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The Four Ballades
Frédéric Chopin

Angela Brownridge

The Four Ballades

Price: € 20.95 14.67
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917272826
Catnr: CC 72728
Release date: 10 February 2017
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20.95 14.67
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917272826
Catalogue number
CC 72728
Release date
10 February 2017

"... both technically and poetically impressive with a wide range of emotions"

Music&Vision, 26-10-2017
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

This new release from Angela Brownridge continues her survey of Romantic composers’ major masterpieces. Today it is difficult to appreciate the impact Chopin’s music had on his first listeners. His mix of Slavonic passion and Gallic precision created a world of such imaginative daring that it left his audiences bewitched, bothered and bewildered. Enigmatic to the last Chopin held aloof from such comments and left the more fancifully inclined to draw their own subjective conclusions. Like Faure after him, Chopin disdained his published tempting tell-tale additions. More pragmatically, Piano sonata No. 2 is Chopin’s darkest, large-scale masterpiece, ranking among the composer’s supreme creations. Remarkably you are left with a work of an astonishing, if wholly novel coherence. The shock of the new continues with the Four Ballades. Finally, the F minor Fantasie.
Chopin op zijn mooist
Vandaag de dag is het moeilijk te bevatten wat voor invloed Chopins muziek had op zijn eerste luisteraars. Zijn combinatie van Slavische passie en Gallische precisie (zijn vader was van Franse komaf) creëerde een wereld van zo'n fantasierijke gedurfdheid, dat hij zijn publiek huiverend, verbijsterd en betoverd achterliet.

Net als Fauré, verachtte Chopin de publieke roddels en mythes rondom zijn muziek. De vaak ondoorgrondelijke componist nam afstand van uitspraken van muziekcritici en liet het aan de luisteraars over om hun eigen conclusies te trekken over zijn werk.
De Tweede Piano Sonate van Chopin is misschien wel zijn donkerste, meest grootschalige werk en behoort tot zijn absolute meesterwerken. De vier ballades en de Fantaisie in f klein sluiten naadloos aan bij deze sonate.
Sommige critici zijn geneigd vraagtekens bij de allure van Chopin te plaatsen, omdat hij geen opera's, symfonieën of oratorio schreef. Het antwoord daarop is, dat Chopin deze wel degelijk gecomponeerd heeft, alleen allemaal voor de piano. Zoals Chopin zelf al schreef: 'De piano is mijn vaste grond, daar sta ik het stevigst.'

Bryce Morrison: Es ist heute schwer, den Eindruck auszumachen, den Chopins Musik auf seine ersten Hörer hatte. Seine Mischung aus slawischer Leidenschaft und gallischer Präzision (sein Vater war französischer Abstammung) schuf eine Welt von solch imaginativer Kühnheit, dass sie sein Publikum verzauberte, umtrieb und verstörte. Enigmatisch bis zuletzt hielt Chopin sich von solchen Kommentaren fern und überließ es Hörern mit blühender Phantasie, ihre eigenen Schlüsse zu ziehen. Wie Fauré nach ihm verachtete Chopin verräterische Ergänzungen. Die Klaviersonate Nr. 2 ist Chopins dunkelstes, groß angelegtes Meisterwerk, das zu den besten Werken des Komponisten zählt, eine Komposition von erstaunlicher und gänzlich neuer Kohärenz. Der Schock des Neuen dauerte an in den Vier Balladen und letztlich der f-Moll-Fantasie. Ich sollte hinzufügen, dass Chopins Format bisweilen von denjenigen in Frage gestellt wurde, die behaupten, er habe keine Opern, Symphonien oder Oratorien komponiert. Doch die Antwort dieses „Träumers an merkwürdigen Orten“ ist, dass er all diese Werke schrieb – für das Klavier. Er selbst beschrieb es folgendermaßen: „Das Klavier ist mein fester Grund, auf dem ich am sichersten stehe.“

Artist(s)

Angela Brownridge (piano)

ANGELA BROWNRIDGE, piano. ….'one of the world’s finest pianists….”     New York Times Hailed as a major star in classical music Angela Brownridge has been compared with such pianists as the legendary Solomon, Rachmaninov, Cherkasky, and Bolet. She began her life in an atmosphere of freedom and individualism virtually impossible to find today. Under the guidance of Maria Curcio, who had been a pupil of Schnabel for many years, she absorbed the ability to produce every nuance of the piano, and to present music flexibly and persuasively instead of concentrating on a single method of technique or continual displays of brilliance, learning to deal with the differing requirements of a varied range of composers which recalls Cortot in his prime. Indeed, by realising...
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ANGELA BROWNRIDGE, piano.
…."one of the world’s finest pianists….” New York Times Hailed as a major star in classical music Angela Brownridge has been compared with such pianists as the legendary Solomon, Rachmaninov, Cherkasky, and Bolet. She began her life in an atmosphere of freedom and individualism virtually impossible to find today. Under the guidance of Maria Curcio, who had been a pupil of Schnabel for many years, she absorbed the ability to produce every nuance of the piano, and to present music flexibly and persuasively instead of concentrating on a single method of technique or continual displays of brilliance, learning to deal with the differing requirements of a varied range of composers which recalls Cortot in his prime. Indeed, by realising that many pianists of a bygone age played with far more individuality, magic, and inspiration than has become the fashion, she was able to develop her own unique personality. In an age which has become over-fascinated with mere technique, and which seeks the degree of 'perfection' offered by over-edited CDs, Angela's playing restores spontaneity, character, and beauty of sound to the platform.
A child prodigy, equally talented in composition, extemporisation, and technically brilliant, Angela first performed in public at the age of seven, and a year later had several pieces published. By the age of ten she had given her first concerto performance, and in her early teens was appearing regularly as a recitalist and concerto performer throughout Great Britain and abroad. She later won a piano scholarship to Edinburgh University, and after graduating B. Mus. was awarded a further scholarship for a two-year period of study in Rome with Guido Agosti. As the winner of several competitions she was able to continue her studies with Maria Curcio in London, where she now lives.
Since then Angela has appeared in all the major London concert halls, and has visited Eastern and Western Europe, the USA, Canada, the Far East and Australia, as well as performing extensively in the UK. She has been a soloist with many leading orchestras and conductors, and Festival engagements include Bath, Edinburgh, Warwick, Newport Rhode Island, Bratislava, Brno, Hong Kong, and Maastricht.
Her recorded repertoire is very varied, including some first ever collections of the complete piano music of Barber, Gershwin, Kenneth Leighton and the complete piano concertos of Saint-Saëns.
Her recordings have received worldwide critical acclaim, several being voted “Critics’ Choice” by Hi-Fi News and Record of the Year by the Absolute Sound magazine of America . She has also appeared on BBC TV in programmes which have involved her in discussion about the music she has performed. She often gives lecture recitals and master classes, and maintains her love of improvisation which has led her on occasions into the world of jazz.
Concert Reviews ‘.....true genius. Her performances were passionate, rhapsodic and totally compelling. She is a marvellously exciting artist, and a wonderfully assertive pianist with a strong sense of musical structure’. New York Times ‘....amazing technique and tonal splendour .... wonderful clarity and dramatic force .... electrifying authority of which passion and dedication were the keynotes. She is an artist of the highest calibre and this was playing of the highest order’. The Guardian
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Composer(s)

Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric Chopin is one of the greatest composers of the Romantic piano tradition. He was a master in making the small form great. His ballades, mazurkas, polonaises, preludes, etudes and nocturnes all belong to the most popular standard works for piano ever written.  As a child prodigy, Chopin grew up in a middle class family, who lived among the literati of Warsaw. When in 1830 the November Uprising broke out in Poland, the twenty year old Chopin stayed in Vienna. He became an exile and never returned to his mother country. He eventually settled in Paris.  He avoided public concerts, but he did like performing in small settings, such as salons and at home for his friends. This way, Chopin built a...
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Frédéric Chopin is one of the greatest composers of the Romantic piano tradition. He was a master in making the small form great. His ballades, mazurkas, polonaises, preludes, etudes and nocturnes all belong to the most popular standard works for piano ever written. As a child prodigy, Chopin grew up in a middle class family, who lived among the literati of Warsaw. When in 1830 the November Uprising broke out in Poland, the twenty year old Chopin stayed in Vienna. He became an exile and never returned to his mother country. He eventually settled in Paris. He avoided public concerts, but he did like performing in small settings, such as salons and at home for his friends. This way, Chopin built a reputation as an exceptional pianist, teacher and composer.
Chopin brought a unique synthesis between the Viennese bravado and the French/English lyric style. Even though his pieces often are technically very demanding, the focus was always on creating a lyric expression and poetic atmosphere. He invented the instrumental ballade, and brought salongenres to a higher level with his many innovations and refinements.


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Press

... both technically and poetically impressive with a wide range of emotions
Music&Vision, 26-10-2017

I would recommend anyone to have a listen and make up their own mind about Angela Brownridge’s Chopin, especially in the Ballades and Fantaisie.
Music Web International, 16-10-2017

One can only agree with the critics that her playing is spontaneous and full of suspense
Piano News, 01-7-2017

The measurements and proportions make sure that sound is reflected at the right moment and meets your ear.
Westvest magazine, 01-6-2017

This cd is perfect for lovers of a spontaneous and healthy Chopin, averse mannerisms and delicate nuances.
Klassieke zaken, 26-5-2017

(...) we have nothing to complain about when it comes to sleight of hand, spontaneity and passion . (...)
Pianist, 03-4-2017

I simply had to make a CD of my choice of Debussy, So I suggested the complete Préludes and L'Isle Joyeuse
MUSICAL OPINION QUARTERLY, 01-4-2017

Angela Brownridge's robust and colourful pianism will quickly quash anyone's mental image of Chopin as weak and tubercular.
Gramophone, 01-4-2017

Masterly though her ballads are, Brownridge saved her very best for the conclusion of this in every aspect remarkable recital. The Fantasy gets a rendition as only pianists of the top echelon can deliver; 12 Minutes of sheer perfection!
HR Audio, 10-2-2017

This is Chopin - it sounds almost disrespectful - at his best. Top of the bill, so to speak. And that for more than an hour. I can not be short about her technique, because what I am hearing is phenomenal.
Opus Klassiek, 07-2-2017

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Often bought together with..

Ludwig van Beethoven
Complete Piano Trios vol. 2
Van Baerle Trio
Robert Schumann
Scenes and Fantasies
Einav Yarden
Frédéric Chopin
Ghosts
Nino Gvetadze
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Scriabin
24 Préludes Op. 11 - Sonata No. 1 Op. 28
Peter Orth
Johann Sebastian Bach
Organ Works Vol. 5
Jacques Van Oortmerssen

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