WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Chopin: Ballade No 4, Barcarolle, Berceuse, Etc / Ashkenazy


Release Date: 11/13/2001 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 466708   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

Import   
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
Import ArkivCD
$16.99
In Stock



This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Familiar territory revisited, but tempered now by the reflections of age and experience - Ashkenazy's recital is at once serious, genial and entirely individual.

Chopin has always been central to Vladimir Ashkenazy's long, rich and hyperactive career, ranging from his legendary 1959-60 Russian recording of the Etudes to his complete Decca cycle. Now in this disc, recorded in Finland in 1999, he revisits many of his favourite masterpieces, and while it would be idle to pretend that his playing still possesses the grace, fluency and passion of his earlier work, its autumnal maturity and reflection bring their own special and distinctive rewards.

Time and again Chopin's often tumultuous temperament is tamed
Read more into acquiescence and the Fourth Ballade, unclouded by wild rhetoric or hysteria, unfolds with all the time in the world. In the Polonaise-fantaisie tempos are, again, on the slow side with the pianist seemingly lost in reverie and wonder at the music's grandeur and audacity. The Berceuse's 'rain of silvery fire' is recreated with unfaltering poise, and it is only in Op 62 (the most ornate and finely wrought of the Nocturnes) that I missed recordings have recently appeared on Naxos's bargain label). Ashkenazy breaks no speed records in the so-called 'minute' waltz, clocking in at a blessed 149", but he can still whirl us across the ballroom floor with delightful aplomb in the coda from the A flat Waltz from the same opus.

There are a few cumbersome rather than light-fingered moments in the Op 59 Mazurkas (few pianists have achieved Martha Argerich's improvisatory ease and quicksilver brilliance in this set), yet I couldn't help recalling a teaching colleague who once asked me whether you can truly compare one artist with another. Ashkenazy's recital is at once serious, genial and entirely individual, his Steinway bright and immediate and Decca's sound outstanding.

-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone [12/2001]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Kuopio Music Center, Finland 
Length: 10 Minutes 55 Secs. 
2. Polonaise-fantaisie for Piano in A flat major, B 159/Op. 61 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Kuopio Music Center, Finland 
Length: 12 Minutes 42 Secs. 
3. Barcarolle for Piano in F sharp major, B 158/Op. 60 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Kuopio Music Center, Finland 
Length: 8 Minutes 49 Secs. 
4. Berceuse for Piano in D flat major, B 154/Op. 57 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Kuopio Music Center, Finland 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
5. Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 161/Op. 62 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Kuopio Music Center, Finland 
Length: 12 Minutes 34 Secs. 
6. Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Kuopio Music Center, Finland 
Length: 7 Minutes 38 Secs. 
7. Mazurkas (3) for Piano, B 157/Op. 59 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Kuopio Music Center, Finland 
Length: 9 Minutes 30 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook