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Sokolov: Chopin – Etudes op.25, Sonata no.2 op.35 (FLAC)

Sokolov: Chopin - Etudes op.25, Sonata no.2 op.35 (FLAC)

Sokolov: Chopin - Etudes op.25, Sonata no.2 op.35 (FLAC)

Composer: Fryderyk Chopin
Performer: Grigory Sokolov
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Opus 111
Size: 228 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, CT. 202
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Grigory Sokolov

# Etudes (12) for piano, Op. 25, CT. 26-37
Composed by Fryderyk Chopin
with Grigory Sokolov

01. Son No.2 in b flat, Op.35: I. Grave. Doppio Movt
02. Son No.2 in b flat, Op.35: II. Scherzo
03. Son No.2 in b flat, Op.35: III. Marche Funebre
04. Son No.2 in b flat, Op.35: IV. Presto
05. Etudes, Op.25: No.1 Allegro Sostenuto
06. Etudes, Op.25: No.2 Presto
07. Etudes, Op.25: No.3 Allegro
08. Etudes, Op.25: No.4 Agitato
09. Etudes, Op.25: No.5 Vivace. Piu Lento
10. Etudes, Op.25: No.6 Allegro
11. Etudes, Op.25: No.7 Lento
12. Etudes, Op.25: No.8 Vivace
13. Etudes, Op.25: No.9 Assai Allegro
14. Etudes, Op.25: No.10 Allegro Con Fuoco
15. Etudes, Op.25: No.11 Lento
16. Etudes, Op.25: No.12 Allegro Molto E Con Fuoco

Extraordinary Chopin

Sokolov’s Chopin on CD runs to two disks — the preludes and this disk. Both are essential acquisitions. This disk is based on live performances from 1985 in Russia and 1992 in Paris. The Sonata opens the disk. It is a performance of extraordinary intensity — one of the most dramatic and heartbreaking ever recorded, from its stern opening to its ghostly ending. It nonetheless achieves its intensity without distorting the musical fabric as Kissin does in his recent recording of this work. The first and second movements are fiery, but this passion makes way for the poignant lyric theme in the first movement and the trio in the second. The funeral march is very broad and solemn, one of the longest on disk. It doesn’t quite match the vehemence Fiorentino and Rachmaninov (the latter using Rubinstein’s dynamics) brought to the work, but there is no other recording that comes close. The finale is, as I said, ghostly, modernistic and ambiguous. In short, a performance of surpassing excellence.
The Etudes are in the same class. All too often one hears Etudes performed as exercises in virtuosity, played dramatically, but without the depth that induces one to return to them. This is very much the antidote for that sort of playing. Sokolov’s performances sound completely original, the product of years of lavished attention. The “fun” pieces, like the G flat, come off with wit and elegance. Even in the most ferociously demanding pages, he emerges triumphant, and no. 12 brings the set to a triumphant close — for once, not an anticlimax after the Winter Wind has blown out. Although it’s a pity we don’t have his op. 10, this disk is surely on the shortest of short lists of great Chopin playing. I also recommend the Fiorentino Newport recital, and Sofronitsky’s Chopin disk in the GPE

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