Album: Edna Stern Chopin, Naïve (PPP)

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The Independent Culture

This latest contribution to the flood of Chopin bicentennial releases finds the young French pianist Edna Stern performing a selection of études, ballades and waltzes on an antique Pleyel piano identical to that employed by the composer himself.

The tone is soft and sweetly tactile in the medium register, becoming harder and brighter in the treble, while the single-escapement action makes it harder to play fast repeated notes than on modern instruments, though this matters less when the material is played as deliberately slowly as in Stern's interpretations. Her measured pace is most noticeable on the Prelude No 20 in C minor and especially the Ballade No. 2 in F major.

Download this: Waltz No 7 in C sharp minor; Waltz No 5 in A flat major