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Track(s) taken from APR6013

Polonaise in A flat major, Op 53

1842; nick-named 'Heroic'

Walter Gieseking (piano)
Recording details: March 1925
Homocord, Germany
Release date: October 2013
Total duration: 5 minutes 41 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Artur Pizarro (piano)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski (piano)
Grigory Ginzburg (piano)


'Who else has ever captured the elusive, evanescent magic of early Debussy … to this extent; or relished Poulenc's delight in the quirky and urbane …? … his Brahms and Ravel may come in an unseemly and convoluted rush but his Mozart is a marvel of immaculate and nuanced virtuosity, and so, too is his Grieg' (Gramophone)» More

'A welcome tribute to Gieseking's smooth touch and sophisticated musicianship. With music from Bach to Roussel—and Gieseking himself—and audio lovingly restored, it's very special' (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Héroique’, the Polonaise in A flat Major, Op 53, took form at the same time (1842-43) as the fourth ballad and the fourth scherzo. Already the contemporary accounts of its performance invoked images of patriotism, nationalism and the call to arms. Chopin seemed to be unhappy when the piece was played fast and did not increase volume much in the octaves (Gutman/Niecks). According to Liszt, the composer often played the episode in F minor (bars 138-151) ‘like the muffled rumbling of a distant cannon’. In this polonaise, Chopin no longer used the form of the early Warsaw ones and instead reinterpreted it as an evocation of past splendour and a symbol of Poland, a true agent of cultural nationalism. Indeed, works like this one became a model for composers who referred to their own native folk music and thus launched the so-called ‘national schools’.

from notes by Robert Andres 2005

Other albums featuring this work

Chopin: Reminiscences
Studio Master: CKD248Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Chopin: The Complete Works
CDS44351/6616CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Chopin: The Great Polonaises
Grigory Ginzburg – His early recordings – 2
APR5672Download only
Paderewski – His final recordings
APR5636Download only
Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings
APR7501Download only
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