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Paris-born Gasparian offers a fine Chopin recital to follow his debut album of Russian music. The Ballades are heard sequentially, leading to a series of smaller works that culminate in the ‘Heroic’ Polonaise and Polonaise-Fantaisie.

In Gasparian’s hands the First Ballade is a multi-faceted jewel that ebbs and flows with impeccable technique. Parts of the Second are very beautiful, yet Gasparian’s eye is on the large-scale and he draws full effect from the placatory coda. The Third is given a peaceful and spacious reading, while the Fourth, the trickiest interpretatively, plays to Gasparian’s reflective strengths.

The Nocturne Op 48/1 is a miniature tone-poem and fits logically into this interpretative context, leading to a glistening pair of waltzes (E minor and Op 34/3) – the former bathed in moonlight, the second in sun. A crepuscular D-flat Nocturne is contrasted with a suitably muscular Polonaise, and the Polonaise- Fantaisie is full of exquisite mystery.

Gasparian’s Steinway is superbly recorded. A major Chopin release.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2019 - ©Rhinegold Publishing