Sony classical / 2018

Chopin: Ballades & 3 Nocturnes

Andsnes is not interested in being different, just in being honest. Yes, there is pain. But only where Chopin writes it. And it is offset by myriad beauties of tone and understanding. A delectable disc.

– BBC Music Magazine *****

Leif Ove Andsnes’ last release of rare Sibelius piano works was universally acclaimed by critics worldwide. Now comes a release of very popular solo piano works by Chopin. The album includes all four famous Ballades interspersed with shorter Nocturnes.
Andsnes intentionally inserted the Nocturnes between the Ballades to serve as a ‘breather’ to the epic nature of the Ballades. In doing so he breaks with the tradition of performing and recording the ballades as a cycle.

This recording is a long-held dream come true for Andsnes, who has wanted to record the Ballades ever since discovering them as a teenager and instantly falling in love with them. These epic works have accompanied him and his career ever since. This is his first recording of Chopin works in 25 years.

Track Listing
1. Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23
2. Nocturne No. 4 in F major, Op. 15 No. 1
3. Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38
4. Nocturne No. 13 in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1
5. Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47
6. Nocturne No. 17 in B major, Op. 62 No. 1
7. Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52
Listen on Spotify
Andsnes’ accounts are beautifully phrased, smooth…as if one were eavesdropping on the pianist’s private reverie. Andsnes’ programme makes a satisfying whole. Strongly recommended.
International Piano