CD Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes, Andsnes

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Discs 1
Record Label Sony Classical
Release Date September 7, 2018
Recording Year 2018

Nine time Grammy-nominated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes’s new solo piano album, Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes, intersperses the Romantic master composer’s four Ballades – works immense in the range and power of their expression – with three of his nocturnes, and represents his first recording of Chopin’s music in more than a decade.

On the new album, Andsnes performs all four Ballades: No. 1 in G minor, a work known, as he puts it, for one of "the most haunting melodies in the whole of piano literature"; No. 2 in F, which is dedicated to Schumann and captures the two extremes of the composer’s personality; the gentle and elusive No. 3 in A-flat; and No. 4 in F minor, which Andsnes considers Chopin’s "most complex masterpiece," and has only recently started performing in public.

Andsnes intersperses the Ballades with three of Chopin’s nocturnes, "to give a little more breath" between them. Drawn from different periods of the composer’s life to show their range and diversity, the three Andsnes has chosen are the Nocturne in F, Op. 15, No. 2, which he describes as "very innocent with a dark stormy middle section"; the tragic Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48, No. 1, "a piece about death"; and the Nocturne in B, Op. 62, No. 1, "a serene, beautiful piece, typical of Chopin’s late style, where the bass and middle voices become more independent, reflecting his love for Bach."

The New York Times has called Leif Ove Andsnes "a pianist of magisterial elegance, power and insight." With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, Andsnes has won acclaim worldwide playing in the world’s leading concert halls and with the world’s leading orchestras. He has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards®, five Gramophone Awards and was recently inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame, prompting the Wall Street Journal to call him "one of the most gifted musicians of his generation."

Track Listing:

1. Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 1

2. Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15 No. 1

3. Ballade in F Major, Op. 38, No. 2

4. Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1

5. Ballade in A-Flat Major, Op.47, No. 3

6. Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1

7. Ballade in F Minor, Op. 52, No. 4

Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)