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Rafal Blechacz

Chopin Polonaises

Deutsche Grammophon

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1 Polonaise #1 in C# minor, Op.26 #1  
2 Polonaise #2 in Eb minor, Op.26 #2  
3 Polonaise #3 in A, Op.40 #1 - Military  
4 Polonaise #4 in C minor, Op.40 #2  
5 Polonaise #5 in F# minor, Op.44  
6 Polonaise #6 in Ab, Op.53 - Heroic  
7 Polonaise #7 in Ab, Op.61 Polonaise-Fantaisie  
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Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz has just released his third recording of Chopin on Deutsche Grammophon (his fifth album for the label overall) and continues to demonstrate his rare ability to bring fresh interpretation and new insight to these works. The winner of the 2005 Chopin Competition, including a sweep of all five first prize awards, Blechacz has now recorded his interpretations of Chopin's popular and demanding Polonaises which were published during the composer's lifetime, available now.  The album has already reached Gold status in Poland.

It was with a polonaise in G minor that the seven-year-old Frédéric Chopin first appeared before the public as a composer, in Warsaw in 1817. Twenty-nine years later his career came full circle with the Polonaise-Fantaisie op.?61, one of the last works that he completed before his death. The polonez's origins lie in sung dances performed at rural weddings, but by the 17th century it had evolved into an instrumental dance popular at the courts of the Polish aristocracy before being taken up by composers such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Telemann, Joseph Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. In Chopin's hands it acquired an unprecedented formal and conceptual perfection. The experience of exile proved to be of existential significance for Chopin. It was not the gallant atmosphere of the Warsaw salons that created a bond between him and his homeland but the desire for freedom, political independence and humanity. From 1830 the Poland of mazurkas and polonaises became an increasingly remote ideal.

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