Notes and Editorial Reviews
Le Matelot. Un Troubadour Béarnais. Nocturne à la Field. Rossini Variations. Rondo. Mélange. Theme des Airs Polonais
Masha Dimitrieva (pn)
GRAMOLA 98884 (59:40)
Camille Pleyel is best known in musical history as the man who made Chopin’s piano. He was also a fine composer, and this trove of music adds evidence to the supposition that the two men had something of a symbiotic relationship. Chopin was close to the Pleyel family, and had some of his early triumphs at the firm’s
recital hall in Paris, Salle Pleyel. He dedicated his preludes, as well as other works, to Camille Pleyel. Camille did not charge Chopin for his piano, but expected the composer to recommend it to his students, an easy task, as he loved his instrument.
This music is hardly revelatory, and completely of its time, namely, the first quarter of the 19th century. At first, I assumed that Pleyel must have been influenced by Chopin, because of familiar melodic constructions and modulations. But it is probably just as likely, given that some of this music was written before Chopin arrived in Paris, that the two composers shared influences, including the music of Mozart and the bel canto opera composers, and of course in the case of the Nocturne, music of the same name by John Field. It is all extremely charming, very nicely written, and as light as a feather. The Russian-born Masha Dimitrieva, playing an actual Pleyel instrument (replete with quick action and woody tone), carries it off with tremendous flair and dexterity. Nothing earth-shattering here, but a rewarding glimpse of some important pianistic history.
FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
Works on This Recording
Rondeau for piano in C minor, Op. 2 by Camille Pleyel
Masha Dimitrieva (Piano)
Venue: Pleyel-Museum, Ruppersthal, Lower Austri
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs.
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