Robert Silverman. Pianist.
Robert Silverman. Pianist.

Robert's Discs

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Chopin's Last Waltz

Chopin's Last Waltz

Chopin's final works in a variety of genres


A collection of Chopin's final essays in a variety of forms: the last nocturne, the last mazurka, the 4th Ballade, the Op. 45 Prelude, and the singular (therefore final) Fantaisie in F minor. Plus, of course the last waltz published in his lifetime. What an array of masterpieces!
BEST OF THE MONTH  (Stereophile, February 2018)


Fantaisie in F minor, Op. 49
Valse in A flat, Op. 64/3
Prelude in C# Minor, Op. 45
Nocturne in A flat, Op. 62/2
Mazurka in C# minor, Op. 63/3
Mazurka in F minor, Op. 68/4
Ballade in F Minor, Op. 52


Silverman's Chopin is an unqualified success. Although every composition presented here is a familiar selection from Chopin's oeuvre, Silverman's conceptions of them delve deeply into the composer's inherent passions for his music and his love of melody. The overall architecture of Silverman's playing is solid and sure. Taken at slow tempos, the well-known Fantasie in f, Op.49, particularly its placid Adagio, benefits from Silverman's deft, lingering touch. Perfectly projected, his statements are captured in ravishing, exquisitely balanced Direct Stream Digital (DSD) sound.

Silverman is known as a deeply thoughtful artist, guided by music's structure and emotion rather than mere flashy technical displays. That's not to say Silverman doesn't have the technical minerals. Just listen to his complete sets of the Beethoven and Mozart Sonata for proof of a wonderful technique. (Stereophile)

And here with Chopin, an artist needs both; interpretation and chops. Best bring your A Game as you'll be competing with the very best in both performance and recording. Silverman does bring both with his latest recording, produced and recorded by Ray Kimber and his crack team from Kimber Cable. Much of the music composed by the sickly Chopin from very late in his life is reflective and deeply moving. Some of it was composed from what became his deathbed. Feeling pretty under appreciated by his lover George Sand (her real name was Aurore Dupin) and in quite a bit of pain, these seven masterpieces channel unhappiness, but, just possibly, as they are so beautiful, reflect the opposite of Schumann's masterful statement of Chopin's works as 'Cannons behind flowers'.

Silverman frames the plaintive recital with two masterworks, the Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49 and the gorgeous Ballade in F Minor, Op. 52. Drama and pathos combine in both pieces weaving what might be tall but very private musical tales. Silverman gets the balance just right, never over pedalling and using his technique to add a delightfully filigree touch to many of Chopin's more expressive moments. These two performances represent Silverman at his musical best. The artist never loses his elegant touch or the structure of a melodic phrase in the other exquisite repertoire. Like the best Chopin performances, Silverman invites you into a small parlour and he's playing for one. The one being you, not him. (Audiophilia)