This is surely the greatest, certainly the richest, of all Murray Perahia's many and exemplary recordings.
This Chopin recital represents Murray Perahia's return to the Sony studios after a two-year absence due to serious injury. So may I start by saying that this is surely the greatest, certainly the richest, of all his many and exemplary recordings. Once again his performances are graced with rare and classic attributes and now, to supreme clarity, tonal elegance and musical perspective, he adds an even stronger poetic profile, a surer sense of the inflammatory rhetoric underpinning Chopin's surface equilibrium. In other words the vividness and immediacy are as remarkable as the finesse. And here, arguably, is theRead more oblique but telling influence of Horowitz who Perahia befriended during the last months of the old wizard's life. Listen to the First Ballade's second subject and you will hear rubato like the most subtle pulsing or musical breathing. Try the opening of the Third and you will note an ideal poise and lucidity, something rarely achieved in these outwardly insouciant pages.
Then there is the glorious Fourth and final Ballade in a performance as subtly gauged as any on record. Here Perahia achieves a fluidity of line and impetus that never compromise or sacrifice his sense of superfine and exploratory detail; and what other pianist possesses such an acute aural and rhythmic sensitivity? From Perahia the waltzes are marvels of liquid brilliance and urbanity. You would have to return to 1950 and Lipatti (EMI, 7/89) for a comparable quality though, frankly, even he hardly achieved such an enchanting lilt or buoyancy, such a beguiling sense of light and shade. In the mazurkas, too, Perahia's tiptoe delicacy and tonal irridescence (particularly in Op. 7 No. 3 in F minor) make the music dance and spin as if caught in some magical hallucinatory haze.
Finally, two contrasting Etudes, and whether in ardent lyricism (Op. 10 No. 3) or shot-from-guns virtuosity (Op. 10 No. 4) Perahia's playing is sheer perfection. The recording beautifully captures his instantly recognizable, glistening sound world as well as the immense grandeur of his conceptions. Rarely in my experience has such a truly transcendental pianism (he has every tint and colour of the spectrum at his fingertips) and such innate poetry been so unforgettably combined. Welcome back Murray Perahia; you have been sorely missed.
Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52by Frédéric Chopin Performer:
Murray Perahia (Piano)
Period: Romantic Written: 1842; Paris, France Date of Recording: 06/1994 Venue: Musica Théatre, La Chaux de Fonds Length: 9 Minutes 46 Secs.
Ballade No. 2 in A minor, Op.38: Andantino - Presto con fuoco - Agitato - Tempo I (Instrumental)
Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, Op. 47 (Instrumental)
Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 (Instrumental)
Grande Valse brillante in E-flat Major, Op.18: Vivo (Instrumental)
Grande Valse in A-flat Major, Op.42 (Instrumental)
Nocturne No. 1 in F Major, Op.15: Andante cantabile - Con fuoco - Tempo I (Instrumental)
Mazurka No. 3 in F minor, Op.7: (Moderato) (Instrumental)
Mazurka No. 4 in A minor, Op.17: Lento ma non troppo (Instrumental)
Mazurka No. 2 in D Major, Op.33: Vivace (Instrumental)
Étude No. 3 in E Major, Op.10: Lento ma non troppo (Instrumental)
Étude No. 4 in C-sharp minor, Op.10: Presto (Instrumental)
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
TRES MAGNIFIQUE!February 20, 2015By Zita Carno (Tampa, FL)See All My Reviews"When Perahia starts the first Ballade, in G minor, it immediately says "Once upon a time"...and the story begins. This sets up a fantastic and beautiful collection of Chopin masterpieces, superbly interpreted. He is one of the great pianists of this or any generation, and I always enjoy his work."Report Abuse
thoughful and mature playingJune 30, 2012By Reginald Faust (Niagara Falls, NY)See All My Reviews"In the Ballades Murray Perahia brings out the contrasting themes and development as these "poems" progress, and he "sings" the melodies of not only the Ballades but the Valses, Nocturnes, Mazurkas and Etudes which he has chosen to record. No where did I sense any evidence of the "show-off" pianist because with Perahia the composer's intentions are followed consistently with insight,discipline and freedom."Report Abuse
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