I think the big hurdle with these pieces is how to modulate dynamics. The whole idea of the Nocturne is contemplative music for the evening, the floating and amorphous sonorities balancing on the edge between heavy-lidded restfulness and the magical world of the dream state. We also have to consider that Chopin as an artist was compelled to push boundries and he would never submit thoughtlessly to the expectations inherent in any form. In the Nocturne in F#m, Op. 48, no. 2, we have a stormy middle section that stands boldly outward, showing Chopin's tendency to maintain a bit of rebellion in even the most gentle chapters of his muse. The overwhelming majority of the music in Chopin's Nocturnes maintains the gentle, soft and lightness that is true to the style. The pianist must find the means to maintain interest and expression within a comparatively small range of volume. The challenge is how to do this without resorting to exaggerated rubato or distracting expressive gestures.
Livia Rev takes a path of accepting the Nocturne's main characteristics as a central guiding point. Her playing respects the more subtle aspects and uses the stormy moments only as contrast and never as a main defining point. The result is true gentleness, soft searching, heart on sleeve surrender to the beautiful writing Chopin generously weaves throughout the collection. The Nocturne in ebm, Op. 55, no. 2 is an example of understatement and giving the music maximum space to breathe, speak, touch our ears and then lightly fade into the void. If anything, Rev brings out the feminine beauty of these pieces in a loving, yet totally honest and truthful expressiveness. The best way to experience this recording is to abandon all expectation and just let the music drift over you, flow through your senses and fall to the carpet where it will disappear, gently soaked up where it can land into deep slumber. This recording is for the sensitive souls who will find a welcome home here always. Rev takes Chopin as it is written and finds the means to give the music life in a selfless natural manner, lightly understated, with tastefulness and a compellingly beautiful tone.