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Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Piano Favourites vol. 2

Waltz No. 14 in E minor, Op. posth. [2:52]
Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15, No.2 [3:49]
Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60 [8:44]
Prelude No. 17 in A flat major, Op 28, No. 17 [3:16]
Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47 [7:45]
Prelude No. 20 in C minor, Op. 28, No. 20 [1:56]
Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57 [4:43]
Etude No. 13 in A flat major, Op. 25, No. 1 (Aeolian Harp) [2:43]
Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29 [4:38]
Mazurka No. 13 in A minor, Op. 17, No. 4 [4:40]
Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor, Op. posth. [4:05]
Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31 [11:05]
Etude No. 21 in G flat major, Op. 25, No. 9 (Butterfly) [1:18]
Waltz No. 5 in A flat major (Grande Valse), Op. 42 [3:50]
Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49 [13:40]
Idil Biret (piano)
Rec. July-September 1991, Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg, Germany, March, November, December 1990, March, September 1991, Tonstudio van Geest, Heidelberg, Germany. DDD
NAXOS 8.555799 [79:03]


This release is the second volume in the Naxos series of Chopin Piano Favourites. The collection has been assembled from soloist Idil Biret’s Complete Chopin Edition on Naxos which is regarded as an impressive achievement including the works for piano and orchestra as well as solo favourites.

Born in Ankara in Turkey our soloist Idil Biret has impeccable credentials studying at the Paris Conservatoire under the eminent Nadia Boulanger and has appeared with many of the world’s greatest orchestra’s and conductors. In addition to many appearances at major music festivals and officiating as a judge at several celebrated competitions she has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards.

Biret won the Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin award in Poland which comes as no surprise given her exceptionally fine and spontaneous interpretations on this release.

Chopin’s exquisite solo piano works namely the waltzes, nocturnes, etudes, polonaises, barcarolles et al were ground-breaking. Never before had piano works contained such sentiment, tenderness, sheer aristocracy of style and emotional intensity.

Biret’s performances are alive, possessing a great deal of expressive openness. I do not ever remember the great Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor being played better: a performance full of passionate expression. I particularly enjoyed Biret’s daring, attractive and brilliant interpretation of the Fantasie in F minor Op. 49.

This release will make the perfect introduction to Chopin’s solo piano music. A recital that will provide lots of pleasure.

Michael Cookson


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