Marek Bracha

Chopin: Mazurki; Walce, Op. 34; Ecossaises; Polonez

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Continuing the Fryderyk Chopin Institute's long-term project of recording Chopin's works with different specialists, Marek Bracha launches a special series of recordings to feature performances by rising artists. For his installment, Bracha presents a lively program of ecossaises, mazurkas, and waltzes, interspersed with the Ballade in G minor, the Polonaise in A flat major, "Héroïque," and the Polonaise in F sharp minor. While the institute's Complete Works series featured historic instruments from Chopin's day, Bracha plays a modern Steinway piano here, and the full sound presents a striking contrast with the thinner-sounding Érard and Pleyel fortepianos that were used in previous recordings. The character of the ecossaises is quite light and unpretentious, though Bracha infuses the mazurkas and the waltzes with more pensiveness, while saving the real drama for the polonaises and the ballade, showcasing them as the weightier compositions. The reproduction is clean and focused, putting the piano close to the foreground and keeping enough background resonance without letting the acoustics dominate.

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