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Chopin: Sonata in B-flat minor, Berceuse, etc.
Ivan Moravec
Chopin: Sonata in B-flat minor, Berceuse, etc.
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Ivan Moravec plays CHOPIN Sonata in Bb minor Op. 35 Berceuse Op. 57 Ballade No. 4 in F minor Op. 52 Three Mazurkas; Op. 6 No. 3, Op. 24 No. 4, Op. 30 No. 3 Fantaisie in F minor Op. 49


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CD Details

All Artists: Ivan Moravec
Title: Chopin: Sonata in B-flat minor, Berceuse, etc.
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Vox (Classical)
Release Date: 5/27/2003
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Ballads, Fantasies, Sonatas, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Romantic (c.1820-1910)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 047163790829


Album Description
Ivan Moravec plays CHOPIN Sonata in Bb minor Op. 35 Berceuse Op. 57 Ballade No. 4 in F minor Op. 52 Three Mazurkas; Op. 6 No. 3, Op. 24 No. 4, Op. 30 No. 3 Fantaisie in F minor Op. 49

CD Reviews

Unique and unforgettable
Jeffrey Jones | Northern California, USA | 05/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"All of this music has been recorded many times over by musicians ranging from the dire to the sublime. For any Chopin recording to really stand out from the pack nowadays, it has to have some really special qualities. This is one of those recordings, and as someone who has never heard any other Moravec, it has made me eager to explore him further.

The B-flat minor Sonata of Chopin is a four-movement work cut from granite; the third movement is the Funeral March you hear at every memorial service today. The sonata can be shattering, but Moravec plays it with an inward expression I've never heard before in this piece, together with the most rounded tone to be recorded since Rubinstein. His interpretation is dramatic and majestic, not athletic, and certainly not bombastic.

The Berceuse is next, a short and deservedly popular cradle song which uses a gentle, rocking ostinato figure, practically unchanged through the entire piece, underneath what amounts to a kind of chaconne. I do not expect to ever hear it played with a greater inner peace than on this CD.

Following this little bon-bon is the great F minor Ballade, which is deeply tragic. A heavenly opening with subtle bell effects, which returns later in A major to great effect, is followed by a curiously obsessive theme which sounds like a song sung by a child in the wilderness. This theme keeps returning, in varied forms as the child grows into a full-fledged adult, until it returns one last time for the coda, in the form of an intense and furious two-part counterpoint which is among the most difficult passages in Chopin and leaves a strong psychological imprint.

Included in the CD are three Mazurkas, which are delightful. Strict Polish practice would entail prolonging the first beat for so long that it felt like a 4/4, rather than a 3/4 as notated. The usual approach today is to ignore this stylistic trait and play the Mazurkas like Waltzes, but Moravec's solution is to use a pungent rubato which fits the melody and accents its light, dance-like quality. Even if it is not a perfectly accurate mazurka style, Moravec is thoroughly charming.

The disc ends with the Fantaisie in F minor, a brilliant military-themed work which I both love and hate when I play it myself, because it is comfortable for the hand and very rewarding to listen to, but it is not easy to hold together structurally. This recording has gone a long way towards instructing me in how to do that. Without question, this Fantaisie stands head and shoulders over any other recording of this work I've heard, be it from Rubinstein, Pollini, Arrau, or Katchen, all legendary pianists in their own right.

In all, recommended in the strongest possible terms. Don't think twice."
Moravec does it again.
blue-59 | Blount Springs, Alabama, United States | 09/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It doesn't really seem so long ago that I first heard Ivan Moravec and sat stunned at his superb artistry. But it has been 40 years, and this great master whom I heard play in his early thirties is now 73. And what has he recorded in that span? Three sonatas and five concertos of Mozart, a little Bach and Schumann, six Beethoven sonatas (while other pianists his age are on their second or even third complete cycle), the third and fourth Beethoven concertos, the Ravel Sonatine, some Brahms, some nice Czech music, and a good deal of wonderful Debussy and Chopin. In other words, just a few years' worth of recordings for some of the more famous names on the big labels. However, within his modest output, Ivan Moravec has given some of the greatest performances ever preserved.So we are thankful whenever this musician-virtuoso records anything, and this latest release is nothing less than magnificent. Is it possible for a performance of the warhorse B-flat minor sonata of Chopin to sound strikingly fresh and new? Apparently so. This introspective reading is one for the ages. Other pianists (Pollini comes to mind) have certainly recorded unsurpassable renditions of this piece, but Moravec's is unique and incomparable. Moravec is capable of pyrotechnics, but they simply have no place here. Even so, each note is beautifully in place and given its full due, as if it were a human soul.It is interesting to compare this performance of the fourth Ballade with the recording Moravec made back in 1966. The 2002 version seems more leisurely, but in fact has a shorter playing time. The earlier version makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. The new version puts you deep into thought. Apply superlatives to the rest of the disc and you have my review.This disc is hard to find but certainly available, and at mid-price to boot.Please, Ivan. The B minor sonata. The late Beethoven. Some more Mozart and Debussy. Anything you want to play."
Recomended to me and now I recommend it to you all !!!
Lincoln-63542 | Raleigh, NC USA | 06/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I will make it very simple to digest:Sound Quality, Performance, Selection, Price: 10 out of 10.
I was so impressed with this album that I decided to write about it for you to enjoy it as well. Even the content selection is a piece of art in itself. The production of this compact is very well done. It sets the "magic" that goes from the Sonata in B flat minor to Berceuse, and from Berceuse to the Ballade, the lingering mazurkas, and, finally, the crown of this outstanding production and performance: The Fantasie in F minor.
This album is a piece of art in every way...! It's not only Moravec, who is way up there in inspiration and impecable performance. I'm talking about the team that put these pieces together -like jewels- without overwhelming each other, but supporting each other, articulating a mood that is consistent without falling in monotony. And, yes, it will mesmerize your senses as it did with mine. And yes, it will let you craving for more, and you will do what I did: play it again, and again. If you need to grab a defect on this album, THIS IS IT!This is the kind of album that will set the mood for intimacy...
Very moving, very touching. Ideal companion to a good wine or a moment of inner expansion."