Hélène Tysman

Chopin: Sonata No. 2; 24 Préludes

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AllMusic Review by

Hélène Tysman's 2010 presentation of Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor and the 24 Préludes is straightforward and direct, and it comes across with the full force of a bold and assured personality. To the extent that listeners expect Chopin's music to be introverted, restrained, and mostly quiet, they will not necessarily like Tysman's bright, bravado playing and extroverted interpretations. This is not to say that there aren't many moments of calm and subtle playing on this CD, but Tysman's style is rather more Lisztian in its flair and muscularity. Furthermore, it's apparent that Tysman is a physically strong player from the way she treats octaves as child's play and makes the piano thunder in the bass in fortissimo passages. Yet she can be exceedingly gentle, as she is in the D flat major interlude of the Marche funèbre, or particularly subdued, as in the Prélude No. 6 in B minor, so the general impression of brusqueness is belied by her capacity for profoundly introspective moods. Even so, these are powerful and compelling performances that are fueled by confidence and volatile energy, and Tysman will appeal to an audience that likes pianists with virtuosic technique and a big heart, both of which this pianist has in abundance. Oehms' sound is clear and clean, so everything is fully audible.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35
1 8:02
2 7:36
3 9:04
4 1:47
24 Préludes, Op. 28
5 0:42
6 2:48
7 1:09
8 2:29
9 0:43
10 2:20
11 0:59
12 2:14
13 1:23
14 0:38
15 0:53
16 1:27
17 3:58
18 0:35
19 6:36
20 1:08
21 3:18
22 0:55
23 1:27
24 2:04
25 2:45
26 0:48
27 1:11
28 2:58
blue highlight denotes track pick