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Chopin: Valses; Ravel / Stephen Kovacevich


Release Date: 04/04/2006 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 46734   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Maurice RavelFrédéric Chopin
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CHOPIN Waltzes: No. 1 in E?; No. 2 in A?; No. 3 in a; No. 4 in F; No. 5 in A?; No. 6 in D?; No. 7 in c?; No. 8 in A?; No. 9 in A?; No. 10 in b; No. 11 in G?; No. 12 in f; No. 13 in d?; No. 14 in e. RAVEL Valses nobles et sentimentales ? Stephen Kovacevich (pn) ? EMI 46734 (64:46)


I was pleased to read in the notes Stephen Kovacevich provides for this disc that, like myself, he ?first got to know Chopin?s waltzes in the beautiful recording that Artur Read more Rubinstein made during the 1960s.? I suppose that I am cheered to find that this pianist, whom I admire so much, shares something of my history as well as my tastes. Kovacevich has been a favorite since his early Beethoven recordings made when he was the fresh-faced Stephen Bishop. I admired the rhythmic cohesion of his playing and his combination of seriousness and buoyancy. It was perhaps inevitable that I admire his Chopin waltzes, pieces he describes as ?public and glamorous.? Kovacevich emphasizes the good cheer of these pieces, as we hear in his exuberant rendering of the Waltz No. 1 in E?, op. 18. Yet, I find his rendering of the gentler Waltz No. 9 in A?, op. 69/1, among the most touching on record, and his recording of No. 4, op. 34/3, which he says he knows he plays too fast, among the most exciting.


He seems to believe equally in the Ravel. I have also been slightly puzzled by Ravel?s qualities, the way he seems?in his music and life?to meld the qualities, including irony, of a highly sophisticated French intellectual with a streak of sentimentality. Beginning with the title, Ravel seems to apply that irony to that sentimentalism. These waltzes, again championed by Rubinstein, are oblique harmonically and even, insofar as a waltz can be, in their rhythms. They seem to me uniquely self-aware. Kovacevich plays them hypnotically, rendering the mystery of the ?Épilogue lent? while sustaining its coherence as well as its dry charm. This may be the most appealing recording of the Ravel since Rubinstein?s own.


FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

1.
Valses nobles et sentimentales by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; France 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 16 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (07/14/2005 - 07/19/2005) 
2.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1841 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (07/14/2005 - 07/19/2005) 
3.
Waltzes (2) for Piano, Op. 69 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1835 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (07/14/2005 - 07/19/2005) 
4.
Waltz for Piano in E minor, B 56 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (07/14/2005 - 07/19/2005) 
5.
Waltz for Piano in E flat major, B 62/Op. 18 "Grande valse brillante" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (07/14/2005 - 07/19/2005) 
6.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831-1838 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (07/14/2005 - 07/19/2005) 
7.
Waltz for Piano in A flat major, B 131/Op. 42 "Grande Valse" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France; Paris, France 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (07/14/2005 - 07/19/2005) 
8.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (07/14/2005 - 07/19/2005) 

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