Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Frédéric Chopin - Valses (Alexandre Tharaud)


Information

Composer: Frédéric Chopin; Federico Mompou
  1. Chopin - Valse in A minor, Op. posth., KKIVb No. 11
  2. Chopin - Valse in C sharp minor, Op. 64 No. 2
  3. Chopin - "Grande valse brillante" in F major, Op. 34 No. 3
  4. Chopin - Valse in A flat major, Op. 64 No. 3
  5. Chopin - "Grande valse" in A flat major, Op. 42
  6. Chopin - Valse in F minor, Op. 70 No. 2
  7. Chopin - Valse in D flat major, Op. 70 No. 3
  8. Chopin - Valse in E major, Op. posth., KKIVa No. 12
  9. Chopin - Valse in E minor, Op. posth., KKIVa No. 15
  10. Chopin - Valse in A minor, Op. 34 No. 2
  11. Chopin - Valse in B minor, Op. 69 No. 2
  12. Chopin - Valse in D flat major, Op. 64 No. 1
  13. Chopin - Valse in G flat major, Op. 70 No. 1
  14. Chopin - Valse in A flat major, Op. 69 No. 1
  15. Chopin - Valse in A flat major, Op. posth., KKIVa No. 13
  16. Chopin - "Grande valse brillante" in A flat major, Op. 34 No. 1
  17. Chopin - Valse in E flat major, Op. posth., KKIVb No. 10 [Anhang]
  18. Chopin - Valse in E flat major, Op. posth., KKIVa No. 14
  19. Chopin - "Grande valse brillante" in E flat major, Op. 18
  20. Mompou - Valse-Évocation (Variations sur un thème de Chopin, 1938-57)

Alexandre Tharaud, piano
Date: 2006
Label: Harmonia Mundi
http://www.harmoniamundi.com/#!/albums/1477


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Review

Aristocratic and sensuous - a young master of the keyboard delivers Chopin playing in the finest French tradition

Edward Sackville-West once described Chopin’s Waltzes as ‘music in which emotion is permitted to suggest itself through a veil of elaborate civility’, a superbly apt comment that came to mind when listening to Alexandre Tharaud, a young aristocrat of the keyboard. Cool, supple and elegant, all his performances are in the best French tradition; a fine union of sense and sensibility.

In the opening posthumous Waltz the repetitions are given with a subtle and insinuating life to each phrase bringing a renewed sense of delight, while the C sharp minor – most expressive and poetic of the Waltzes – has a special sense of elegy. The conclusion to the Op 70 D flat Waltz (among the composer’s favourites) blossoms in Tharaud’s hands with the inwardness and grace one associates with true artists, while the other D flat Waltz, from Op 64, manages to sound both vertiginous and discreet.

All these performances suggest a fastidious musical intelligence with an immaculate technique, the music’s character and fragrance made light yet pervasive. The Waltzes are played in an unusual, stimulating sequence and Tharaud ends with what he describes in a short but telling interview as ‘an intimate echo’, Variations 9 and 10 of Mompou’s Chopin Variations. These are given with such skill and affection that I found myself longing for the entire set. Harmonia Mundi’s sound is as crystalline as the playing, and these scrupulously modern and sensitive performances are among the finest available.

-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

More reviews:
ClassicsToday  ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 10
http://www.allmusic.com/album/chopin-valses-mw0001845908
https://www.amazon.com/Chopin-Valses-Waltzes-Frederic/dp/B000F1HQWE

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Frédéric Chopin (22 February or 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as one of the leading musicians of his era, whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation". Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his association (if only indirect) with political insurrection, his love life and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era in the public consciousness. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying degrees of historical accuracy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Chopin

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Alexandre Tharaud (born 9 December 1968 in Paris) is a French pianist. He is active on the concert stage and has released a large and diverse discography. He entered the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 14 where he won first prize for piano in the class of Germaine Mounier when he was 17 years old. With Theodor Paraskivesco, he mastered the piano, and he sought and received advice from Claude Helffer, Leon Fleisher and Nikita Magaloff. In 2012, Tharaud took part in the French film Amour by Michael Haneke where he played himself.

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