A Chopin Showcase

A personal performance of Chopin classics.

Composer: Chopin
Repertoire: The Complete Waltzes Nos. 1-19
Artists: Alexandre Tharaud (piano)
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Instrumental

Label: Harmonia Mundi HMC 901927

Hard on the heels of Stephen Kovacevich’s effortful, unidiomatic Chopin waltzes on EMI comes this young French pianist’s cycle, also played in an order of his own devising. This is an altogether more successful venture. If drama and emotion are at a premium, Tharaud is highly effective at characterising the intimate world of Parisian salons in which Chopin preferred to play, establishing a gentle rapport with the listener that is quite beguiling (despite the rather noisy pedal action). His cushioned rhythm and convincing rubato make this set highly recommendable and it is rounded off imaginatively by Mompou’s evocative Variations on a theme of Chopin.