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Chopin: Impromptus/Fantaisie Impromptu/Barcarolle/Berceuse

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Product Details

  • Performer: Murray Perahia
  • Composer: Frederic Chopin
  • Audio CD (Oct. 25 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CBS
  • ASIN: B00000262A
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,766 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Impromptu In A flat, Op.29
2. Impromptu In F#, Op.36
3. Impromptu In G Flat, Op.51
4. Fantaisie-Impromptu In C#, Op.66
5. Barcarolle In F#, Op.60
6. Berceuse In D flat, Op.57
7. Fantaisie In F, Op.49

Product Description

Chopin's Impromptus have something of a reputation as "salon music," largely because the form itself seems to imply something improvised, transient, or insignificant. But when you play them like the greatest music in the world--which is exactly what Murray Perahia does--it's hard not to believe that the music actually is the greatest in the world, or in any event so fine as to make no difference. If other pianists treat them like pieces of fluff, that's their problem. The other two pieces are singletons, Chopin's sole effort in each genre. A "Berceuse" is simply a lullaby, and Chopin's is appropriately tranquil, while Barcarolle is a boat song, and this particular example is one of the composer's very finest works. --David Hurwitz

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Sept. 12 2010
By Alan A. Elsner - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The four impromtus are Chopin in a lighter mode -- basically salon music. But the three pieces that end this CD are something else. The Barcarolle is one of Chopin's most beautiful creations. The Berceuse is hushed, rapt, almost religious. And the Fantasie in F minor is quite simply one of the master's most masterful inspirations. Beginning with a quasi funeral march, spiralling through deeply-emotional episodes, it is a rollercoaster of a piece that scales the heights and plumbs the depths of the soul.

Perahia's playing is beautiful throughout -- light as gossamer when needed and muscular and virile when that is required. He really is one of our most versatile virtuosos, equally at home in Bach, Bartok and Chopin. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lyrically beautiful offering of these works Oct. 28 2013
By I. Giles - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This disc, very well recorded and issued in 1987, won considerable praise at that time including the Grand Prix du Disc 1987. It has been a valued and enjoyed disc in my collection since 1989 and continues to give much pleasure. It offers quite a marked alternative as a set of performances of the Imprompus and the Fantasie to many other performers.

Perahia's style of playing on this disc is markedly lyrical in style with an emphasis on legato playing even in the (many) big moments. Those climatic parts can be quite percussive in their drama, even explosive in their effect with many fine pianists and the result is both highly charged and undeniably exciting.

This is not Perahia's way on this disc. At no point is there any hint that there is anything percussive about the instrument. Climaxes evolve through phrasing and expansion rather than through impact. The quieter sections are notable for subtlety of touch. The same applies naturally to both the gentle Barcarolle and the Berceuse where that approach to playing is more usual.

This may not be everyone's approach to playing these Impromptus or the Fantasie. There will be collectors who far prefer a more overtly dramatic approach to the climaxes in particular and they may find Perahia's approach almost muted in its dramatic effect. However, there will be plenty who will find such a gentle and lyrical approach to be completely appropriate and a welcome alternative.

As an alternative is how I would suggest this disc is best appreciated. I would suggest that collectors of mutiple versions will find this an absorbing and rewarding disc but they will also want to own a disc of the Impromptus and Fantasie which offers more overt drama and muscle power. There are many such to choose from.

Those considering a single purchase need to be aware of how this disc differs from so many others. They will find it deeply rewarding but it is not the only way of playing this often exciting music. I suspect that excitement was not Perahia's main target here.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murray Perahia is the best for Chopin! Nov. 2 2006
By Feng Zhu - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very enjoy his performance for Chopin pieces.

I purchase many pianoists' CD for Chopin. But I have to say this one is the best among various all Chopin's piano CDs. You must buy it if you really love Chopin.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, Poetic, Transporting, Ethereal Feb. 13 2014
By Moonlight Blue - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Murray Perahia is a brilliant pianist. One of my favorites for 30 years. I just bought his box set "The First 40 Years" released by Sony Classics in 2012, and I am on a journey of immense discovery. And in the set there it was, this CD of Chopin with this beautiful cover, recorded in 1985. On the first listen, it offered the expected from Perahia playing Chopin: nuanced, poetic, precise, but not too tragic as I have found with other pianists at times. Beautiful in all aspects.

And then the journey deepened as I listened more and more. Impromptu Op. 36 started revealing itself in its poetic serenity.

And Finally, I stumbled upon this one piece that has since transported me into heaven: Berceuse Op.57. My first thought was "I am in the presence of God". This piece has lifted my spirit to outer space. I find it ethereal. Unreal perhaps. Divine.

The world is truly a better place because of people like Chopin.

Thank you Mr. Perahia for your inspired playing!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Nov. 4 2015
By timothy rookey - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase