Jean-Philippe Collard is a renowned interpreter of Romantic piano music, and his recordings of the works of Gabriel Fauré have been particularly praised for their brilliance and sensitivity. Somewhat surprisingly, his recordings of the music of Frédéric Chopin have been quite rare, so this 2013 release of the 24 Préludes and the Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor breaks new ground for this distinguished performer. One of Collard's many gifts is an ability to make difficult music seem easy, and some of the more virtuosic Préludes are simply sparkling and spontaneous, without any signs of struggle or deliberate effort. Consequently, Collard cannot be expected to be overly dramatic or brooding, so the Préludes that other pianists treat with excessive pathos he tends to play with a lighter touch and a forward movement, to avoid sentimentality. Even in the famous Marche funèbre of the Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Collard maintains a steady but not overly slow tempo that makes the music more affecting for the lack of bombast, and he gives the following Presto an understated quality that is chilling.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Préludes, Op. 28|
|Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 "Funeral March"|