Even now, performances of the masterpieces of the 19th-century piano repertoire on keyboards of the composer’s time are not exactly commonplace, and when Cyril Huvé made his recordings of Chopin’s four Scherzos and four Ballades in 1991, they would have been much rarer still. When it was released on Erato the following year, though, Huvé’s disc seems to have attracted surprisingly little attention, despite the extraordinary significance of the two meticulously restored 19th-century instruments on which it is performed. Reissued now, it seems to me an important and utterly fascinating disc.
For the first two Scherzos and first two Ballades, composed between 1831 and 1838, Huvé uses a Pleyel from 1828, thought to be the oldest surviving piano made by the company and identical to the one that Chopin played during his early years in Paris. For the remaining pieces, which date from 1839 to 1842, he switches to a piano from the other leading French maker of the time, Érard, an instrument made in 1838 that Chopin is known to have selected for one of his pupils.Continue reading...
Thu Dec 13 16:00:15 CET 2018