Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: Berceuse, Op 57. Mazurkas-No 2, Op 6 No 2

Magazine article Gramophone

Chopin: Berceuse, Op 57. Mazurkas-No 2, Op 6 No 2

Article excerpt

Chopin

Berceuse, Op 57. Mazurkas--No 2, Op 6 No 2; No 5, Op 7 No 1; No 7, Op 7 No 3; Nos 10-13, Op 17; Nos 14-17, Op 24; Nos 18-21, Op 30; Nos 22-25, Op 33. Nocturne No 5, Op 15 No 2. Preludes-No 25, Op 45; No 26, Op posth

Ivana Gavric pf

Edition Records (F) EDN1086 (70' * DDD)

Since they offer so little opportunity for display, it's perhaps no surprise that the Mazurkas should be somewhat less favoured than other genres by pianists seeking to make their mark in Chopin. Ivana Gavric cannily exploits this gap, showing show how good taste and solid technical accomplishment can reap rewards. It's hard to imagine anyone raising objections to her stylish, unexaggerated readings. And that's not intended as a backhanded compliment, or as a hint that her temperament is in any way bland. She finds just the right weight for the melancholy of the A minor. Op 17 No 4, and the right degree of exaltation when Chopin's imagination takes flight. It was an excellent idea to intersperse the mazurkas with the Berceuse and the odd prelude, nocturne and waltz.

All the same, I would love to hear what Gavric would do with some of these pieces as encores, when the pressure to prove herself was off and she could play with more abandon. Quite unfairly to her, I put on some Arthur Rubinstein for comparison (including his miraculous account of the Berceuse--Philips, 10/98). And since my shelves are hardly groaning with CDs of the Mazurkas, I dug out my old Westminster LPs of Ryszard Bakst for good measure (can it really be that they never made it to CD? …

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