Chopin: Impromptus/Fantaisie Impromptu/Barcarolle/Berceuse
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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|
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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!
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.
Look for similar items by category
- Music > Classical > Forms & Genres > Fantasies
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- Music > Opera & Vocal > Vocal Non-Opera > Barcarolles
- Music > Opera & Vocal > Vocal Non-Opera > Lullabies & Berceuse