28

Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op. 28


Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

Polonaise No. 6 in A flat major, Op. 53 'Héroïque'


Leticia Gomez-Tagle (piano)

Urtext - JBCC185

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Friedrich Gulda plays Chopin

Friedrich Gulda plays Chopin


 

Epitaph for a Love

Based on recordings of Gulda improvsations, compiled by Paul Gulda

Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

Live, [11] from Graz, 10 May 1955; [13] from Zürich, 4 April 1955

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11

(Orchestrated by Mily Balakirev). Decca Recording, Feb 1954

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult

Ballades Nos. 1-4

Live Trieste, 14 March 1955

Nocturne No. 13 in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1

Live Buenos Aires, 5 July 1960

Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60

Live Buenos Aires, 5 July 1960

Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2

Live Buenos Aires, 19 May 1956

Waltz No. 14 in E minor, Op. post., KKIVa:15, B 56

Live Reggio Emilia, 7 March 1955

Nocturne No. 17 in B major, Op. 62 No. 1

Live Munich, Klaviersommer 13 July 1986


Gulda's hottest Chopin phase was the mid-1950s, when he regularly played the complete Preludes and complete Ballades in concert. Captured here are recordings from a variety of sources, all released for the first time, with the exception of the Piano Concerto recording, made for Decca (with whom he also recorded the Preludes and Ballades)

Performances are sometimes fiercely virtuosic, sometimes dreamily spun-out. The Ballades in particular are carried off with great panache.

First ever releases of 24 Preludes, 4 Ballades and single pieces.

Special compiled improvisation, in which Gulda (among other things) muses over his (broken) relationship with Chopin.

All newly mastered / remastered by Paul Gulda, who writes the liner notes.

“These recordings…are a fitting tribute to his idiosyncratic artistry: immediate, vibrant, original and at times utterly volcanic…he shapes the melodic architecture of the more songful preludes with such good sense that you wonder why doesn't everybody do likewise.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 *****

“Forever the nonconformist, Gulda may sometimes be wilful and irascible but he is never less than mesmeric and fascinating. Time and again he casts a novel and intense light on even the more familiar phrase, making you hang on every note...the sheer mastery and strength are like an elemental force of nature.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2010

“There's a freedom to Gulda's approach which brings the music vividly to life, in a manner which would doubtless be frowned upon today – but then, he was the original "terrorist pianist" with a taste for free jazz, who played with Chick Corea.” The Independent, 26th February 2010 ****

DG - 4778724

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Chopin - Preludes & Impromptus

Chopin - Preludes & Impromptus


Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

Prelude Op. posth. in A flat major (No. 26)

Prelude Op. 45 in C sharp minor (No. 25)

Impromptus Nos. 1-4

Prelude Op. 28 No. 14 in E flat minor

alternative tempo


Described prosaically, Chopin’s Preludes Op 28 are a cycle of twenty-four short pieces in all the major and minor keys paired through tonal relatives (the major keys and their relative minors) progressing in the cycle of fifths. Thus the opening C major Prelude is followed by one in A minor, G major (No 3) by that in E minor (No 4), then on to D major–B minor, and so forth. Seven of them last less than a minute; only three last longer than three minutes. But it is hard to think of any piano music less deserving of such pedestrian characterization than these miniature gems, which would, on their own, have ensured Chopin’s immortality.

In Bach’s time a prelude usually preceded something else, whether a fugue (as in his many organ works and the two books of the Well-Tempered Clavier) or dance movements in a suite, although Bach himself also composed short independent preludes for the keyboard. By the early nineteenth century it was common practice for pianists to improvise briefly as a prelude to their performance, an opportunity to loosen the fingers and focus the mind, and this tradition spawned several sets of Preludes encompassing all the major and minor keys, including examples from Hummel (1814), Cramer (1818), Kalkbrenner (1827), Moscheles (1827) and Kessler (1834), whose set is dedicated to Chopin.

These antecedents rarely stray beyond brief technical exercises. Not for the first time, Chopin took an existing form and raised it to a new level, establishing the solo Prelude as a miniature tone poem conveying myriad emotions and moods. They in turn provided the model for the Preludes of Heller (Op 81), Alkan (Op 31), Cui (Op 64), Busoni (Op 37) and Rachmaninov (Op 3 No 2, Op 23 and Op 32), all of which also embrace all twenty-four keys.

Chopin’s first essay in the genre was an independent Prelude in A flat major (composed in 1834 but not published until 1918) although not so titled by him (he gave it only a tempo indication). Here, as in several of the Op 28 Preludes, there are certain affinities with some of Bach’s Preludes, for instance the Prelude in D major from Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier. However, Chopin never includes any specifically fugal or canonic passages; his counterpoint emerges as a natural part of the musical texture. In the B minor Prelude, for example, the bass serves the dual function of melodic line and harmonic support. It is noteworthy that Chopin took with him his copy of the Well-Tempered Clavier on his ill-fated trip to Majorca in 1838 with George Sand. It was here that he put the finishing touches to the cycle that had occupied him on and off since 1836. The final Prelude was completed on 22 January 1839.

Some of the Preludes have attracted descriptive titles. Chopin would not have approved: none of the music is programmatic, attractive though it may be to think of the best-known of them—No 15 in D flat major, nicknamed ‘The Raindrop’—as depicting the steady drip-drip-drip of rain on the roof of their lodging in Valldemosa. No 4 in E minor and No 6 in B minor, known to all young pianists, were played on the organ at Chopin’s funeral. The tempestuous No 16 in B flat minor ranks among the most treacherous to play of all his works, while No 20 in C minor inspired two sets of variations by Busoni and one from Rachmaninov. Chopin returned to the form only once more in 1841 when he composed the Prelude in C sharp minor Op 45.

The word ‘Impromptu’ comes from the French, meaning ‘improvised’ or ‘on the spur of the moment’. Its musical application is heard most famously in the short song-like works given that title by Schubert. Here, for once, Chopin alighted on a title without transforming the genre, and Schubert’s are generally better known. The first occasion he used it was for his Fantaisie-Impromptu in 1834, one of his most popular pieces and yet curiously never approved for publication (it was issued posthumously by his friend Julian Fontana in 1855 as Op 66), perhaps because it is too closely resembles Moscheles’s earlier Impromptu in E flat major Op 89. It combines the elements of ‘étude’ and ‘nocturne’ to winning effect. The famous central melody is one of Chopin’s most memorable—and in 1919 provided two American songwriters with a hit entitled ‘I’m always chasing rainbows’.

Each of the three Impromptus that followed was, significantly, allotted its own opus number, like each Scherzo and Ballade. The Impromptu No 1 in A flat major Op 29 (1837) is among the most beautiful and spontaneous of all Chopin’s compositions, closely following the model of the earlier Op 66. In George du Maurier’s novel Trilby the piece becomes a talisman in the hands of Svengali, using it to hypnotize the eponymous heroine. No 2 in F sharp major Op 36 has an entirely novel structure, with its dream-like opening progressing to a march in D major and concluding with three pages of brilliant passage work. The Impromptu No 3 in G flat major Op 51 exists in two versions; it is the final form that is recorded here. It is a strange, haunting piece for which Chopin had a particular predilection—and strangeness should be, according to Edgar Allan Poe, a constituent of all great art.

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Chopin - Preludes, Sonata No. 2 & Etudes

Chopin - Preludes, Sonata No. 2 & Etudes

CD2+BOOK


Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 'Marche funèbre'

Études (12), Op. 25


Legendary Russian pianist, Grigory Sokolov, considered one of the greatest pianists alive today, performs a recital of music by Frédéric Chopin. 2010 is the year of Chopin, celebrating the bicentennial of the composer’s birth. At the age of sixteen, Grigory Sokolov was awarded first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1966 and has since gained an almost mythical status throughout the world.

Naive - Les Grands Millésimes de Naïve Classique - NC40007

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Victor Merzhanov - The Goldenweiser School

Victor Merzhanov - The Goldenweiser School


Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

recorded Moscow c.1955 (LP: D 04996/7)

Liszt:

Grandes Études de Paganini (6), S. 141

recorded Moscow 1951 & 1955 (LP: D 2683/4)

Scriabin:

Piano Sonata No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 53

recorded Moscow c.1956 (from LP: D 5512/3)


Victor Merzhanov (piano)

This title continues the Goldenweiser School, the last of the three great teaching traditions to be covered in this comprehensive survey of the many great pianists who worked in Russia in the Soviet era. The bulk of the issues in THE RUSSIAN PIANO TRADITION will be divided into 'schools' which represent the three main teachers of this period - Neuhaus, Goldenweiser and Igumnov, - and their pupils.

One of the youngest pianists to be featured in this series, Victor Merzhanov is more a grand-pupil of Goldenweiser than a pupil, as his major professor was Samuil Feinberg. It seems certain though, that while studying with one of Goldenweiser's most illustrious pupils he would also have had contact with the great man. Merzhanov graduated from the Moscow conservatory in 1942 and, after war service, shared first prize in the 1945 All-Union piano competition with Sviatoslav Richter. He began teaching at the Moscow Conservatoire in 1947 and, at the age of 90, continues to teach and serve on competition juries today.

Merzhanov quickly became renowned as a Rachmaninov interpreter and his recording of the Third Concerto is one of the greatest, he also made the first recording of Prokofiev's Sixth Sonata. He was most prolific in the recording studio in the 1950's and his performances are characterised by peerless technique (witness the Liszt 'Paganini' Studies included here) and a generous, but never self-serving, emotional involvement with the music. Once again the quality of the playing revealed here shows that our view of who are the 'greats' of Soviet pianism has been very much dictated by those performers who had careers in the west. As this series of CDs has shown, Gilels and Richter were not isolated peaks; the likes of Oborin, Zak, and here, Merzhanov, were certainly their musical equals.

“Viktor Merzhanov finds in Liszt's Paganini Etudes a jaunty, playful vein...his Scriabin is incandescent.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 ****

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APR - The Russian Piano Tradition - APR5671

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Chopin - 24 Preludes

Chopin - 24 Preludes

and other works for solo piano


Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise, Op. 22

Nocturne No. 8 in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2

Waltz No. 14 in E minor, Op. post., KKIVa:15, B 56


Kevin Kenner (piano)

At the age of 17, American pianist Kevin Kenner participated in the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw and was awarded the 10th prize and a special prize from the jury for his promising talent. Ten years later he returned to Warsaw to win top prize, the People’s Prize and the Polonaise Prize. This release emphasizes the sublime talents of Kevin Kenner in a delightful programme of Chopin works.

Dux - DUX0632

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