Hyperion Records

Ballade No 2 in A minor, Op 38
composer
1835/9; begins in F major, ends in A minor

Recordings
'Chopin: Ballades & Sonata No 3' (CDH55182)
Chopin: Ballades & Sonata No 3
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55182  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'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)  
Details
Track 3 on CDA67456 [6'49]
Track 3 on CDS44351/66 CD4 [8'36] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 2 on CDH55182 [7'59] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Ballade No 2 in A minor, Op 38
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The Second Ballade is dedicated to Schumann and its violently opposed first and second subjects could hardly have been excelled by that master of vivid contrasts. The opening quaver crotchet rhythm establishes the basic compound duple time, but the music’s deceptively placid progress is enlivened by syncopation and several surprise turns, a remarkable instance of simplicity without monotony. The subsequent tornado (sufficiently sudden to encourage all lovers of programme music) subsides, and a series of left-hand scales gradually calms the fury of this wintry blast. The principal subject returns and after a brooding development and a passage of great improvisatory daring the second subject’s violence is once more unleashed. Insistent tremolandi and trills announce a coda whose percussive force looks ahead towards the twentieth century and to the caustic brilliance of Prokofiev. Chopin, however, reserves his masterstroke for the final bars where the opening theme reappears plaintif and resigned in A minor, its original and, in retrospect, naive optimism defeated.

from notes by Bryce Morrison © 2004

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDH55182 track 2
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-93-57702
Duration
7'59
Recording date
9 January 1993
Recording venue
Snape Maltings, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ates Orga
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs
Hyperion usage
  1. Chopin: Ballades & Sonata No 3 (CDA66577)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: September 1993
    Deletion date: August 2004
    Superseded by CDH55182
  2. Chopin: Ballades & Sonata No 3 (CDH55182)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: April 2005
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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