Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: Ballade No 1, Op 23

Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: Ballade No 1, Op 23

Article excerpt


Ballade No 1, Op 23. Three Ecossaises, Op 72.

Three Mazurkas, Op 68. Four Mazurkas, Op 17.

Polonaises--No 5, Op 44; No 6, 'Heroic', Op 53.

Three Waltzes, Op 34

Marek Bracha pf

Fryderyk Chopin Institute [F] NIFCCD700 (63' * DDD)

Another Chopin recital, a recording debut, and another gifted young Pole. Marek Bracha, fresh from his studies in Warsaw and at the RCM, is the recipient of numerous scholarships and has participated in various competitions but I can't say that this disc recorded in October 2012, fine as it is, heralds the arrival of a compelling new talent with novel things to say about these much-recorded pieces.

That said, it's not every Chopin programme that opens with the three Ecossaises (especially when they are ordered 3, 1,2). They are closely linked, and Bracha invests them with a perky lilt that immediately grabs the attention, as does the cool-toned, immaculately voiced Steinway. We then head off into the great A flat Polonaise, where a certain emotional reserve is on show. …

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