Kenji Miura | Ballads

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Classical: Piano solo Classical: Chopin Moods: Instrumental
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Ballads

by Kenji Miura

Classical Ballads for Piano by F. Chopin and J. Brahms.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Ballades, Op. 10: No. 1 in D Minor, Andante
5:01 $1.99
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2. Ballades, Op. 10: No. 2 in D Major, Andante
7:15 $1.99
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3. Ballades, Op. 10: No. 3 in B Minor, Intermezzo. Allegro
4:17 $1.99
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4. Ballades, Op. 10: No. 4 in B Major, Andante con moto
8:06 $1.99
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5. Ballades, Op. 23: No. 1 in G Minor
9:30 $1.99
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6. Ballades, Op. 38: No. 2 in F Major
7:24 $1.99
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7. Ballades, Op. 47: No. 3 in A-Flat Major
7:30 $1.99
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8. Ballades, Op. 52: No. 4 in F Minor
11:14 $1.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Romantic Ballade, like the Fantasy, is an open form which allowed composers after the death of Beethoven to dispel the influence of the Sonata, no longer compatible with the radical changes brought about by young artists who gathered in Paris in the 1830s. These changes are part of a larger movement that moved away from classical values: in the visual arts that meant replacing history painting by landscape, a general secularisation and disenchantment of official and biblical scenes, and the result was the ambition to intensify the significance of the mundane or the perverse. For Brahms, the Ballade released him to explore the Greek poetical rhythms and existential literary themes that were new to music. For Chopin, he followed the Polish resistance poet, Adam Mickiewicz, in using the Ballade to recapture the national epic, to incorporate the dance and a certain feeling of an ancient narrative to create a new form, uninhibited by the German tradition.
Looking at Chopin's Four Ballades as a whole, each of them written at a different point in his life, there is an intuitive certainty and attitude that unify his feeling for the Ballade. The subjects of early secular literature from Poland share a common heritage with those from Europe, but they are unique in that some of the best poetry combine the intensely personal with complete anonymity. And Chopin, who was foremost a master of counterpoint- an uncommon exponent among his contemporaries of valuing draftsmanship over tone colour, was unmatched in his ability to fuse personal intensity and his involvement with the Italian opera, with a kind of contrapuntal objectivity- like the Romantic ideal of the landscape.
Brahms, on the other hand, revisited the idea of the Ballade two more times after Op.10. They were written 40 years later, first in his Op.118, Piano Pieces, and for the last time in his final piece for piano, Op.119 No.4, as if to recapture the experiments from his youth with a different awareness and irony. The Ballades, Op.10, mark a clear departure from Chopin's examples in form and in the poetic origins. Brahms is primarily interested in Scottish and Greek epics, and for him the narrative is taken more literally, foreshadowing the later tone poems by Strauss and Liszt.
The first of these ballades follow a story of betrayal within a medieval Scottish royal family. Brahms celebrates the grotesque and the heroic, as if to irreverently herald a new temperament. The new language shocks and alienates. It is an existential world where there are no absolute values, redolent of what Dvorak was later to report to Josef Suk about Brahms: "Such a man, such a fine soul--and he believes in nothing! He believes in nothing!"
Finally, in thinking about these pieces for my friend Kenji’s first album, it reminded me of one of his favourite books that he introduced me to many years ago, a novella by Miguel de Unamuno: Saint Emmanuel the Good, Martyr. I think the closing paragraph of this story is a fitting description of both the pieces he chose to record and Kenji’s special approach and sensibility to music making:

“And for a place like Valverde de Lucerna, there is no better confession than conduct. Nor do the people know what faith is, nor does that matter very much. I know very well that what is said in this story, or novel if you will—the novel is, after all, the most intimate, the truest history, which is why I do not understand why people are upset when the Gospel is called a novel, because, in fact, that makes it better than any chronicle—that nothing in this story ever happens; But I hope that this is because everything in it remains, remains forever like the lakes and the mountains and the blessed simple souls, who, beyond faith and despair, the blessed souls who, in the lakes and the mountains, outside history, took refuge in a divine novel.“

- Tomoki Park -

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