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Hyperion Records

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The Ballad (c1885) by Gustave Moreau (1826-1898)
Track(s) taken from CDH55182
Recording details: January 1993
Snape Maltings, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Release date: September 1993
Total duration: 12 minutes 14 seconds

Ballade No 4 in F minor, Op 52
composer
summer 1842; Nohant

Other recordings available for download
Stephen Hough (piano)
Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Together with the Barcarolle, the Polonaise-Fantaisie, and the second and third sonatas, the Fourth Ballade represents the summit of Chopin’s art. The tentative start is haunting and suggestive and was once beautifully described by the critic Joan Chissell as bringing the same sense of wonder that a blind person, if granted the gift of sight, might feel on discovering the world’s beauty for the first time. The principal, highly Slavonic theme is closely related to the first of Chopin’s Trois Nouvelles Études (1839), the second of the opus 25 Études and surely provided an inspiration for Liszt’s La Leggierezza (1848; all four works are in the key of F minor). It returns twice bejewelled, and the second subject’s appearance in B flat and the return of the opening in A flat never disrupt the music’s self-generating momentum. An aerial cadenza and a canonic treatment of the first subject bear eloquent witness to Chopin’s increasing veneration for Bach, and the build-up and the pianissimo chords announcing a coda of the most fiery intricacy are as remarkable as anything in Chopin. They remind us simultaneously of his capacity for large-scale heroics and for the most intimate and hauntingly distinctive confidences.

from notes by Bryce Morrison © 2004


Other albums featuring this work
'Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 1 – 1946' (APR5621)
Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 1 – 1946
'Chopin: Four Ballades & Four Scherzos' (CDA67456)
Chopin: Four Ballades & Four Scherzos
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00 CDA67456  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Chopin: The Complete Works' (CDS44351/66)
Chopin: The Complete Works
MP3 £45.00FLAC £45.00ALAC £45.00Buy by post £50.00 CDS44351/66  16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  

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