Album info



Label: Sony Classical

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • Frédéric Chopin (18101849):
  • 1Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23, No.108:52
  • 2Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15 No.104:39
  • 3Ballade in F Major, Op. 38, No.206:58
  • 4Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No.105:47
  • 5Ballade in A-Flat Major, Op.47, No.307:32
  • 6Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No.106:26
  • 7Ballade in F Minor, Op. 52, No.410:19
  • Total Runtime50:33

Info for Chopin

Chopin wasn’t one for endowing his compositions with poetic titles. Unlike his contemporary Robert Schumann, the composer kept the titles of his work fairly simple, with no literary references such as those found in the poetic evocations of Carnaval or Kinderszenen to assist the imagination. But when, in the mid-1830s, Chopin presented a new piece naming it “Ballade,” Schumann noted that Chopin was the first to apply this literary term to a musical work. What was the nature of this new genre for solo piano? What kind of story was it telling?

Traditionally, a ballad was a type of narrative poem harking back to the Middle Ages, when travelling minstrels made the form popular in Europe. In the Nineteenth Century, Romantic poets returned to the ballad as a literary genre, infusing it – to quote William Wordsworth’s Preface to the Lyrical Ballads – with the “real language of men in a state of vivid sensation.” Schumann suggests that Chopin “was inspired to write his Ballades by some poems of Adam Mickiewicz” – the great poet of Polish Romanticism and someone who, like Chopin, had left his native Poland for Paris. Mickiewicz had his own definition of the form: “The ballad is a tale spun from the incidents of everyday (that is, real) life or from chivalrous stories, animated by the strangeness of the Romantic world, sung in a melancholy tone, in a serious style, simple and natural in its expressions.”

"The ballades have everything you want from Chopin, diversity of emotion, an epic story and beautiful melodies. I don’t know another composer who has that way of getting to me.” (Leif Ove Andsnes)

Leif Ove Andsnes, piano

No biography found.

Booklet for Chopin

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