Kathryn Stott

Chopin: Favourite Nocturnes; Fantasie-Impromptu; Barcarolle

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Previously released on Regis Records, this Alto reissue of Kathryn Stott's 1992 recordings of 12 favorite nocturnes by Frédéric Chopin, along with his Fantaisie Impromptu and the Barcarolle, offers interpretations that are charming in character and fully romantic in expression, though always in the best taste. Stott's polished technique, sensitive touch, and elegant execution are well-suited to Chopin's music, and she takes great care in presenting the nocturnes' melodic lines with a smooth lyicism that resembles the bel canto style that originally inspired them. Stott is also careful to maintain the feeling of a steady rhythmic pulse in the left hand in passages where rubato in the almost independent melody appears to slacken the meter, a paradox that lies at the heart of performing Chopin and is especially apparent in these poetic character pieces. The sound of the recording is clean and natural, though the piano seems a little distant in the resonant space of St. George's Church, Bristol, so to get a fuller piano presence the volume needs to be set fairly high.

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