Louis Lortie plays Chopin, Volume 7

Louis Lortie

Louis Lortie plays Chopin, Volume 7
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Louis Lortie plays Chopin, Volume 7

Louis Lortie

For the seventh volume of his Chopin project, the Canadian pianist and exclusive Chandos Artist Louis Lortie has built a programme that includes works from the earliest to the latest period in the composer’s life, all of which are linked by their evocation of ‘nationality' - Italy, Spain, and of course Chopin’s beloved Poland.

The Rondo à la Mazur, op.5, and Rondo, op.16, are examples of the longer form that was linked with the ‘brilliant' style of piano writing popular in the 1820s. Chopin soon moved away from this, in search of a more progressive compositional style. Composed around the same time as the op.16 Rondo, the Boléro, op.19, evokes the exoticism of Spain, whilst the Tarantelle, op.43, reflects the Parisian vogue for the southern Italian dance sparked by Auber’s grand opera La Muette de Portici. Now one of his most celebrated works, the Polonaise, op.53, represented for Chopin the culmination of his project, begun with the two Polonaises, op.26, to imbue the genre with powerful national symbolism.

These works are interspersed with four sets of Mazurkas, opp. 17, 30, 63, and 68. Chopin almost single-handedly introduced the Mazurka to Paris when he arrived there in the late 1820s, and continued to compose them throughout his life, transforming this Polish dance into some of his most dazzling and memorable compositions.

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