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Chopin - The 4 Ballades

Jonathan Phillips Chopin Album Cover

This CD contains All four of the Chopin Ballades and 5 Nocturnes. Once again, and critically for me, this recording just like the Bach Tranquillity CD was made in such a way as to replicate a “live “performance. Two consecutive live performances were given, and that was it! There is no point in endless editing, as for me, the sanitised performance of a highly edited recording no longer communicates that which takes place in live performance.

 

The four Pieces themselves are utterly different and any formal analysis is of them is beset with difficulty. Chopin’s Ballades are essentially abstract musical forms. What I would say is that they each weave a narrative or story based on some magnificent themes and Chopin develops these in a beautifully structured way that is at once free and seemingly improvised but is at the same time highly structured and able hold the developing drama of the story together. The Ballades together with the Nocturnes on this disc all exhibit the one immediately identifiable hallmark of Chopin’s music, namely beautiful melodies, requiring genuine singing legato and beauty of sound.

Track List

Ballades

1.  Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23

2.  Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38

3.  Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47

4.  Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52

Nocturnes

5.  Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2

6.  Nocturne in B major, Op. 31 No. 1

7.  Nocturne in F major, Op. 15 no. 1

8.  Nocturne in F minor, Op. 55 No. 1 - watch this track being performed

9.  Nocturne in B major, Op. 61 No. 1

 

9:43

7:35

7:26

12:05

 

4:49

4:36

4:54

5:25

7:06

Total playing time 63:56

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