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Performed on an 1847 Pleyel (the make favoured by Chopin himself), this is one of the most significant Chopin recital discs on an original instrument. Single-escapement Pleyels have a light sound and the ability to convey the bel canto cantabile at the heart of Chopin’s writing.

Rutkowski’s performances are remarkable. He studied recordings by pianists directly in line to Chopin (Koczalski and Rosenthal, both students of Mikuli); the surprising glissando that concludes the‘Black Keys’ Étude in G-flat Op10/5 was inspired by Rosenthal.

The Ballade in G minor is of intense muscularity and great intelligence. Rutkowski integrates a free rubato, sensitivity to harmonic shading and a sense of abandon in his playing, rarely encountered in the studio. The sense of adventure is palpable.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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