The recent album by pianist Alberto Nones makes us reconsider the concept of “Fantasy” in Chopin. And it does so by extracting from the catalog of the Polish composer those works that iconically carry this term in their title: Fantaisie-Impromptu Op.66, Fantaisie Op.49 and Polonaise-Fantaisie Op.61. Although Chopin falls, at least biographically, in the Romantic era – despite the fact that he is not a “romantic model” par excellence, regardless of the common view and the words most often used in relation to him – the question of the musical form has never constituted an accidental, secondary thing for him […].
In Nones’s CD, published by Convivium Records, it is interesting to note how the fantastic aspect of these three compositions – even if the whole arc of Chopin’s works is permeated with “fantastic” aspects, after all – is lived and conducted with sobriety, with perceptible clarity of conduct of the musical discourse; perhaps with little “letting go” – and therefore a lesser feeling of the self-generation of the form – but with remarkable care of the sound, of the phrasing, and with meticulous respect for the score. This can tell us a lot about the essential meaning that the pianist attributes to the word “fantasy”, undressed from predictable concessions to the most disparate mannerisms, and solely associated with what it meant, hypothetically but plausibly, to the composer.