Label: Brana Records BRLP 017
Pianists worldwide are attracted to Chopin’s waltzes. They incorporate a range of moods from melancholy to effervescent but retain an air of sophistication suited to aristocratic salons. Chopin composed in this genre throughout his lifetime and here is a fine collection of his waltzes, some of his most famous and those less well known. Chopin dedicated his life to the piano, establishing it as a solo instrument and freeing it from orchestral and choral influences. He became acquainted with folk melodies in Poland and often used these as a source of inspiration, such as in his lively Waltz in G flat major, Op. 70 No. 1. However, typically it was melodic lines, chromatic harmonies and dance like rhythms which defined his waltzes as heard in Waltz in A flat major, Op. 64, No. 3, which is also said to be one of Chopin’s favorites and a piece he himself often performed. Felicja Blumental was born in Warsaw in 1908. She studied composition with Karol Szymanowski and piano with Joseph Goldberg and Zbigniew Drzewiecki at the Warsaw Conservatory. In 1942 she settled in Brazil and made her successful debut in Rio de Janeiro, which led to extensive tours in Latin America. In 1954 she returned to Europe and performed as a soloist with leading orchestras and recording with the Orchestra National de France and the Philharmonia amongst others. She was a much admired pianist, and notable 20th century composers Villa-Lobos, Penderecki and Lutoslawski wrote pieces especially for her. Felicja Blumental died in Tel Aviv in December of 1991 and in 1999 the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel’s most dynamic cultural center, named its prestigious International Music Festival after her.