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Chopin Reminiscences - Pizarro - The Guardian


11 March 2005
The Guardian
Tim Ashley
4 Stars

There's nothing especially surprising about the programme for Artur Pizarro's Chopin recital, which gathers together some of the most popular valses, nocturnes and mazurkas, with the Op 53 A Flat Polonaise and the Op 31 B Minor Scherzo thrown in for good measure. Pizarro's playing is distinctive, however: lean and muscular, rather than sentimentally refined. Occasionally, he veers towards a mood of dark, high Romanticism more associated with Liszt than Chopin, but his approach pays off in the brooding introspection of his performances of the nocturnes, while there's an earthiness in some of the valses and mazurkas that reflects on their origins in folk music. Only the A Flat Polonaise, heavy- handed and rhythmically wayward, doesn't really work.
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