Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CKD248

Waltz in E flat major, Op 18

composed in Vienna in 1831/2 under the title Grande valse brillante

Artur Pizarro (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: June 2004
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Philip Hobbs
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: February 2005
Total duration: 5 minutes 57 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Stephen Hough (piano)


'Pizarro's playing is distinctive, however: lean and muscular, rather than sentimentally refined. Occasionally, he veers towards a mood of dark, high Romanticism more associated with Liszt than Chopin, but his approach pays off in the brooding introspection of his performances of the nocturnes, while there's an earthiness in some of the valses and mazurkas that reflects on their origins in folk music' (The Guardian)» More

'Classical music purists and Chopin aficionados should not be put off by the Classic FM-type title of this disc of Chopin piano music, or by the repertoire chosen by Artur Pizarro, a very distinguished pianist (though I'm not convinced how widely that fact is realised). Pizarro's choice of pieces might resemble a selection of Chopin favourites and pops, but he brings to the most familiar music a spellbinding array of insights in this set of performances, which admirably display his intelligence and originality of thought, along with breathtakingly sensitive playing which allows Chopin's music to breathe. Listen to the heartstopping, hushed versions of the Nocturnes in B Major and C sharp minor, the achingly beautiful performance of the D flat Nocturne, and Pizarro's dry, light, super-articulate playing of that perennial barnstormer the 'Grande valse brillante', to see what I mean. Even alongside legendary recordings by such pianists as Rubinstein, this collection features some of the finest Chopin playing on record' (The Herald)

'The sound is certainly spectacular, with the distinctively rich bass and bright upper register of his favoured Blüthner grand beautifully caught by the Linn engineers. Pizarro's playing itself is interesting and makes you take notice … his Mazurkas are excellent, as is his passionate rendition of the famous Polonaise. Indeed, this could be, for me, the pick of the disc, with the pent-up tension and superbly even left hand octaves making for thrilling listening' (MusicWeb International)» More
The waltzes that Chopin published during his lifetime draw out contrasts between the effervescent emotions and sentimentality that we know to have contributed so much to the fashionableness of the ballroom waltz. This emerges clearly in the first of the published waltzes, the E flat major, Op 18. The main themes of the waltz brim with the bustle of the dance floor: the stirring call to the dance of the introduction, and the rising and falling motion of the opening melodies, which (as the musicologist Eric McKee has persuasively argued) Chopin meant to reflect the spinning motions of dancing couples. The contrasting themes (with melodies in thirds and in the new key of D flat major), on the other hand, have a more reflective lilt (Chopin instructs the pianist to play one of them con anima, and the soulfulness of the melody emerges palpably).

from notes by Jeffrey Kallberg © 2011

Tout comme certaines caractéristiques compositionnelles, la variété des différentes versions reflète un peu les origines sociales des valses chopiniennes. La notion même de popularité paraît résulter de divers aspects des valses. Cela vaut tout particulièrement pour les valses que Chopin publia de son vivant, celles qui, fondées sur des contrastes entre émotions effervescentes et sentimentalité, concoururent tant, nous le savons, à la vogue de la valse pour salles de bal. Ce qui est flagrant dans la première des valses publiées par Chopin, celle en mi bémol majeur op. 18. Les thèmes principaux grouillent de l’agitation de la piste de danse: ainsi l’entraînante invitation à la danse de l’introduction, ou encore le mouvement ascendant et descendant des mélodies inaugurales que Chopin voulait (le musicologue Eric McKee l’a montré de façon convaincante) comme le reflet du tournoiement des couples de danseurs. Les thèmes contrastifs (avec des mélodies en tierces et dans le nouveau ton de ré bémol majeur), en revanche, présentent des inflexions davantage réfléchies. (Chopin demande au pianiste de jouer l’un d’entre eux con anima, et l’émotion de la mélodie affleure, palpable.)

extrait des notes rédigées par Jeffrey Kallberg © 2011
Français: Hypérion

Ebenso wie die unterschiedlichen Versionen in gewisser Weise die sozialen Hintergründe der Chopinschen Walzer widerspiegeln, so ist dies auch bei mehreren kompositorischen Charakteristika der Fall. Die bloße Vorstellung von Popularität scheint in diverse Aspekte der Walzer bereits hineinkomponiert zu sein. Das ist insbesondere bei den Walzern der Fall, die Chopin zu seinen Lebzeiten herausgab, in denen die Kontraste zwischen überschäumenden Emotionen und Sentimentalität herausgearbeitet sind, die bekanntermaßen so viel zu der Modernität des Walzers als Gesellschaftstanz beigetragen haben. Dies tritt deutlich in dem ersten der publizierten Walzer hervor, nämlich dem in Es-Dur, op. 18. Die Hauptthemen dieses Walzers stellen die Betriebsamkeit auf dem Tanzboden lebhaft dar: die mitreißende Aufforderung zum Tanz in der Einleitung und die aufsteigende und abfallende Bewegung der Anfangsmelodien, mit denen (wie der Musikwissenschaftler Eric McKee überzeugend dargelegt hat) Chopin wohl die sich drehenden Tanzpaare darstellte. Die gegensätzlichen Themen (mit Melodien in Terzen und in der neuen Tonart Des-Dur) hingegen wirken eher nachdenklich (Chopin weist den Pianisten an, eines davon con anima aufzufassen, und das Seelenvolle der Melodie tritt spürbar hervor).

aus dem Begleittext von Jeffrey Kallberg © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Chopin: The Complete Waltzes
Chopin: The Complete Waltzes
Chopin: The Complete Works
CDS44351/6616CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...