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Chopin: Mazurkas / Fou Ts'ong


Release Date: 05/18/1993 
Label:  Sony Classical Essential Classics Catalog #: 53246   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 24 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Having won a special prize for the best Mazurka interpretations during the 1955 International Warsaw Chopin Competition, it's no surprise that pianist Fou Ts'ong has a long-standing reputation for playing--guess what?--Chopin Mazurkas! I've never heard Fou's all-Mazurka Westminster LP, but his complete Mazurka cycle issued in 1993 by Sony Essential Classics now gains reissue thanks to Arkivmusic.com's on-demand reprint program.

Fou's forceful, creative Mazurka style commands attention. He dishes out lots of rubato and elongated beats, together with wide dynamic extremes and outsized accents. Yet somehow the interpretations rarely sound fragmented, and no matter how far out things get, you almost always can discern the Mazurka
Read more rhythm. What is more, Fou is not afraid to blur the pedal for coloristic and expressive purposes.

He's also fond of subjecting repeated phrases to subtle variations in nuance and touch (Op. 6 No. 1's main theme; Op. 7 No. 1's trills; Op. 63 No. 3's intense canonic dialogue; Op. 30 No. 4's dramatically contoured inner voices). Only occasionally does Fou's approach produce cloying results (Op. 17 No. 4 and Op. 68 No. 4).

The pianist also makes the most of transitional passages, be it a single, solitary upbeat or a quick succession of chords; Op. 24 No. 4, Op. 56 No. 3, and Op. 41 No. 2 are particularly striking in this regard. You easily can listen past the strident, harsh engineering, albeit not for long periods of time. That's just as well, since it's wisest to absorb Fou's multi-layered, hyper-detailed Mazurking in small doses.

Incidentally, Fou presents the Mazurkas in near-chronological order rather than according to opus, as is so often done. While Rubinstein's stereo and Ohlsson's digital Mazurka cycles remain safer, sonically superior versions of reference, Fou Ts'ong certainly casts individual and thought-provoking light on this repertoire.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Mazurkas (2) for Piano, B 16: no 1 in G major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Poland 
2. Mazurkas (2) for Piano, B 16: no 2 in B flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Poland 
3. Mazurkas (4) for Piano, Op. 68 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827-1849 
4. Mazurkas (4) for Piano, B 60/Op. 6 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Vienna, Austria 
5. Mazurkas (5) for Piano, B 61/Op. 7 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Vienna, Austria 
6. Mazurka for Piano in D major, B 4 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1820; Poland 
7. Mazurka for Piano in B flat major, B 73 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832 
8. Mazurkas (4) for Piano, B 77/Op. 17 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1833; Paris, France 
9. Mazurka for Piano in C major,B 82 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Paris, France 
10. Mazurka for Piano in A flat major, B 85 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834; Paris, France 
11. Mazurkas (4) for Piano, Op. 67: no 4 in A minor, B 163 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 
12. Mazurkas (4) for Piano, B 89/Op. 24 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834-1835; Paris, France 
13. Mazurkas (4) for Piano, B 105/Op. 30 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1837; Paris, France 
14. Mazurkas (4) for Piano, B 115/Op. 33 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1838; Paris, France 
15. Mazurkas (4) for Piano, Op. 41 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1840; Paris, France 
16. Mazurka for Piano in A minor, B 134 "Notre temps" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Paris, France 
17. Mazurka for Piano in A minor, B 140 "A Emile Gaillard" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Paris, France 
18. Mazurkas (3) for Piano, B 145/Op. 50 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
19. Mazurkas (3) for Piano, B 153/Op. 56 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Paris, France 
20. Mazurkas (3) for Piano, B 157/Op. 59 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Paris, France 
21. Mazurkas (3) for Piano, B 162/Op. 63 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Fou Ts'ong (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 

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