- 24 Preludes and Piano Sonata No. 2
Jean-Philippe Collard returns to perform the music of Chopin after 33 years of silence. It has taken him decades to feel comfortable with the composer. Today he is confident in his approach to this repertory, and he has no qualms about his interpretative options.
There are countless versions of these pieces but Jean-Philippe Collard has not sought to measure himself against them, and his approach to the composer’s music is honest and totally sincere. Chopin represents a genuine challenge, for which Jean-Philippe Collard has identified a style that is his alone.
We get to hear the following:
- Preludes (24), Op. 28
- Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 ‘Marche funèbre’
Performed by Jean-Philippe Collard (piano)
Jean-Philippe Collard is a well-known figure to the French public, a great favorite with audiences in the United States, and he has played with the top conductors and orchestras all over the world.
Still as unaffected as ever, he’s more likely to talk of his private happiness than his public successes:
“Whatever the repertory I tackle, my priority has always been piano sound. I look for what the pianist Samson François called the ‘Blue Note’, that is to say, the ideal note at the ideal moment. The note in all its plenitude. Once you gain control of the sound, you can control the discourse, the momentum of the musical phrase. The experience of recording allows you to go still further in that quest. Paradoxically, recordings are responsible for a certain uniformity of sound. When I was young, I could recognize the greatest pianists by their sound. Today, unfortunately, piano playing is dominated by a kind of linearity.”
Here is Mr. Collard in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto #2:
And next, here is Mr. Collard, playing Chopin on an out of tune upright piano, out of doors at a Paris train station:
Tags: Frederick Chopin, Jean-Philippe Collard, Sonata, Preludes