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Chopin: Four Ballades, Andante Spianato et Grand Polonaise / Gary Graffman

Graffman, Gary
Release Date: 06/08/2010 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 68288  
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Gary Graffman
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Gary Graffman's Chopin Ballades met with qualified praise at the time of their original 1959 release, at least from two reviewers who cited great fingerwork in the virtuosic passages together with a lack of poetry in lyrical sections. I don't share these opinions, although I understand how Graffman's spare pedaling and clear-cut forms may have seemed "unpoetic" to certain listeners.

True, Graffman doesn't give you Rubinstein's ardent sweep and wider dynamic range, let alone the multi-colored subjectivity characterizing Moravec and Arrau. But you do get long, subtly differentiated legato lines in the opening measures of the First and Third Ballades, driving clarity in the Second Ballade's agitato sections, and an
Read more effortlessly unfolding Fourth Ballade capped by Graffman's exciting, totally straightforward reading of the difficult coda.

Op. 22 also has wonderful things. What gorgeous textural contouring Graffman achieves in his swift and limpid treatment of the Andante spianato; too bad that he rushes through the transition into the Grande Polonaise. After a dry and detached start, Graffman's tone gradually opens up in the Polonaise, gaining power and projection as the music progresses, together with the sharply etched rhythms that were there from the start. All in all, this is a worthy and welcome addition to Arkivmusic.com's on-demand reprint catalogue.

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

Ballade for Piano no 1 in G minor, B 66/Op. 23 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Gary Graffman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831-1835 
Ballade for Piano no 2 in F major/a minor, B 102/Op. 38 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Gary Graffman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Ballade for Piano no 3 in A flat major, B 136/Op. 47 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Gary Graffman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; Paris, France 
Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Gary Graffman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Andante spianato et Grand polonaise brillante in E flat major, Op. 22 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Gary Graffman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Vienna, Austria 

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