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Chopin: Sonata In B Flat Minor, Berceuse, Etc / Ivan Moravec


Release Date: 05/27/2003 
Label:  Vox Classics Catalog #: 7908   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Ivan Moravec
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Time and again throughout Ivan Moravec's first recording of Chopin's Funeral March sonata you encounter phrase groupings, accentuations, and stresses that at first may sound unconventional. They are, however, usually governed by Chopin's intentions rather than tradition's dictates. For instance, most pianists impose a big ritard in the two measures prior to the first movement's second subject. Moravec plays them in tempo, and plays up the abruptness of the two staccato chords that start measure 39 (nearly everyone else softens these chords, treating them like a cadence rather than an interruption of mood). In the Scherzo's trio, Moravec enlivens the lines within the accompanimental chords,
Read more clarifying the contrapuntal dialogue Chopin sets up against the main melody. The movement's outer sections are not so rhythmically assured as you might expect, especially in the alternating chord/octave sequences. However, the Funeral March is direct, dignified, and unmannered, while Moravec's spooky but light-and-feathery Finale sculpts the unison octaves to sing over the bar lines.


For all of Moravec's refined, sensitively shaded fingerwork in the Berceuse, the music's jewel-like character shines with a diamond edge. The Fourth Ballade follows a subjective blueprint similar to Moravec's 1966 recording, but with more expressive economy and a greater sense of line. Even the taxing coda benefits from the pianist's clearer unraveling of Chopin's often smothered polyphony, although the younger Moravec took the descending octaves less cautiously. Moravec adds three more Chopin Mazurkas to the handful already gracing his recorded repertoire, and plays up their harmonic felicities while keeping their rustic characteristics to the fore. The rubatos are elastic and unpredictable but never neurotic or out-of-proportion.


Lastly, Moravec's ardent and masterful interpretation of the Fantasie exemplifies controlled romanticism in its most intelligently nuanced manifestation. Each section flows effortlessly from one to the next, and each climax builds with dramatic inevitability. The Fantasie alone is worth the price of this disc, and easily takes its place alongside the classic Cortot and Arrau versions. Let's hope Vox and Moravec continue making beautiful music together. [5/17/2003]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, B 128/Op. 35 "Funeral March" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2002 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 25 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2.
Berceuse for Piano in D flat major, B 154/Op. 57 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2002 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
3.
Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2002 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 11 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4.
Mazurkas (4) for Piano, B 60/Op. 6: no 3 in E major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/2002 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
5.
Mazurkas (4) for Piano, B 89/Op. 24: no 4 in B flat minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834-1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2002 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
6.
Mazurkas (4) for Piano, B 105/Op. 30: no 3 in D flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1837; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2002 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
7.
Fantasie for Piano in F minor/A flat major, B 137/Op. 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/2002 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 12 Minutes 51 Secs. 

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