Chopin - Piano Favourites
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.
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.
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.
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
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.