Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sébastien Melmoth | Hôtel d'Alsace, PARIS | 12/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Sir Francis Bacon in his distilled English prose Essays shrewdly notes "Of Beauty" that, "There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion."
This felicitously terse axiom presents two aspects: 1) that mystery--i.e., "strangeness"--is an element of beauty; and 2) that "proportion," balance, architecture is a fundamental building-block of Art--whether in a statue's frame, a mathematical equation, a picture's aspect, or a musical verse.
This is not to say that French pianist Cyprien Katsaris' realization here of Chopin's Waltzes is in any way "strange" in the conventional sense; rather, it merely serves to indicate the excellence of Katsaris' art in that he agreeably achieves the sectional architectonics of Chopin's phraseology.
Katsaris has a very nice balance of tension and release--contrast and emphasis--which is very clear without being excessive.
This is an essence of great playing.
Katsaris has a light, firm, precise touch. He possesses a fine sensibility of dynamics wherein he avoids a too heavy bass in the left hand--(sometimes a failing in other pianists).
Moreover, Katsaris takes the ornamental figurations and sprays of notes especially decorously. His playing is marvellous in its minuet gradations of tempi and parsing of syntactical phrasing.
And while Jim Samson observes, "there is much `information' in Chopin's textures," many of those data remain on the surface; yet, Katsaris searchingly reveals Chopin's circumscribed inner voicing--(which often consists of few notes)--in a judiciously elegant manner.
As for comparative timings--(whatever they may reveal to the auditor)--simply two personal favourites offered:
the exquisitely introspective a-minor Waltz (Op. 34, No. 2), and the compassionate, amorously-coloured second Db-major Waltz (Op. 70, No. 3).
Waltz in a-minor:
Waltz in Db-major:
Chopin: The Complete Preludes
Chopin: Ballades Nos. 1-4; Scherzos Nos. 1-4
Chopin: The Complete Polonaises
Chopin: The Three Piano Sonatas
Chopin: 4 Ballades/Barcarolle, Op.60/Fantasie in F
Chopin: 4 Scherzi/Berceuse/Barcarolle
Chopin: 4 Ballades; Fantaisie, Op. 49; Prelude, Op. 45
Complete Polonaises, The (pollini, Argerich)