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Franz Schubert: 'Wanderer' Fantasie, Op. 15; Frederic Chopin: 4 Ballades / Sophia Agranovich, piano

Album Summary

>Schubert, Franz : Fantasy for Piano in C major, D 760/Op. 15 "Wanderer"
>Chopin, Frédéric : Ballade for Piano no 1 in G minor, B 66/Op. 23
>Chopin, Frédéric : Ballade for Piano no 2 in F major/a minor, B 102/Op. 38
>Chopin, Frédéric : Ballade for Piano no 3 in A flat major, B 136/Op. 47
>Chopin, Frédéric : Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Sophia Agranovich, internationally acclaimed virtuoso pianist, and esteemed pedagogue, is a recipient of numerous teaching awards. Described by Fanfare magazine as "a bold, daring pianist in the tradition of the Golden Age Romantics," the Ukrainian-born pianist takes to the keyboard for her second Centaur release, offering up a program perfectly suited to Golden Age aficionados, Schubert's 'Wanderer' Fantasy, D760, and Chopin's Four Ballades, each a masterpiece in itself yet superseding the one before, culminating in the brilliant fourth and last Ballade, the F minor, op. 52.

American Record Guide, March/April 2016
Starting with the four magnificent Ballades, Ukrainian-born Agranovich chooses to emphasize Chopin's lyrical side, rather than the dramatic. She has her own sound and is definitely different from most of the other recordings.

Ballade 1 is executed with a delicacy and poetic vision like no other I am aware of. Climaxes are refined, the line is often reduced to a bare wisp of sound, and phrasing, articulated with great feeling, has its share of hesitations, awkwardness, and frequent disruption of the music's natural flow. It is all very interesting. Ballade 2 finds things a little more traditional. The initial theme is gentle, and the second theme bursts in. All goes very well. Ballade 3 returns. Yes, it brought a smile to my face. Ballade 4, the longest, greatest, and most complex of the set, has its expression lathered on with a large trowel. It does have its share of beautiful effects.

The Schubert can be a real blockbuster in the right hands. Agranovich manages to pick it apart mercilessly. If there is such a thing as over-interpreting a piece of music, this could serve as a good example. Her tone is lovely.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sean Swinney Studios, New York City (09/04/2014).



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Works Details

>Schubert, Franz : Fantasy for Piano in C major, D 760/Op. 15 "Wanderer"
  • Performer: Sophia Agranovich (Piano)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 11/1822

>Chopin, Frédéric : Ballade for Piano no 1 in G minor, B 66/Op. 23
  • Performer: Sophia Agranovich (Piano)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1831

>Chopin, Frédéric : Ballade for Piano no 2 in F major/a minor, B 102/Op. 38
  • Performer: Sophia Agranovich (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1839

>Chopin, Frédéric : Ballade for Piano no 3 in A flat major, B 136/Op. 47
  • Performer: Sophia Agranovich (Piano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1841

>Chopin, Frédéric : Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52
  • Performer: Sophia Agranovich (Piano)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1842-1843