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CD Review

Fantasie

KNS 33
Luis Costa, Piano
KNS Classical KNSA/033 61:36
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The three works here designated Polonaise are among Chopin's most substantial – close to fifteen minutes long in the case of Opus 22 and thirteen and a half minutes in the case of Opus 61 – and most popular, represented by hundreds of recorded performances. I cannot imagine that anyone has heard them all, so any attempt to make comparisons would be both futile and unfair. What I can say, is that Costa's performances of them have impressed me with the clarity of his articulation, the subtlety of his expression, and the range of his dynamics, from gentle to emphatic.

The temporal unity of the selections, aside from the short – and unusually gentle performance – of the Scarlatti which opens the recording, is emphasized in the pairing of the Chopin with a beloved work by Schumann, born in the same year and who introduced Chopin to the musical world. The Kinderszehnen (Scenes from Childhood) is a suite of miniatures of varied character, only two of which, Traumerei and The Poet Speaks, are more than two minutes in duration. Costa's playing of these is excellent; both suitably varied and appealing.

Recommended for anyone interested in a recording combining these works.

Copyright © 2016, R. James Tobin

Trumpet