Chopin: Ballades, etc.

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
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: 9/25/2001
  • Label: Bis
  • EAN: 7318590011607
  • Catalog Number: 1160
  • Sales rank: 209,108

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ballade for piano No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23, CT 2 (Four Ballades) - Frédéric Chopin & Arlette Lemieux-Chené (8:35)
  2. 2 Ballade for piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 38, CT 3 (Four Ballades) - Frédéric Chopin & Arlette Lemieux-Chené (6:46)
  3. 3 Ballade for piano No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47, CT 4 (Four Ballades) - Frédéric Chopin & Arlette Lemieux-Chené (6:49)
  4. 4 Ballade for piano No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52, CT 5 (Four Ballades) - Frédéric Chopin & Arlette Lemieux-Chené (9:43)
  5. 5–6 Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise for piano, Op. 22 - Frédéric Chopin & Arlette Lemieux-Chené (13:13)
  6. 6 Polonaise-fantasy for piano in A flat major, Op. 61, CT 156 - Frédéric Chopin & Arlette Lemieux-Chené (11:26)
  7. 7 Fantasy-Impromptu for piano in C sharp minor, Op. 66, CT 46 - Frédéric Chopin & Arlette Lemieux-Chené (4:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Freddy Kempf Primary Artist
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    Posted January 28, 2009

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