Ivan Moravec Plays Chopin, Vol.2 (The Four Ballades, Five Mazurkas)
Ivan Moravec's Chopin is always compelling. He makes each one of the Ballades into a compelling story, reinforcing his imaginative approach to the music with superb tonal and dynamic resources. Each of the Mazurkas also becomes an individual experience, with rhythmic shadings as effective as the tonal shadings. Since there is only one other recording of a single Ballade by Moravec, and the five Mazurkas he recorded for Vox are all different from the ones here, the disc becomes a compelling item for Moravec fans and pianophiles in general, even though it contains only 54:39 of music. The late sixties recordings still sound wonderful. --Leslie Gerber
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I think the moment I realized that Moravec was the genuine article was when I first heard this 4th Ballade (on the original LP). It alternately made my hair stand on end and my eyes well up with tears. No other recording that I know gets so close to the soul of this very soulful masterpiece.
The Mazurkas are food for the soul any time of day or night. Moravec loves to play them as encores, and they are perfect vehicles for his gift of concentrated poetry: each little piece is an incredibly compressed universe, capable of every possible emotion. Since I don't get to hear a Moravec recital nearly often enough, this CD is a basic necessity of life for me.