Chopin - Piano Favourites

Chopin - Piano Favourites

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Chopin's whole life revolved around the piano. It was the medium through which the Polish genius channelled his most intimate thoughts and feelings; this lifelong confidante is arguably the greatest body of music ever conceived for a single instrument. 

Vladimir Ashkenazy


1-3. Preludes, Op. 28

The Preludes represent the pinnacle of Chopin's achievement, ranging from the technically facile to the wrist-grippingly difficult, from the charmingly seductive to weird and restless of emotional angst. 

4-8. Etudes, Op. 10 and Op. 25

Chopin's Etudes were composed as an excited response to the new iron-framed pianos then emerging, which opened up a whole new world of expressive and technical possibilities.

9. Ballade No. 1 in G minor Op. 23

Yet nowhere is Chopin's expressive armoury better demonstrated than in the G minor Ballade. Here he imbues is material with a heightened emotional potency so as to suggest an external narrative. 

10-12. Nocturnes and Impromptu

John Field first encapsulated the Romantic era's obsession with the magic of the night in a new type of piano miniature 'Nocturne'. Chopin inherited Field's delight in decorative filigree, taking the genre to a pinnacle unmatched by any subsequent composer.  

13-16. Waltzes

Chopin composed no fewer than 19 Waltzes including the famous 'Minute' Waltz Op. 64 No. 1, each one an exquisite miniature gem in its own right.

17-18. Mazurkas

Although cast in triple time like the waltz, the Mazurka differs in one important respect: whereas the waltz places the emphasis firmly on the first beat each bar, the mazurka has a tendency to lean towards the second 

19-20. Polonaises

In Chopin's hands the Polonaise became a noble processional symbolising the epic spirit of his native country as exemplified by the two examples which bring the collection to its rousing collection.