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Chopin: Preludes / Alain Planes

Release Date: 10/13/2009 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 501721   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Plančs
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Alain Planès. Harmonia Mundi 901721.

The piano that Alain Planès uses here, a 1906 American Steinway grand, is credited with all sorts of marvelous qualities by Jacques Drillon in a typically florid note tucked into the booklet that accompanies the CD. The fact is, it’s an instrument that lacks the weight in the bass and the brilliance at the top that characterize today’s concert Steinways – a Bing Crosby of a piano rather than a Lauritz Melchior, which is fine, because it sounds a lot like the old Steinways I used to practice these pieces on. Its touch is light, and that enables Planès to get around on some of the flashier pieces in the set, like No. 8 in F sharp minor and No. 16 in B flat minor. Still,
Read more his isn’t what you would be tempted to call a virtuoso technique, and if you’re looking for flash and color, you might be better off looking somewhere else, say Pollini, or better yet, Pogorelich.

What Planèes brings to these pieces is an introspective delicacy that is very much in the French tradition. His readings of the individual preludes are thoughtful and tasteful, if not always telling. He does not chain them together (as, for example Garrick Ohlsson does) in order to form a continuous utterance, but sees them as individual entities, and with good reason. For these are the most modern pieces Chopin wrote – aphoristic, even cryptic. In fact, many of them are not pieces at all, but, as the poet Alfred de Vigny might have said, “pearls of thought.” Planès understands that, and communicates it as well as anyone. – Ted Libbey, author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection. Read less

Works on This Recording

Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Plančs (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Mazurkas (4) for Piano, Op. 41 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Plančs (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1840; Paris, France 
Barcarolle for Piano in F sharp major, B 158/Op. 60 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Plančs (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; Paris, France 
Berceuse for Piano in D flat major, B 154/Op. 57 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Plančs (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Paris, France 
Nocturne for Piano in C sharp minor, B 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Alain Plančs (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 

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