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Artur Pizarro: Chopin favourites

Grande Valse Brillante in Eb, Op. 18
Valse in Ab major, Op.69 No.1
Grande Valse Brillante Op.34 No.1
Valse in Eb major, op.post.
Fantaisie – Impromptu in C# minor, Op.66
Nocturne in B major Op.62 No.1
Nocturne in c-sharp minor Op.post
Nocturne in D-flat major Op.27 No.2
Nocturne in E-flat major Op.9 No.2
Polonaise in Ab major, Op.53 “Héroique”
Mazurka in A-flat major Op.24 No.3
Mazurka in F major Op.68 No.3
Mazurka in b-flat minor Op.24 No. 4
Mazurka in B-flat major Op.17 No.1
Scherzo No. 2 in Bb Minor, Op.31

Linn CKD 248 [Hybrid Super Audio; TT:78 mins]

A delightful homely CD of Chopin favourites, which were part of Artur Pizarro's childhood before he could remember, to follow his CDs of popular Beethoven sonatas.

He lists a long line of Chopin pianists stretching back to da Motta, Viñes and Philip, and his selection is entirely of pieces I too have lived with and played with varying success in my youth; not the sort of music upon which Musical Pointers concentrates. At his launch recital in London for this CD, Pizarro strayed from the beaten track and included Chopin's Variations Brillantes on Je vends des scapulaires to approval; perhaps Linn will soon allow him to range farther afield?

There can never be definitive Chopin interpretations, but these deserve house-room in a collection for their musicality and avoidance of excessive superficial brilliance just to impress, helped greatly by the choices of a Bluthner and the sympathetic acoustic of Potton Hall for the recording.

Pizarro's Chopin sounds well on my several CD players - I don't have Super Audio; one's every upgrading soon becomes obsolete !

© Peter Grahame Woolf