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Classical Music Review

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Composer: Frédéric Chopin
Performed by: Eliane Rodrigues (piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 13 October 2017

Navona Records’ Notturno: The Complete Nocturnes and Ballades of Chopin is a fresh look at some of the Polish composer’s most expressive works. The nocturnes and ballades are also some of Chopin’s most innovative works, displaying exciting advancements in harmony, rhythm, and form - all renewed in pianist Eliane Rodrigues’s nuanced, thoughtful performances, recorded in Sacilie, Italy’s acoustically advanced Fazioli Concert Hall...

Eliane Rodrigues takes Chopin's nocturnes and ballades and delivers an essential album of some of the composers more heartbreakingly beautiful pieces. While Chopin didn’t invent the piano nocturne, he was partly responsible for popularised it. He did, however, invent the piano ballade - a genre with its own distinct forms and qualities. His four ballades most directly contrast the nocturnes in their abstract narrative style - very different from “mood” pieces, they were likely inspired by poems by Adam Mickiewicz. Taking a page from Chopin’s own unwritten ballade narratives, Rodrigues includes text by Jantien Brys to accompany each nocturne, each one telling a sort of story without sacrificing the essential atmospheric nature of the nocturne.

Rodrigues’s performances, influenced by these new texts, bring the listener a new kind of emotional connection to Chopin and music.

If you're a collector of Chopin's work, or a classical fan in general, then this is an essential purchase.


Darren Rea

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