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Track(s) taken from CDA67764

Polonaise-Fantasy in A flat major, Op 61

composer
1846

Stephen Hough (piano)
Recording details: May 2009
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: April 2010
Total duration: 13 minutes 40 seconds

Cover artwork: Untitled (1953/4) by Mark Rothko (1903-1970)
© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko. DACS. Art Institute of Chicago. www.artic.edu/aic / Photograph by Grant Hiroshima
 
1

Other recordings available for download

Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Alfred Cortot (piano)

Reviews

'The greater the music here, the more revelatory the playing, especially in a magnificent account of the Polonaise-fantasie … a ticket to a pianistic paradise' (The Mail on Sunday)

'Hough's fingers probe and caress; textures and colours dance and blend with cleansing clarity' (The Times)

'I was won over by the lovely tone and touch, the seductive warmth and clarity of the inner parts and the beautifully judged rubato … it carries ringing conviction' (The Sunday Times)

'A concert grand piano is a thousand-pound machine … the machine sings beautifully on 'Chopin: Late Masterpieces', Stephen Hough's new recording for the Hyperion label … [Third Piano Sonata] Hough's playing of the opening melody suggests that he has thought hard about how it would sound if it were sung by a soprano … I've gone through various canonical Chopin recordings—including account s of the Third Sonata by Cortot, Lipatti and Rubenstein—and found none on which the melody coalesces into such an acutely vocal shape' (The New Yorker, USA)

'Il y a dans le jeu, dans la carrière, dans la personalité de ce pianiste britannique quelque chose d'extrêmement séduisant et de hors du commun … la Sonate est magnifique d'imagination, déroulée comme un vaste poème, sans alanguisement, sans excès de fureur, juste une sorte de retenue respectueuse de la richesse de l'écriture' (Classica, France)
The Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major Op 61 was Chopin’s last extended work, written in 1846, three years before his death. By both its title and structure, it is in a class of its own. It is an exploratory, original work which, judging from the manuscript, caused Chopin some difficulty before he arrived at a satisfactory version. Although the distinctive rhythm of the polonaise is present in the opening theme, elsewhere it is often absent altogether, the ‘fantasy’ part of the title implying a feeling of rhapsodic improvisation. Through thematic recall and his innate sense of form, pacing and proportion, Chopin manages to achieve a remarkably cohesive whole.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2010

Par son titre comme par sa structure, la Polonaise-Fantaisie en la bémol majeur op. 61 est unique. Il s’agit d’une œuvre exploratoire, originale, qui, nous révèle le manuscrit, donna bien du fil à retordre à Chopin. Le rythme distinctif de la polonaise ne ressort guère que dans le thème inaugural, la «fantaisie» sous-entendant comme une improvisation rhapsodique. Grâce au rappel thématique et à son sens subconscient de la forme, du tempo et de la proportion, Chopin réussit un ensemble remarquablement cohérent.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jeremy Nicholas © 2010
Français: Hypérion

Die Polonaise-Fantaisie in As-Dur op. 61 ist, sowohl was ihren Titel als auch was ihren Aufbau betrifft, ein Werk sui generis. Es ist ein originelles Werk, in dem Chopin experimentiert, und das ihm, wie man dem Manuskript entnehmen kann, einige Schwierigkeiten bereitet hat, bevor er zu einer befriedigenden Lösung kam. Obwohl bereits beim ersten Thema der charakteristische Polonaisen-Rhythmus auftaucht, fehlt er an anderer Stelle oft völlig, wobei der zweite Teil des Titels „Fantaisie“ wohl das Gefühl rhapsodischer Improvisation andeuten soll. Durch Wiederholung von Themen und seinen instinktiven Sinn für Form, Tempo und Proportion gelingt es Chopin, eine Einheit von bemerkenswerter Geschlossenheit zu schaffen.

aus dem Begleittext von Jeremy Nicholas © 2010
Deutsch: Ludwig Madlener

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