Played by Lixin Zhang at the 2018 Wallace International Piano Festival, 15 July 2018.
Of Chopin's four Ballades, this is perhaps the least often played.
Fun fact about this piece: it’s nominally in F major, the key of the gently lilting opening theme, but soon we get a tormented second theme – presto con fuoco (very fast with fire) – in A minor. And it’s actually the key of A minor that dominates and ends the piece.
It's a piece that Chopin wrote partially during a rather unhappy vacation with George Sand in Majorca in the Mediterranean.
And it’s a piece that Lixin took back to Majorca in 2017 when he played it at a recital at the Deià International Music Festival there as part of a performance of all four of the Ballades by Chopin.
Recorded by RNZ Concert, 15 July 2018
Engineer and producer: Tim Dodd