Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Idiosyncratic & unsympathetic view of Chopin, 7 July 2009
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This review is from: Chopin - Prelude (Audio CD)
I'm not convinced at all by these performances. They open no new doors into Chopin for me, in fact they create a barrier to his spirit in all honesty. Yet they are at the same time highly personalized and idiosyncratic interpretations in their bizzare use of tempi and phrasing and especially in dynamics. OK every artist is entitled to his view of things but is it worth your time if the view adds nothing to your understanding of the composer and actually goes against the mind and soul with which you have come to know Chopin. If you consider these performances in the light of what has come before with the performances of Lipatti, Argerich, Perahia, etc. this interpretation strikes one as highly individualistic solely for narsicistic reasons, and to try something new for the sake of newness, and without any great depth of understanding of Chopin, even though Tharaud has studied and lived with Chopin's music for quite some time now. To get a better idea of Tharaud's view in these pieces, all you have to do is read his comments in the enclosed booklet, where he says, "The cycle of 24 Preludes is shot through with violence and death", thus thinking, he emphasizes the austerity, the dissonances of the bass line, and the minimalisms of these Preludes. Quite simply I don't like the view, although I can see that if you think Chopin should be played like the music of Schonberg or Webern or Berg, or if you think that the moments of torment present in these works have not been exceeded and transformed by their poetic brilliance through the capacity of artistic transformation, and that they should be played and should be presented as works which touch "the depths of hell" as André Gide has said of these pieces, without expressing how this descent into Hell is overcome by artistic transformation and poetic transendence, then you may see something positive in these performaces. See Argerich performance on DG:Chopin: Preludes / Sonata No. 2
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