Classic FM Magazine - London - Jane Jones
Put together a mazurka (or 14) with a couple of waltzes, a polonaise and a nocturne, and you could argue you've got the essence of Chopin. Certainly, here's a recording that brings together most of the best loved solo piano pieces, but played by a pianist I hadn't heard of. Kiepura's avowed intent here is to demonstrate the essence of Chopin's influences and heritage-his link to his country. It's Kiepura's view that in the years Chopin lived and worked in Paris, his heart lay in his homeland.
In his selection of Chopin's works and his interpretation of them, you sense that Kiepura is as deeply affected by these influences as Chopin himself. Despite these sympathies, his playing is not overly sentimental or slushy. There's a hearty and robust attack to these familiar pieces, played by Kiepura with a jaunty and joyous feeling, touched with poignancy when needed.