Frédéric François Chopin (01.03.1810 – 17.10.1849) was a Polish piano virtuoso and composer of the Romantic era. Before his death at the age of 39, Chopin wrote some of the instrument’s most intimate, memorable works. All of his compositions include the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, and nineteen songs set to Polish lyrics. His piano writing was technically demanding and took the instrument to new limits. As a performer he played with a high degree of nuance and sensitivity.
Chopin wrote mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, polonaises, études, impromptus, scherzos, preludes and sonatas for the piano and he is credited with the introduction of the instrumental ballade.
Chopin wrote so much fine music that it is difficult to single out a work for our collection, but we have opted for the intensely romantic Ballade in A flat major, Op. 47 No. 3. We have chosen Murray Perahia’s performance of the four ballades, which is surely his finest recording and these performances of Chopin’s ballades, released in 2001, are unsurpassed to this day.