In the early volumes in his Chandos series of the piano works of Frédéric Chopin, Louis Lortie placed an emphasis on the organization of his programs, whether by alternating work types or playing off-key relationships, which gave a certain theoretical coherence to his programs. In this fourth volume, which consists of 19 waltzes and 5 nocturnes, there isn't really a clear pattern to the ordering of the pieces but simply an interplay of contrasting moods. Lortie's Chopin encompasses a wide range of expressions, from the melancholy and poignant to the flashy and exuberant, yet in the course of this album, he keeps the music's emotions in a constant ebb and flow, and no single character dominates for long. It's helpful that Lortie can play anything brilliantly and his technique is always well concealed under his artistry, so the waltzes are easy to appreciate for their elegance and charm, with scarcely a thought to how they are organized. Even so, the handful of nocturnes at the end serve as a reminder that they, and the nocturnes on the first three volumes, will not have their own volume, which is a pity, since it would be fascinating to see what kind of schematic Lortie would make of them.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson