Andrew Rangell

Chopin: The Mazurkas - Complete

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AllMusic Review by

This mazurka set is definitely outside the box, with lots to contribute. Rangell freely admits that his specialties have been Bach and Beethoven, and to an extent, what you have here is Chopin played by an expert in Bach, who, of course, influenced Chopin profoundly. The pedal is sparse, and the gauzy romantic mood that so often surrounds Chopin is absent. Rangell's clean approach puts the focus on the daring harmonic turns in these mazurkas, but even more so on the ornamentation, which is carefully traced out. This disturbs the dance rhythms of the pieces, something else to which Rangell not only admits, but proudly takes credit for: he sees the blurring of phrase boundaries as central to Chopin's accomplishment. You may or may not like his approach, but it's consistently thought out and very elegantly executed. Sample one of the well-known pieces, like the Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, No. 4, to gauge your reaction: a wistfulness associated with this piece is missing, but the way Rangell puts its basic structure across by keeping tight control over quiet dynamics is impressive. Other pluses include the presence of some rare early mazurkas and of two versions of the late Mazurka in F minor, Op. 68, No. 4, whose authentic text remains a matter of dispute. The sound quality is excellent; the music was not recorded in the American sonic miracle often employed by Dorian, the Troy Savings Bank, but at the nearly as good Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Recommended, especially for those who've encountered Rangell before and know what they're getting into.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 6, CT. 51-54
1 02:45
2 02:00
3 01:50
4 01:00
Mazurkas (5) for piano, Op. 7, CT. 56-59
5 02:11
6 03:19
7 02:05
8 01:09
9 00:42
Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 17, CT. 60-63
10 02:12
11 01:58
12 04:04
13 04:53
Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 24, CT. 64-67
14 02:52
15 02:10
16 02:24
17 05:09
Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 30, CT. 68-71
18 01:49
19 01:25
20 02:28
21 03:28
Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 33, CT. 72-75
22 01:40
23 02:12
24 01:30
25 04:52
Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 41, CT. 76-79
26 02:22
27 01:12
28 01:49
29 03:35
30 02:24

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Mazurkas (3) for piano, Op. 50, CT. 80-82
1 02:12
2 02:42
3 05:13
Mazurkas (3) for piano, Op. 56, CT. 83-85
4 04:35
5 01:38
6 06:17
Mazurkas (3) for piano, Op. 59, CT. 86-88
7 04:39
8 02:36
9 03:23
Mazurkas (3) for piano, Op. 63, CT. 89-91
10 02:04
11 01:59
12 02:15
13 03:01
14 02:35
15 01:26
16 01:21
17 01:07
Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 67, CT. 92-95
18 01:18
19 02:05
20 01:31
21 03:28
22 01:01
23 01:44
24 01:57
Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 68, CT. 96-99
25 01:34
26 02:24
27 01:34
28 03:58
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