Horacio Gutiérrez – Chopin and Schumann

Sometimes liner notes can make a difference. In the booklet for this release, Stephen Wigler suggested that Chopin’s Op. 28 Preludes might be considered a single cycle comprised of very short works, as opposed to a collection of 24 self-contained preludes.

While they certainly work as the former, the idea that each prelude was part of a larger whole gave me insight into Horacio Gutiérrez’s performance. And what a performance!

Gutiérrez, as befitting an artist with such a long career, plays with a comfortable familiarity. Technical difficulties have been mastered long ago — what’s important is the underlying musicality, and that’s what Gutiérrez brings to the fore.

Listening to the set as a single continuous work helped me understand some of his interpretive choices. Each prelude seemed to flow logically into the other.

The “Raindrops” prelude is slow, but not too slow. It provides a satisfying balance between the allegro of the D-flat minor prelude before it, and the presto con fuoco outburst of the B-flat minor that follows.

The Schumann Fantasie, Op. 17 is played with the same mature sensitivity. It’s a beautiful performance that I’ll be returning to again and again.

Frederic Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op. 28
Robert Schumann, Fantasie, Op. 17 
Horacio Gutiérrez, piano
Bridge Records 9479

More Recent Posts

  • Harry Partch Sonata Dementia – More, Please

    Tags: , , , ,

    I’ve always loved the music of Harry Partch. These new recordings by Bridge Records do a tremendous service to the world of music. Hearing the Partch ensemble perform with copies of Partch’s original hand-made instruments. That’s important because it means these instruments can really be played, not handled like irreplaceable museum pieces. And the Partch […]

  • Eli Cook at Offbeat Roadhouse, Aug 30

    Tags: , , , ,

    Blues man Eli Cook will pull into Offbeat Roadhouse on Friday night, August 30, from 8-9 for an acoustic concert which will also be broadcast on WTJU. Sure you could listen on the radio (91.1 FM) or on-line, and even video stream it, but concerts always sound better with you as part of the studio audience. Offbeat Roadhouse takes place each Friday […]

  • Atlantic Weekly closes out its Charlottesville City Market season, Aug 24

    Tags: , , ,

    Coming up this Saturday morning, August 24, from 8 til noon, Atlantic Weekly returns to close out its season at Charlottesville City Market.  Besides the usual great music and conversation with some of the local vendors,  there will be live music from The Weedeaters! While you can of course just listen on WTJU as usual, come on out and […]

  • Carl Czerny Piano Trios Brilliantly Entertaining

    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    Five piano trio receive their world recording premiers with this release. In a sense, it’s not that big a deal. Carl Czerny wrote over 1,000 works, over 800 of them published. There are still many, many Czerny works awaiting their first recording. The trios presented here are certainly worthy of attention. The 1830 Deux Trios […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 8/20/2019

    New Jazz Adds – 8/20/2019 Erik Applegate & Time Child – Woodstock! (Artist Alliance): “On their new album WOODSTOCK!, bassist/composer Erik Applegate and TimeChild celebrate the music and spirit of the watershed festival which sees its 50th Anniversary this year. A mix of original songs and reinterpretations of pieces performed that seminal weekend, the band […]

  • New Blues News – 8/20/2019

    New Blues News – 8/20/2019 Arthur Adams – Here to make you Feel Good (Cleopatra Blues): This appears to be Arthur Adams ninth release. He has a smooth approach which would best qualify as blue soul. He has a mellow voice and creates a pleasant sound throughout. He wrote or co-wrote each song. Backing musicians […]