Chopin Vol. 3 Adolfo Barabino – CR5585


“Billed as Volume 3 in a projected com­plete recording of all of Chopin’s piano works, this recent release fully maintains the high interpretative standards displayed by this gifted artist earlier”

 “His phrasing and tone-colour in the second subjects of the Sonata’s first and second movements are wholly compelling, and his finished tech­nique is fully up to the demands of the more virtuosic passages”

 “This is a distinguished issue, possessing recorded piano tone of exceptional quality”


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If we draw a parallel between Chopin’s sound world and an old master’s colour pallet, we could say that he modulated sound much the same way as the artist treated light and created atmosphere.

The sounds produced by some of the world’s legendary musicians of the past when the bow of a violin touches the string or the living breath of the musician passes through a wind instrument are equalled under the subtle touch of Chopin’s masterful hands, purveying misty fluidity, his hidden, secret use of the pedal, adding further to the magic.

He appeared hardly to touch the piano; one might have thought the instrument superfluous but actually he has discovered how to give a piano a soul.

From his earliest youth, the richness of his improvisations was astonishing. Chopin’s most beautiful finished compositions are merely reflections and echoes of his improvisations. It is evidently something like comparing the sketch of a painting to the finished masterpiece.

In keeping time, Chopin was inexorable and some readers will be surprised to learn that the metronome never left his piano, but what characterised his playing was “Rubato”. In Chopin’s “Rubato” the left hand playing the accompaniment, should maintain strict time, while the melodic line should enjoy freedom of expression with fluctuations of speed. This is quite feasible, you could be early or you could be late, the two hands are not in phase, then you magically compensate re-establishing the ensemble. He often said to his pupils: “the Left hand is the Choir Master, it shouldn’t relent or bend, do with the right hand what you want and what you can…”
Rubato was the pinnacle of his art, but “when” and “where” to implement it?
It is like asking a violinist how and where to play with “Vibrato”
Maybe we should leave the answer to our soul.
© 2014 Adolfo Barabino.