News & Reviews: Patria Productions

News & Reviews - Editorial Review

Chopin is the quintessential piano composer. His works occupy a central place not only in the repertoire, but in the hearts of performers and listeners, and his music evokes a personal, individual response from everyone who plays or hears it. Not surprisingly, there is a large Chopin discography, but an addition is always welcome if the pianist has a strong feeling and affinity for the music. On this disc, Marjan Kiepura, the son of the great Polish tenor Jan Kiepura, proves that he has Chopin's style and idiom in his heart and bloodstream.

The program features primarily the mazurkas, both famous and unfamiliar, because they tend to be neglected, and because, along with the Polonaises, they are Chopin's most "Polish" compositions; they most poignantly express the yearning for his native Poland that never left him during his 18 years in Paris. He wrote mazurkas throughout his life, transforming them from a folk dance into a sophisticated art form without losing their idiomatic character. All this comes out in Kiepura's playing, which is first-rate. His technical mastery is always at the service of the music; he even makes the running passages sound like melodies. His tone is warm and singing at every dynamic level and has great variety of articulation, color, and inflection; the balance between the two hands is admirable, the rhythmic control infallible. He brings out every expressive nuance, whether poetic, dreamy, pensive, wistful, or exuberant, majestic and triumphant, and feels everything so honestly that he needs no exaggeration or sentimentality.
--Edith Eisler

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