[ Erato / Warner Classics / CD ]
Release Date: Wednesday 1 March 2017
Chopin's music had been absent from Fray's active repertoire for some 15 years before he recorded this recital, which comprises seven of the composer's nocturnes, three mazurkas, a polonaise, a waltz and an impromptu. When Fray talks about Chopin - who died in Paris in 1849 aged just 39, having exercised a transformative influence on the piano repertoire - it becomes clear that he sees the composer's work in archetypally Romantic terms: "For me, Chopin's music is very fragile, vaporous, perfumed … somewhat intangible. It is so fluid and evanescent - you need to feel that it could just disappear at any moment. What makes it so touching is this ephemeral quality - the mazurkas are like something that you write in the sand … You know that it will be washed away, but the memory will remain. His music palpitates with a sense of the unexpected, the inspiration of the moment. If you tried to engrave it into marble, it would die."
"It is the poetry that shines through, the chaste sensuality, the gentle melancholy, not to mention the exquisite pearly tone, captured in beautiful sound…This is Chopin-playing of considerable seriousness and beauty." Gramophone
"Fray uses plenty of pedal, but one is struck by his bright, clean sound, and by the way he lets each piece unfold; the ornamentation is leisurely and pellucid, every note in every arpeggiation fastidiously placed, and his singing line is a delight" Five Stars BBC Music
Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2
Nocturnes (2), Op. 48
Nocturne No. 16 in E flat major, Op. 55 No. 2
Mazurka No. 41 in C sharp minor, Op. 63 No. 3
Nocturne No. 18 in E major, Op. 62 No. 2
Mazurka No. 11 in E minor, Op. 17 No. 2
Polonaise No. 7 in A flat major, Op. 61 'Polonaise-fantaisie'
Nocturne No. 15 in F minor, Op. 55 No. 1
Impromptu No. 3 in G flat major, Op. 51
Nocturne No. 10 in A flat major, Op. 32 No. 2
Waltz No. 9 in A flat major, Op. 69 No. 1 'Farewell Waltz'
Mazurka No. 40 in F minor, Op. 63 No. 2