Chopin: the Ballades & the Scherzi

chop_bal52,3Programme: Chopin’s 4 Ballades and 4 Scherzi

The complete Ballades and Scherzi, works that are among the most sublime achievements of Chopin’s compositional genius, that are hardly ever offered as complete sets.
Frederic Chopin

Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23
Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38
Ballade No. 3 in A major, Op. 47
Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52

Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20
Scherzo No. 2 in Bb minor, Op. 31
Scherzo No. 3 in C# minor, Op. 39
Scherzo No. 4 in E major, Op. 54



The great pianist Alfred Cortot said of the Chopin Etudes that “they are as inaccessible to the technician without poetry as they are to the poet without technique.” The same could apply equally to all of Chopin’s works. Carlo Grante possesses both technique and poetry in formidable degrees. His daunting program consisted of two giant blocks of the repertoire, the four Ballades and the four Scherzi of Chopin. These works are so well-known that their themes have become part of the musical subconscious, so to speak. They are also routinely massacred by well-meaning pianists, both professional and amateur.

From the opening stark low C of the first Ballade, the audience sensed it was in the presence of total mastery and a personal vision for each phrase and each work as a whole. Color variety was abundant, reflecting the deep and dramatic emotional shifts that frequently turn from brooding to exultant in these lyrical narratives. At times, a daring and personal sense of rubato was applied, but always with a structural view, never distorting the total architecture. He didn’t play these works “the way you’ve always heard them,” thank goodness. After all, if you can’t be individual in works from the Romantic period, you are in the wrong business.

Frank Daykin, Frank Daykin, New York Concert Review – October 2014



Scherzo No. 1 in b minor, Op. 20


Scherzo No. 2 in b-flat minor, Op. 31


Scherzo No. 3 in c-sharp minor, Op. 39


Scherzo No. 4 in E Major, Op. 54


Ballade No. 1 in g-minor, Op. 23


Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38


Ballade No. 3 in a-flat Major, Op. 47


Ballade No. 4 Op. 52 Live radio broadcast

Recent Performances

14 January 2015
Berlin, Germany

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4 November 2014
Sochaczew, Poland

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31 October 2014
New York, USA

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24 October 2014
Vienna, Austria

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19 October 2014
Eboli, Italy

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21 December 2013
Campobasso, Italy

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17 November 2013
L’Aquila, Italy

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24 October 2013
Piacenza, Italy

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3 September 2013
Tokyo, Japan

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24 August 2013
Albinia, Italy
(Orbetello Piano Festival)
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Orbetello Piano Festival

Musashino Cultural Center

Società dei concerti “Barattelli”