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Reviews: Chopin: Nocturnes 1-21 - Jude

Reviews: 2

Review by JJ September 27, 2014 (3 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Chopin’s Nocturnes certainly gave the composer a certain celebrity, if not a definite celebrity. Numbering twenty-one, they are above all the image of an inner journey whose omnipresent melancholy, related most notably to his exile, is essential to understanding the language of these masterpieces. “Accents of infinite pain; a few bars which make you discover abysses and plunge you into immensity; the power of feelings that explode the human fiber; horrible despair; terrible despondency neighboring death…,” wrote Georges Mathias, a student of the composer. The pianist Marie-Josèphe Jude tackles the “monument” with infinite respect and remarkable humility which allows us to hear Chopin and nothing but. Rarely have a pianist’s fingers served so well the music. Her precise playing, which allows us to perfectly hear the different parts of each piece, subjugates us by a vibrant tonal truth that blankets all the Noctures with a melancholic veil. They are thus a source of emotion and musical plenitude. To her rubato moderately distilled is added a fragility of accents, offering a pianistic vision created in the moment, where the poetry of the notes seems to metamorphose into words of shattering immediacy. Here is without a doubt a reference Chopin towards which we will often return, whatever one’s mood.

Jean-Jacques Millo
Translation Lawrence Schulman

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Review by DWalcutt November 8, 2014 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is another Lyrinx piano recording with unacceptable engineering. I listened to this SACD rather late at night, and when it came to track 3 (Nocturne no. 2), it sounded like a nightmare. There is this horrible buzzing noise. Not loud but unmistakable, as if someone had thrown paper clips onto the piano strings! If I had to speculate I would say the recording level was set too high and distorted the sound. As for the performance, this is "live" and I do not mind that, personally, but the playing is very uneven. I was particularly disappointed by Nocturne no. 11, which sounded very clunky to me, perhaps one could say it lacked legato. A few other of the Nocturnes were played well indeed, but overall I could not recommend this SACD. I own both the Hyperion and the Stockfisch recordings, and between the two, this does not offer much new. Very disappointing!

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