Frédéric Chopin

Ballade for piano No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23, CT. 2

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Chopin is credited with originating the Ballade genre for the piano. The Ballade had previously been associated exclusively with the literary world; it is found in the works of Goethe, Schiller, and other poets. In this Op. 23 effort, Chopin was said to have been inspired by the poem "Konrad Wallenrod" by Adam Mickiewicz. Mickiewicz, like Chopin and many other Polish artists, lived as an exile in Paris in the 1830s. Regardless of any programmatic comments associated with the Ballade No. 1, it is almost certainly not a depiction of specific events associated with this or any other Mickiewicz poem, but rather an expression of emotions associated with them.

    The piece opens with a ponderous, somewhat hesitant introduction, and then the composer presents a melancholy theme that maintains the uncertain air of the opening. Gradually the tempo quickens, the emotional pitch turning fiery and passionate. Chopin then offers one of his most memorable melodies, a lovely, Romantic outpouring of rather simple, yet ingenious, construction: the theme revolves mainly around a three-note pattern, which sings and soars in its arch-like contour. The main theme returns briefly, but mostly to serve as a bridge; it builds up to a powerful statement of the alternate theme in one of Chopin's most passionate climactic moments in any of his works. The melody returns once again, now serene and confident in its demeanor. But a stormy and dark return of the main theme leads to a tragic and anxious ending, full of color and ambivalence. Without question, this is one of the composer's greatest compositions from his early Paris years. There would be three more Ballades, with perhaps only the Ballade No. 4, composed in 1842, equaling this first effort. Like many of Chopin's works, this First Ballade contains many technical and interpretive challenges for the soloist.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Menuetto Classics
    2018 Sony Classical 19075822932
    2018 Piano Classics PCL 10129
    2018 Divine Art DDL 12401
    2018 Erato / Warner Classics 571345
    2018 Erato 0190295611965
    2018 Prestige Performances
    2018 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 18041
    2017 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] 8501503
    2017 Decca / London
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon 4796778
    2017 Erato 0190295869205
    2017 Challenge Classics CC 72728
    2017 Decca / Eloquence ELQ 4826291
    2017 Navona Records NV 6123
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon 4797371
    2017 Hungaroton HCD 3280304
    2016 MSR Classics MS 1616
    2016 Chandos CHAN 10902
    2016 Melodiya MELCD 1002399
    2016 Sheva Collection SH 148
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon / Mercury Classics B002456802
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95210BR
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795941
    2016 Erato 0190295974961
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4796068
    2016 Sonoma 1482849
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4796277
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 002894795516
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon B002436502
    2016 MSR Classics MS 1626
    2016 Solo Musica SM 246
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795404
    2016 Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution 88875032272
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4796724
    2016 Oehms Classics OC 1835
    2016 Piano Classics PCLM 0104
    2016 Sony Classical 88875183392
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4795448
    2015 Menuetto Classics
    2015 Navona Records NV 5992
    2015 Simax Classics PSC 1347
    2015 Klanglogo / Rondeau KL1408
    2015 Divine Art DDC 25752
    2015 My Music 5034774
    2015 RCA Red Seal / Sony Classical 88875127202
    2015 Centaur Records CRC 3427
    2015 K-Tel 136447
    2015 Dux Records DUX 985
    2015 Blue Griffin Recording BG 305
    2015 Sony Classical 88843062432
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4794647
    2015 Sony Classical 88843054582
    2015 Yarlung Records YAR 42482
    2014 Steinway & Sons STNS 30038
    2014 CAvi-music 8553267
    2014 Prestige Performances
    2014 Melodiya MELCD 1002234
    2014 La Dolce Volta LDV 14
    2014 Paraty PARATY 112110
    2014 Praga PRDDSD 350110
    2014 Eudora 1402
    2014 GPR Records GPR 10014
    2014 Nimbus Alliance NI 6275
    2014 Naïve V 5394
    2014 Three Oranges Recordings 3OR 16
    2014 Three Oranges Recordings
    2013 ICA Classics ICAC 5095
    2013 RCA Red Seal 88725484402
    2013 Fondamenta FON 1005008
    2013 Sleeveless SVE 1002
    2013 LP Classics 1009AB
    2013 Piano Classics PCL 0049
    2013 Decca 4785691
    2013 Decca
    2013 Broken Audio BRAU 0992
    2013 Oehms Classics OC 894
    2013 Verso VRS 2096
    2013 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD 700
    2013 Warner Classics 2564651479
    2013 Meridian Records MER 84588
    2013 Newton Classics 8802189
    2013 Sony Classical 88883768602
    2013 Mood Media Entertainment 60261
    2013 RCA Red Seal / Sony Classical 88725462392
    2013 Decca 4785093
    2013 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099901924
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099970490
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD 026
    2012 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD 211
    2012 Hänssler Classic CD 94612
    2012 Fryderyk Chopin Institute FCS 30
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099967870
    2012 Decca 4783352
    2012 Decca
    2012 Entertainment Group 1544
    2012 Entertainment Group 1114
    2012 Entertainment Group 1166
    2012 Entertainment Group 1144
    2012 Belmondo 53
    2012 Oehms Classics OC 402
    2012 Bridge BRIDGE 9374AB
    2012 Chandos CHAN 10714
    2012 Sony Classical 88691912562
    2012 Centaur Records CRC 3172
    2012 Sony Music 88765420812
    2011 Li-Sem Enterprises DKM 601
    2011 RCA Red Seal 886919369120
    2011 Yarlung Records YAR 79580
    2011 TGG Direct 60262
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon 4779908
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    2011 Bridge BRIDGE 9359
    2011 Newton Classics 8802047
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD 612
    2011 Newton Classics 8808083
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 BR Klassik / Tudor Records 7157
    2011 Disc Makers 1019115
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    2011 Cembal d'amour CD 160
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    2011 Northquest 315002
    2011 Pro Piano PPR 2245112765
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    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099902831428
    2010 Denon Records
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    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 435622
    2010 Mirare 110
    2010 Classic FM / Decca CFMFW 122
    2010 Naïve V 5215
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    2010 Triton 58
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    2010 Avi-Music 8553183
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    2010 Doremi Records 7920
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    2010 Graham H. Jackson Music GHLM 005
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    2009 Fabula Classica 12084
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    2008 ZYX Classics 100522
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    2008 DRYCASTLE records 5637301323
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    2008 Viennasound / VRS VRC KCD 1727
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4270182
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    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4776656
    2008 Claves 2713/18
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920653
    2007 Bluthner 10011
    2007 Aura Music 223042
    2007 Naxos 8571090
    2007 Classic Mania 93320
    2007 HDC 40300
    2007 Decca
    2007 JRI Recordings (formerly Jupiter) / JRI Recordings 113
    2007 Apex
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93528
    2007 Dal Segno 031
    2007 Harmonia Mundi 2908250
    2007 Medici Classics (formerly Monarch) 50019
    2007 Danacord 657
    2007 Radiance Records 17648
    2007 Verdi Music 5658912
    2007 KRB 8187
    2007 Simply / Union Square Music 47
    2007 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2007 Deutsche Grammophon 4776626
    2007 Denon Records 17653
    2007 Denon Records 17637
    2007 Decca
    2006 Harmonia Mundi 901943
    2006 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) 41429
    2006 Brilliant 99802
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 4762158
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000626002
    2006 Document 223012
    2006 Crystonyx Productions 1003
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 4776370
    2006 Idis 6495
    2006 Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. / WEA 5101135042
    2006 Cambria 1070
    2006 Brilliant Classics 92235
    2006 Globe Records 5162
    2006 MDG MDG645 1402-2
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000743502
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000764972
    2006 Decca 000734002
    2006 Decca
    2006
    Ton
    Encora ENC 003
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 477 5469
    2005 Sony Music Distribution 89698
    2005 Fleur de Son 57968
    2005 Eroica Distribution 3268
    2005 Artemis Classics 1640
    2005 Rca Red Seal 72554
    2005 Hyperion CDH55182
    2005 Hungaroton 32271
    2005 Classical Records 053
    2005 Urania 4230
    2005 Ivory Records IVCD75001
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Platinum Entertainment 3772
    2005 Platinum Entertainment 37712
    2005 Urania 4239
    2005 Brilliant 92614
    2005 Radiance Records 17480
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 VAI Audio 1243
    2005 Andromeda 5002
    2004 Pearl 209
    2004 Decca 4762741
    2004 Haenssler 98472
    2004 Hyperion 67456
    2004 EMI Music Distribution 85511
    2004 Testament 1335
    2004 Harmonia Mundi 905260
    2004 Andante AND1150
    2004 St. Clair 93912
    2004 Sony Classical 92743
    2004 Brilliant 92122
    2004 Deutsche Grammophon 000193202
    2004 Denon Records / SLG/Radiance² 17419
    2004 Denon Records 17389
    2004 Centurion Classics 2111
    2004 St. Clair 93922
    2004 Pierian 0022
    2004 RCA Red Seal 61396
    2004 Denon Records 17378
    2004 Denon Records / Savoy Jazz 17334
    2004 Denon Records / Radiance Records 17371
    2003 Musicians Showcase 1072
    2003 Philips 473461
    2003 Archipel 92
    2003 Aura Records 208
    2003 Bayer Records 100348
    2003 Decca 000054802
    2003 Monarch Records 2005
    2003 Forlane 126817
    2003 ASV 6142
    2003 EMI Classics
    2003 EMI Classics / Angel Records 62667
    2003 EMI Classics
    2003 Philips 475029
    2003 EMI Classics
    2003 Decca 000477
    2003 AIX Entertainment 80014
    2003 Urania 229
    2003 Sony Classical 93023
    2003 Urania 232
    2003 Sony Music Distribution 90428
    2003 Brilliant 92117
    2003 Sony Classical 93039
    2003 RCA / RCA Victor 64017
    2003 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Distribution 472883
    2003 Deutsche Grammophon 000001602
    2003 Hungaroton 31679
    2002 BBC Music 4105
    2002 Vox 90110
    2002 Deutsche Grammophon 469350
    2002 Rca Red Seal 93063
    2002 Delta Distribution 14583
    2002 St. Clair 3076
    2002 Egrem 364
    2002 BCI-Eclipse Distribution 524
    2002 Hyperion 67285
    2002 APR (Appian) 5623
    2002 Praga 356020-34
    2002 London 43947
    2002 Sony Classical 87739
    2002 Aura Classics 2002
    2002 Andante 2980
    2001 Musicians Showcase 1057
    2001 APR (Appian) 5575
    2001 Aura Classics 0231
    2001 Decca
    2001 Tudor Records 720
    2001 Forlane 16785
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 67549
    2001 RCA 68008
    2001 St. Clair 7334
    2001 Classica d'Oro 3021
    2001 Apex 7406472
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 74291
    2001 Classica d'Oro 3024
    2001 BIS 1160
    2001 Supraphon 35832
    2001 Supraphon 35802
    2001 Disky 70678
    2001 Aura Classics 0158
    2001 Sony Classical 89765
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63045
    2001 Classica d'Oro 3023
    2001 Vox 5178
    2001 114
    2001 Lifestyles 315017
    2000 Aura Classics 0221
    2000 Intersound 1772
    2000 Naxos 503066
    2000 Channel Crossings 15998
    2000 Arkadia 78509
    2000 Amadis 7022
    2000 Decca 466499
    2000 RS 18
    2000 Naxos 554046
    2000 Amadis 7172
    2000 Philips / Universal Distribution 464025
    2000 Intersound 2898
    2000 Music & Arts CD1060
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    2000 Angel Records 73656
    2000 Doremi Records 7765
    2000 St. Clair 30512
    2000 Aura Classics 2000
    2000 Chanterelle 2702
    2000 Eroica Distribution 3015
    2000 Platinum Disc / Platinum Entertainment 521
    2000 St. Clair 30162
    2000 Decca / Universal Distribution 466357
    2000 Dux Records 05100511
    2000 Cypres Records 9609
    2000 Americus Records 19991009
    1999 Helicon Records 1047
    1999 The Piano Library 245
    1999 Philips 456847
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 463 047-2GCE17
    1999 Aura Classics 0135
    1999 Grammofono 2000 78862
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 459683
    1999 Agora Musica 146
    1999 Naxos 554527
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    1999 Aura Classics 0211
    1999 Naxos 501501
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    1999 RCA 63259
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    1999 Philips 462232
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    1999 Pearl 0068
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    1999 Madacy 9503
    1999 Platinum Disc / Platinum Entertainment 1831
    1999 Grammofono 2000 78945
    1999 RCA Red Seal 63000
    1999 BMG 7432163471
    1998 Praga 256003
    1998 Koch International Classics 7411
    1998 Penguin Classics 460614
    1998 RCM 19702
    1998 Masterpiece 90009
    1998 Four Winds 3006
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 459 070-2GCC11
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 459053
    1998 Philips 456922
    1998 Aca Digital 20010
    1997 Sony Music Distribution 63380
    1997 Biddulph Recordings 020
    1997 London 452579
    1997 Madacy 8829
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    1997 Nimbus 1764
    1997 London 443738
    1996 Testament 2088
    1996 Revere 964
    1996 Carlton 00142
    1996 Camerata Records 32CM159
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    1996 CBC Records 1092
    1996 Lydian 18022
    1996 Carlton 00992
    1996 Melodiya 40116
    1996 London 444830
    1996 Naxos 504010
    1996 Sony Music Distribution 62415
    1996 Praga 354001.15
    1996 APR (Appian) 5555
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    1995 MusicMasters 67124
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    1995 Chandos CHAN9353
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    1995 Royal Classics 6455
    1995 APR (Appian) 7009
    1995 Philips 446 145-2PM2
    1994 Naxos 550508
    1994 BIS 197
    1994 Disques Pierre Verany 730017
    1994 Teldec 95499
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    1994 Pearl 9108
    1994 Sony Classical 53465
    1994 Sony Classical Essential Classics 53461
    1994 Teldec 4509-94529-2
    1993 Pearl 9386
    1993 Erato 45990
    1993 Denon Records 1786
    1993 Hyperion 66577
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 64354
    1993 Naxos 505016
    1993 Praga 250042
    1993 ASV CDQS6095
    1993 RCA 61414
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon 439520
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    1993 VAI Audio 1020
    1993 Sony Classical Essential Classics 53456
    1993 Nimbus 1787
    1992 Nimbus 5209
    1992 Arabesque 6630
    1992 Music & Arts CD-717
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 67359
    1991 RCA 60830
    1991 RCA Gold Seal 60376
    1991 RCA 60770
    1991 RCA Victor GD60822
    1990 Decca / London 4177982
    1990 Deutsche Grammophon 423090
    1990 CBS Records 42306
    1990 RCA 7752
    1984 Deutsche Grammophon 4134492
    Beulah 1PD4
    Vox 9031
    Pearl 9132
    Alexander Djordjevic
    Monopoly 2032
    Dante 014
    Gemini Collection 604
    State Classical 9
    EMI Music Distribution 339280
    Cetra 01
    Aura Music 208
    Music & Arts 924
    Ermitage 303
    RFCM Symphony Orchestra
    Musical Heritage Society 513777
    Fabula Classica 12077
    Philips 468391
    Public Music Inc. 1027
    RCA 902661717
    IC Records
    Ermitage 122
    Testigo 10140
    EMI Music Distribution 66273
    London 443947/2
    The Piano Library 905819
    Dante 42
    Ades 14076
    Deutsche Grammophon 431589
    Green House 1014
    Brilliant 92117/3
    REM 311072
    Vox Allegretto 8151
    Music Memoria 30268
    Pyramid Records 13507
    London 417474
    Aura Music 211
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 274
    Teldec 174781
    BBC Music Magazine 57
    EMI Classics 54416
    Brilliant 99802/13
    Accord 202452
    Fryderyk Chopin Institute 3
    Deutsche Grammophon 431579
    Dux Records 642
    Digital Masterworks 71816
    Mandala Studio
    Masters of the Millennium 2003
    Classical Collection 3
    EMI Music Distribution 69004
    EMI Music Distribution 74457
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    EXT 3015
    EXL 4302
    Cetra 2002
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    ProMusica 5327
    Decca 417729
    EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 7224222
    Philips Classics 426817
    Zephyr 14010
    RCA Red Seal 60480
    Polskie Nagrania 002
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    Musique d'Or 1049
    Music & Arts 609
    EMI Music Distribution 69799B
    Biddulph Recordings 1
    Crystonyx Productions 1003
    Isophon 90681
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    Allegro Corporation 001
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    Laserlight 14065
    Capriccio Records 7042
    The Piano Library 301
    Fone 08
    Classico 2012
    Rca Red Seal 4572
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    Klavier Records 11014
    As Disc 123
    Music from Sotheby's 2
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    Ermitage 150
    Great Artists 7007
    Dante 9661
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    Round Top Records 8615
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    RCA Victor 60822
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    The Piano Library 235
    Melodiya 25172
    Classic CD 118
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