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Koroliov Series Vol. XIII - Chopin

Chopin / Koroliov
Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Tacet   Catalog #: 202   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in f, op. 52; Nocturne in c#, op. 27/1; Nocturne in f?, op. 48/2; Barcarolle in F#, op. 60; Impromptus: No. 1 in Ab, op. 29; No. 2 in F#, op. 36; No. 3 in G?, op. 51; No. 4 in c#, op. 66 Read more “Fantasie-Impromptu”; Prelude in c#, op. 45; Scherzo No. 4 in E, op. 54; Grande Valse Brillante in a, op. 34/2 Evgeni Koroliov (pn) TACET 202 (79:46)

Ever since I first became acquainted with Evgeni Koroliov’s playing—initially of Bach and Handel and later of Prokofiev and Mozart—the pianist has always intrigued me. Perhaps it is his always interesting and always unique way of approaching the classics, but perhaps even more so, it is his engaging way of communicating through the music he chooses. And for any pianist, Chopin must always be of at least some interest, so brilliantly did the composer write for the instrument and so heartfelt is his music. From the opening of the F-Minor Ballade I could already tell that something was different here. Koroliov sees this as a story being told in the moment—a story to which he seemingly does not yet know the ending—rather than the recreation of one already told. His loose way with the rhythm initially bothered me, but when I saw how he was approaching the piece, in an almost improvisatory way, the effect became magical. The contrasts in sections were rather less jarring than in some performances: there is much more fluidity to his pacing, an almost inevitability to the succession from one section to another. Most remarkable here, though, is the way which Koroliov not only makes the piano sing, but also speak—the way he approaches each melodic line, it is almost as though the subtle changes in color, in dynamics, in slight adjustments of tempo are mimicking a protagonist’s voice. The nocturnes are similar in approach, yet different as well: the moods within the works are less varied, but they still feel improvisatory. Koroliov does not speak through them; their message must be sung. And sing they do in the pianist’s capable hands. The impromptus found in the middle of the recital are a breath of fresh air and amazingly, the way Koroliov handles them, these pieces sound the least improvisatory of all. There is an almost classical sense of pacing here: The pieces sound anew in their remarkable sense of stability in each individual moment, suggesting a knowledge of exactly where one is and to where one is going. The E-Major Scherzo brings us full circle and reveals yet a different side of both composer and performer. The mood is lighter and airier, yet the tension of the story is still there. Koroliov’s passagework sparkles, the rapid staccato chords bounce, and the middle section’s melancholic melody is simple in effect, yet aptly heart-wrenching. This is some of the finest Chopin playing that I’ve come across in years. It is not Rubinstein’s way, nor Pollini’s; Koroliov finds a way all his own. And the more one listens to him, the more convinced one becomes that this is the way this music should be played. What more can I say? Grab it and enjoy!

FANFARE: Scott Noriega
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
2.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 27: no 1 in C sharp minor, B 91 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
3.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 142/Op. 48: no 2 in F sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
4.
Barcarolle for Piano in F sharp major, B 158/Op. 60 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; Paris, France 
5.
Impromptu for Piano no 4 in C sharp minor, B 87/Op. 66 "Fantaisie-Impromptu" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
6.
Impromptu for Piano no 3 in G flat major, b 149/Op. 51 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
7.
Impromptu for Piano no 2 in F sharp major, B 129/Op. 36 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Paris, France 
8.
Impromptu for Piano no 1 in A flat major, B 110/Op. 29 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
9.
Prelude for Piano in C sharp minor, B 141/Op. 45 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
10.
Scherzo for Piano no 4 in E major, B 148/Op. 54 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
11.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 2 in A minor, B 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yevgeny Koroliov (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 

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