V7: Louis Lortie Plays Chopin

Album cover art for upc 095115224120
Catalog: CHAN 20241

Louis Lortie

For the seventh volume of his Chopin project, the Canadian pianist and exclusive Chandos Artist Louis Lortie has built a program that includes works from the earliest to the latest periods in the composer’s life, all of which are linked by their evocation of ‘nationality’ – Italy, Spain and of course Chopin’s beloved Poland. The Rondo à la Mazur, Op. 5 and the Rondo, Op. 16 are examples of this longer form that was linked with the ‘brilliant’ style of piano writing popular in the 1820’s. Chopin soon moved away from this style, in search of a more progressive compositional style. Composed around the same time as the Op. 16 Rondo, the Boléro, Op. 19 evokes the exoticism of Spain, whilst the Tarantella Op. 43 reflects the Parisian vogue for the southern Italian dance sparked by Auber’s grand opera ‘La Muette de Portici’. Now one of his most celebrated works, the Polonaise, Op. 53 represented for Chopin the culmination of his project, begun with the two Polonaises, Op. 26, to imbue the genre with powerful national symbolism. These works are interspersed with four sets of Mazurkas, Opp. 17, 30, 63, and 68. Chopin almost single-handedly introduced the Mazurka to Paris when he arrived there in the late 1820s, and continued to compose them throughout his life, transforming the Polish dance form into some of his most dazzling and memorable compositions.

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