Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: 55 Mazurkas

Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: 55 Mazurkas

Article excerpt


55 Mazurkas

Dmitri Alexeev pf

Fryderyk Chopin Institute [F][2] NIFCCD204/5 (145' * DDD)

In a recently posted internet interview, Russian-born Dmitri Alexeev discusses his role as a juror of the Chopin Competition and speaks about the Mazurkas. 'In these pieces,' he says, and I paraphrase, 'nationality is important but perhaps doesn't have the last word. The Mazurkas speak of something very important for every human being.' The straightforward simplicity that informs these vivid interpretations is one of the keys to their clarity and freshness.

Though Chopin said that his mazurkas were 'not for dancing', Alexeev's tempi are everywhere so apt, his kinaesthetic sense so unerring, that it is almost impossible not to imagine them danced. Here a stamping dance, there a circling dance, here the men click their boots, there ladies weave in and out in an elegant sash dance. A delightful playfulness erupts from time to time.

Alexeev has the uncanny ability of discerning each mazurka's unique character and individual utterance. This lends his interpretations a stunning variety. I can testify that listening to the roughly 145 minutes of 3/4 time at a single sitting is not only possible but highly enjoyable. …

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