Louis Lortie Plays Chopin, Vol. 7: Mazurkas, Rondos, Polonaise, Boléro, Tarantelle

Louis Lortie

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Louis Lortie Plays Chopin, Vol. 7: Mazurkas, Rondos, Polonaise, Boléro, Tarantelle Review

by James Manheim

Louis Lortie's complete cycle of Chopin's piano works, which here reaches its seventh volume, has earned general acclaim and has justified its completeness with readings that, though they may inspire disagreement here and there, are always flexible and intelligent. This volume has a couple of the real Chopin standards, the Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, No. 4, and the Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53; the A minor Mazurka is especially sensitively phrased and will keep listeners guessing even if they know this mysterious work by heart. The album is heavy on mazurkas, and Lortie catches the variety in these, the most personal of Chopin's works. Equally attractive here, though, is the group of early Chopin works that aren't played so much. The Rondo à la Mazur, Op. 5 ("mazur" does not precisely denote a mazurka), dates from Chopin's mid-teens but already has the characteristic spirit, and nobody talks about Chopin's Boléro, but here it is; the Boléro, Op. 19, has both experimental and crowd-pleasing qualities. The unifying theme of the album is that the works are in national styles, not only Polish but French and Italian, and it is easy enough to imagine this as a program played in Chopin's own time, even if Lortie's Fazioli piano is a bit heavy for some of the more salon-oriented works. Lortie's series continues to impress.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Quatre Mazurkas, Op. 17
1 Louis Lortie 02:24 Amazon
2 Louis Lortie 01:51 Amazon
3 Louis Lortie 04:09 Amazon
4 Louis Lortie 04:31 Amazon
5 Louis Lortie 08:24 Amazon
6 Louis Lortie 07:35 Amazon
From Quatre Mazurkas, Op. 68
7 Louis Lortie 01:50 Amazon
8 Louis Lortie 02:27 Amazon
9 Louis Lortie 01:29 Amazon
10 Louis Lortie 09:40 Amazon
Quatre Mazurkas, Op. 30
11 Louis Lortie 01:32 Amazon
12 Louis Lortie 01:16 Amazon
13 Louis Lortie 02:42 Amazon
14 Louis Lortie 03:40 Amazon
15 Louis Lortie 03:22 Amazon
Trois Mazurkas, Op. 63
16 Louis Lortie 02:27 Amazon
17 Louis Lortie 01:32 Amazon
18 Louis Lortie 02:08 Amazon
19 Louis Lortie 07:45 Amazon
20 Louis Lortie 02:07 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick