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Track(s) taken from CDA67371/2

Fantasy Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op 66

composer
1834; published posthumously, contrary to Chopin's wishes, by Julian Fontana in 1855

Angela Hewitt (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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Recording details: November 2003
Reitstadel, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: November 2004
Total duration: 5 minutes 22 seconds
 
1

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Reviews

'In a catalogue boasting many distinguished Chopin Nocturne cycles, Angela Hewitt's commands attention' (BBC Music Magazine)

'One of the most elegant pianists around, the Canadian virtuoso Angela Hewitt interrupts her epic Bach and Couperin cycles for Hyperion to explore some of Chopin's most refined music, the complete Nocturnes and Impromptus. Hewitt's innate sophistication and delicacy of touch are perfectly suited to these exquisite pieces, 25 of them over two discs, by a master of the genre at the height of his fragile powers. Spanning almost his entire creative life, the Nocturnes amount to a remarkable graph of Chopin's emotional maturity, touchingly reflected in the affectionate care Hewitt brings to what sounds like a labour of love' (The Observer)

'Hewitt is not given to grand effects, whether an extreme rubato or rude dynamic change. Still, she can play grandly as well, as we hear on her powerful performance of the great Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor. This new recording of the nocturnes is what Marlon Brando would have called, if he had cared, a contender. It's richly recorded and beautifully played: it has art's final seal' (Fanfare, USA)

'Angela Hewitt is a sound buy … the delicacy of touch and manicured precision of the phrasing is a delight' (The Scotsman)
The Fantasy Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op 66 was published posthumously in 1855 by Chopin’s lifelong friend and fellow musician, Julian Fontana. It is not known why Chopin didn’t publish it himself, but has been suggested that he was a bit too conscious of its resemblance to Moscheles’s Impromptu Op 89. It certainly has become one of his most popular compositions. The outer sections are a moto perpetuo marked allegro agitato. Even in the midst of all those notes, however, there is a melody that sings out clearly. The middle section does indeed have one of those tunes that somebody always puts words to (in this case, ‘I’m always chasing rainbows’), but it is also beautiful in its simplicity. In fact, that is what Chopin sought in the end:

‘Simplicity is everything. After having exhausted all the difficulties, after having played immense quantities of notes and more notes, then simplicity emerges with all its charm, like art’s final seal. Whoever wants to obtain this immediately will never achieve it: you can’t begin with the end. One has to have studied a lot, even tremendously, to reach this goal; it is no easy matter.’

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2004

La Fantaisie-Impromptu en ut dièse mineur, op.66 fut publiée posthumement, en 1855, par le musicien Julian Fontana, ami de toujours de Chopin. Nous ignorons pourquoi Chopin ne la publia pas lui-même – d’aucuns suggérèrent qu’il était peut-être trop conscient de la ressemblance de cette pièce avec l’Impromptu, op.89 de Moscheles. Elle n’en devint pas moins l’une de ses compositions les plus populaires. Les sections extrêmes sont un moto perpetuo marqué allegro agitato mais, même au cœur de toutes ces notes, une mélodie parvient à chanter clairement. La section centrale recèle, quant à elle, un de ces airs sur lesquels on finit toujours par mettre des paroles (en l’occurrence, «I’m always chasing rainbows»), mais qui est aussi magnifique de simplicité – cette simplicité que Chopin recherchait en définitive: «La dernière chose, c’est la simplicité. Après avoir épuisé toutes les difficultés, après avoir joué une immense quantité de notes et de notes, c’est la simplicité qui sort avec tout son charme, comme le dernier sceau de l’art. Quiconque veut arriver de suite à cela n’y parviendra jamais; on ne peut commencer par la fin. Il faut avoir étudié beaucoup, même immensément, pour atteindre ce but; ce n’est pas une chose facile.»

extrait des notes rédigées par Angela Hewitt © 2004
Français: Hypérion

Das Fantaisie-Impromptu in cis-Moll op. 66 wurde 1855 posthum von Chopins altem Freund und Musikerkollegen Julian Fontana herausgegeben. Man weiß nicht, warum Chopin es nicht selbst veröffentlichte, doch es ist bekannt, dass ihm die Ähnlichkeit mit Moscheles’ Impromptu op. 89 ein wenig zu bewusst war. Heutzutage ist es freilich eine seiner beliebtesten Kompositionen. Die Außenteile sind ein Moto perpetuo, überschrieben mit Allegro agitato. Selbst inmitten all dieser Töne ist jedoch eine singende Melodie deutlich erkennbar. Im Mittelteil erklingt eine jener Melodien, die stets von jemandem mit einem Text versehen werden (in diesem Falle ist es „I’m always chasing rainbows“), doch ist sie in ihrer Schlichtheit ebenso schön. Und es ist eben das, was Chopin letztendlich erreichen wollte:

„Schlichtheit ist alles. Nachdem man alle Möglichkeiten durchgespielt hat, eine riesige Zahl von Tönen und noch mehr Tönen gespielt hat, dann erscheint die Schlichtheit mit ihrem ganzen Charme, wie der letzte Siegel der Kunst. Wer sie sofort beherrschen will, wird es niemals schaffen; man kann nicht mit dem Schluss beginnen. Man muss sehr viel, gar enorm, studiert haben, um bei diesem Ziel ankommen zu können; es ist keine leichte Angelegenheit.“

aus dem Begleittext von Angela Hewitt © 2004
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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