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The Rite of Spring As It Really Was

Chopin: Ballade #2

Weekend Music

Several years ago my friend Robert sent me a CD of the Chopin Ballades played by Krystian Zimerman. It disappeared among a welter of home-burned CDs that I was having a lot of trouble keeping track of, and then was forgotten, until Robert mentioned it to me a few weeks ago. I found the disk and listened several times to the first three ballades (there are four). They're wonderful.

I didn't previously know this music. Not being a connoisseur of piano playing, I can't compare Zimerman's version to others, but it is certainly very good, and the recorded sound is magnificent.  I'll have to buy the CD now. 

So far Ballade #2 is my favorite. It might be just as well not to watch this video, as to my rude eyes Zimerman's looks and mannerisms seem almost like a philistine parody of the classical musician from the days when "longhair" meant intellectual and aesthete. Zimerman was born in 1956, so I would guess this video is from sometime in the 1980s. (Yes, 1987, apparently.)



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I like Chopin, but I don't know the Ballades well at all (I like the Nocturnes and Preludes). I'll have to check these out.

The Preludes and a few of the Nocturnes, as well as the ubiquitous piano concerto, were all I knew until I heard these. They rock.

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