Yundi, the Chinese dazzling pianist acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal for his - poetic depth and patrician elegance - continues his award-winning exploration of the works of Chopin with a new recording of the Ballades, and by embarking on a major international tour. If precedent is a guide, both are expected to cause massive excitement among his fans. For his new all-Chopin recording, Yundi performs the Opus 17 set of four Mazurkas, the Berceuse (Op 57), and all four Ballades. The latter works were composed between 1831 and 1842, and contain some of the composers most operatic writing, as well as his most challenging technical demands.
Based on the Alexandre Dumas novel that also inspired the stories of Verdi’s La Traviata and Hollywood’s Moulin Rouge, John Neumeier creates a riveting dance drama around the famous woman of lore, La Dame aux camélias. The passionate tale of Marguerite Gautier and Armand Duval unfolds ingeniously through a drama-within-a-drama as they meet at the theatre during a performance of Manon Lescaut. So begin their romantic adventures in Paris, brought to life by Neumeier’s intense and refined choreographic language. Chopin’s ravishing music highlights this exceptional neo-classical ballet, featuring the star dancers of the Paris Opéra Ballet.
"After Debussy and Schumann, Nelson Goerner comes back to the composer who revealed him to the great audience of recorded music: Chopin. His first Chopin recordings won him high praise and countless distinctions (3 Diapasons d’Or!): ‘Everything he touches seems 'right’ wrote Gramophone in a recent issue. Nicknamed ‘the great poet of the piano’, he now attacks Chopin’s 24 Préludes, which he chose to record live, in a single go, in Poland where he is particularly appreciated and considered an essential pillar of the Chopin Institute. As a complement, Nelson Goerner opts for the Barcarolle Op. 60, the Polonaise Op. 44 and the Berceuse op.57.
This 9-disc set pulls together Chopin recordings made between 1972 and 2008 by Maurizio Pollini. Works included are the etudes, the two familiar sonatas, the ballades, the scherzi, the preludes, the polonaises, and the nocturnes. Please note that this is far from a complete set of Chopin's piano works - missing are the concertos, most of the waltzes, most of the mazurkas, and most of the impromptus.
Before Steinway grand pianos existed, two of the leading makes were Erard and Pleyel – both French. Chopin liked them for different reasons. Playing an Erard from 1837, the Russian-born pianist Alexei Lubimov finds more power than expected in the stormiest passages of the Ballades, but it’s in the mesmerising lull of the Berceuse that the instrument really comes into its own. Never has that left-hand accompaniment sounded quite so haunting, nor the right hand so silvery: these seem like the music’s authentic qualities, and there is no sense of struggle against a mechanical opponent.
The new recordings of Chopin's works on period instruments allow contemporary listeners to discover the historical models, bringing us closer to the original and to the long-forgotten sound of the Romantic era.