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Chopin: 26 Préludes; Schumann: Papillons Op 2 / Arrau

Album Summary

>Chopin, Frédéric : Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28
>Chopin, Frédéric : Prelude for piano no 25 in C sharp minor, Op. 45, CT. 190
>Chopin, Frédéric : Prelude for piano no 26 in A flat major ("Presto con leggierezza"), KK IVb/7, CT. 191 (B. 86)
>Schumann, Robert : Moderato
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

In just 40 minutes, the cosmos was created. To be sure, here we are talking solely about a pianistic cosmos: yet it is one that still, more than 170 years after its creation, remains breath-taking and arouses many diverse emotions, including unlimited admiration. The oeuvre in question is Frederic Chopin's Preludes, Op. 28. He wrote these 24 pianistic miniatures between 1836 and 1839, modelling them on the Preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach. However, he did not retain their "prologue-type" character: on the contrary, the variety of the works is more an indication of a secondary meaning of this term, i.e. fantasizing. Robert Schumann wrote his Papillons, Op. 2 between 1829 and 1832. The cycle consists of 12 concise fantasy images, based on notes from his study books, in which he jotted down his musical ideas. The aphoristic Schmetterlinge (butterflies) received an additional cachet thanks to the literary association with Jean Paul's Die Flegeljahren (the years of adolescence). The two final chapters of the novel are entitled "Larven-Tanz" (dance of the masks) and "Brief - Nachtwandler - Traum" (letter - sleepwalker - dream). Here, Schumann demonstrates to the listener his "new approach to the variation form": thus he presents the individual miniatures (dance, ballroom, masks) as strongly contrasting, yet derives both motif and theme from a common source. The thematic material of the waltz in No. 1 determines the course of the remainder of the work, in which Schumann varies all elements and levels of the music, and as such subjects the character and development of the moods to a permanent transformation.

BBC Music Magazine
Claudio Arrau's 1970s Chopin and Schumann, on SACD in marvellous 'Quadro' sound, is by turns revelatory and flawed. His rubato sometimes works against the music, but the insights make this compulsive, if occasionally frustrating listening.



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Works Details

>Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849) : Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 28
  • Performer: Claudio Arrau (Piano)
  • Running Time: 35 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1838-1839

>Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849) : Prelude for piano no 25 in C sharp minor, Op. 45, CT. 190
  • Performer: Claudio Arrau (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1841.
  • Running Time: 5 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1841

>Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849) : Prelude for piano no 26 in A flat major ("Presto con leggierezza"), KK IVb/7, CT. 191 (B. 86)
  • Performer: Claudio Arrau (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1834

>Schumann, Robert : Moderato
  • Performer: Claudio Arrau (Piano)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1829-1831