Gramophone - February 2008 - Written by Jed Distler

An excellent articulator of Chopin in words...and at the keyboard.

In the 1970's Jerome Rose first attracted attention with a series of releases on the Vox label, mainly devoted to Liszt, along with some excellent Schumann. Thirty years later he returned to the recording scene with his own label. Medici Classics, resulting in a mini-flood of new releases. His first DVD stems from Chopin performances taped in 2007 in New York. Although the pianist acknowledges applause
before and after each work, one never actually sees audience members. In any case, the Ballades are interpretatively and sonically superior to Rose's previous, audio-only traversals on Medici. The lyrical sections are equally forthright and direct, yet have more room to breathe, as do the Second Ballade's agitated A minor sections, plus the First's and Fourth's exciting yet well proportioned codas. Furthermore, Rose's body language comnmunicates fluidity and poise, and this informs his knack for hitting upon steady yet flexible tempi that are neither too fast or too slow, save for the B flat minor Sonata's slightly protracted Funeral March. On the other hand, Rose's left-hand underpinnings and firm sense of line persuasively propel the difficult-to-sustain Largo of the B minor Sonata, in contrast to certain overly introspective
readings that die on the vine (Lang Lang, this means you!). In a conversation with David Dubal, where the camera strangely avoids showing interviewer and subject in the same frame, Rose's thoughtful, perceptive comments show how the pianist is equally articulate about Chopin away from the keyboard. Recommended.
Four Ballades; Piano Sonatas No. 2 and No. 3


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