Since his success at the Van Cliburn International Competition in the 1980s, Philippe Bianconi has made an international career, pursuing his musical itinerary and patiently carving out his path far from media hype.
The release of his disc of Debussy's Préludes on La Dolce Volta was one of the major recording events of the year 2012, winning a deluge of international distinctions and a nomination at the Victoires de la Musique Classique in the category 'Recording of the Year'.
First of all, it was a foregone conclusion that Bianconi's first Chopin disc would feature the ballades, given the place they've occupied for so long in my musical universe. He preferred to follow the ballades with an exploration of the later Chopin in the Fourth Scherzo and the Barcarolle. Chopin's last years display an extraordinary evolution of his musical language, with a harmonic freedom and a refinement that look far into the future.
Having recorded the complete Debussy Préludes for La Dolce Volta in 2012, Philippe Bianconi was all the more likely to be alive to the extent to which the music of Chopin opens up new perspectives and heralds the innovations of musical Impressionism. In what ways this immersion in the Debussyan universe has influenced his approach to Chopin. The great harmonic freedom Chopin discovered in the course of his career was the very foundation of the attitude of Debussy, who went on to emancipate the language of music. One can add to this point a shared love of colour, of the instrument, a physical rapport with the keyboard, which is always coaxed, never treated aggressively.
The enchanting sonorities and the density of Philippe Bianconi's interpretation make his new CD a major addition to the list of great versions of the Ballades, enhanced by the exceptional sound quality of the recording itself, to which the pianist has devoted particular attention.
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