Alexandre Tharaud is the latest young piano whizz-kid to establish himself with an album of Chopin pieces, following hot on the heels of Alice Sara Ott's recent Complete Waltzes – though his Journal Intime is a more personal, anthology of Ballades, Nocturnes, Fantaisies and Mazurkas.
He clearly has qualms about the emotional involvement he brings to Chopin's miniatures, executing an evocative transformation from languid self-absorption to high drama in the "Ballade no. 1 op. 23", and navigating the turbulent, oceanic depths of the "Fantaisie op. 49". But it's the "Mazurka op. 17, nos 2 and 4" which most impress here.
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