Chopin: 24 Mazurkas

Reviewed on Tue 01 Nov, 2016

By steering clear of bland chronology, Pavel Kolesnikov’s personal selection and ordering of twenty-four of the fifty-eight Mazurkas echoes an approach often taken by the composer himself in concert and lays the foundation for an enthralling and refreshing experience that strengthens the reputation of this young Russian pianist.

Andrew Achenbach enthusiastically greeted Pavel Kolesnikov’s playing of Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons (reviewed 23 January 2015). The 26-year-old's latest Hyperion release is arguably the best Chopin recording I have encountered in recent years. By steering clear of bland chronology, Kolesnikov’s personal selection and ordering of twenty-four of the fifty-eight Mazurkas echoes an approach often taken by the composer himself in concert and lays the foundation for an enthralling and refreshing experience that strengthens the reputation of this young Russian pianist. From start to finish Kolesnikov doesn’t lose sight of the fact these are dances in miniature and his phrasing of each is entirely apposite. Chopin’s inventiveness is made the inescapable feature of this recording, be it in the instinctive juxtaposition of time signatures realised within the C major, Op 24 No 2, or the palpable sense of atmosphere that infuses every note of the A minor, Op 17, No 4. Hyperion’s top-notch production values of sound quality and Jeffrey Kallberg’s liner notes complement Kolesnikov’s artistry well. Don’t delay!
–Evan Dickerson