Lortie’s Chopin

Louis Lortie plays Chopin: Volume 2

This is Volume 2 in a series of solo piano works by Chopin, played by the French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie

My sense is that Louis Lortie is one of the best interpreters of Chopin today. He first recorded Chopin’s Études more than twenty years ago; Volume 1 of his current Chopin series has received excellent reviews. I generally don’t care for CD’s that have 100% Nocturnes. And in this recording, I appreciated that Mr. Lortie included the four Ballades, a Berceuse and a Barcarolle as a change of pace.

The selections are:


  • Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2
  • Nocturne No. 4 in F major, Op. 15 No. 1
  • Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2
  • Nocturne No. 6 in G minor, Op. 15 No. 3
  • Nocturne No. 13 in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1
  • Nocturne No. 15 in F minor, Op. 55 No. 1
  • Ballades Nos. 1-4
  • Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57
  • Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60

Performed by Louis Lortie, piano

Historically, the Ballade was associated with French poetry up until the mid-nineteenth century, when Chopin was among the first to transform it into a purely musical form for solo piano. His four ballades, recorded here, are among his most extraordinary and powerful works, full of dramatic contrasts, with moments of lyrical tenderness followed by passages of great energy.

The Irish composer John Field originally conceived the piano nocturne as a lyrical and dreamy short piece, a charming creation that was later transformed and extended by Chopin into something with a much wider emotional range.

Composed towards the end of his life, the Barcarolle (originally a Venetian gondolier’s song) for solo piano is a melancholy, but sweepingly romantic work that conjures up strong images of Venetian boats, water, and oars. Also on this disc is the Berceuse (inspired by the traditional mood of the lullaby), based around a single four-bar theme which Chopin ornaments in increasingly elaborate ways as the piece develops.

Here is Louis Lortie performing Chopin’s Etude Op 10 No 3



And here we have Louis Lortie playing Chopin Etudes Op.25 No.8-12



Tags: Louis Lortie, pianist, Chopin, Nocturnes, Ballades, Berceuse, Barcarolle

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