Chopin: Ballades, etc.

Chopin: Ballades, etc.

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by Freddy Kempf
     
 

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Freddy Kempf's album of Chopin's Four Ballades has sparked considerable controversy from both sides of the Atlantic. The young English pianist, whose discs of Schumann, Rachmaninoff, and Beethoven have garnered heaps of praise, has suddenly inspired some harsh criticism. BBC Music Magazine's review went so far as to call thisSee more details below

Overview

Freddy Kempf's album of Chopin's Four Ballades has sparked considerable controversy from both sides of the Atlantic. The young English pianist, whose discs of Schumann, Rachmaninoff, and Beethoven have garnered heaps of praise, has suddenly inspired some harsh criticism. BBC Music Magazine's review went so far as to call this Chopin disc "a bashfest." True, the sound quality is not as warm as on Kempf's previous recordings, tending to become brittle in the loudest passages, and Kempf's interpretations are unusually intense, but the result is hardly as heartless as some have claimed. Listen to the Second Ballade, for example, where the pianist plays the lilting introduction with utter simplicity -- no fussing, nothing precious -- like a child's guileless introspection. The subsequent section is unleashed with relentless, breathless fury and crashes down upon the delicate, thoughtful opening. Is this a really a "bashfest" or a marvelously terse drama? Kempf clearly has his own views of these works -- and given the number of recordings of this repertory, that's a very good thing. He treats each Ballade differently, too: Compare the daring rhythmic elasticity of the First Ballade with the tautness of the Second, for instance. Certainly, if one is looking for just one recording of the Ballades, Rubinstein (RCA) or Perahia (Sony) might be a safer choice, but Kempf is a musician worth following. Even if you don't agree with all his choices, it is admirable that he has found his own things to say about such familiar fare. The program also includes shapely performances of the Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op. 22, the Polonaise-Fantasie, Op. 61, and the Fantasie-Impromptu, Op. 66.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2001
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318590011607
catalogNumber:
1160
Rank:
384470

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Ballade for piano No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23, CT 2 (Four Ballades)  - Frédéric Chopin  - Arlette Lemieux-Chené  - Horst A. Scholz  - Freddy Kempf
  2. Ballade for piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 38, CT 3 (Four Ballades)  - Frédéric Chopin  - Arlette Lemieux-Chené  - Horst A. Scholz  - Freddy Kempf
  3. Ballade for piano No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47, CT 4 (Four Ballades)  - Frédéric Chopin  - Arlette Lemieux-Chené  - Horst A. Scholz  - Freddy Kempf
  4. Ballade for piano No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52, CT 5 (Four Ballades)  - Frédéric Chopin  - Arlette Lemieux-Chené  - Horst A. Scholz  - Freddy Kempf
  5. Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise for piano, Op. 22  - Frédéric Chopin  - Arlette Lemieux-Chené  - Horst A. Scholz  - Freddy Kempf
  6. Polonaise-fantasy for piano in A flat major, Op. 61, CT 156  - Frédéric Chopin  - Arlette Lemieux-Chené  - Horst A. Scholz  - Freddy Kempf
  7. Fantasy-Impromptu for piano in C sharp minor, Op. 66, CT 46  - Frédéric Chopin  - Arlette Lemieux-Chené  - Horst A. Scholz  - Freddy Kempf

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