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Album of the Year 2021

Shaping Chopin: Waltzes, Nocturnes, Mazurkas [Pure DSD]

Anna Fedorova

(2 customer reviews)
Original Recording Format: DSD 256
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2021 NativeDSD Album of the Year Award Winner – Classical Solo Instrumentalist

Shaping Chopin is pianist Anna Fedorova‘s 6th appearance at Native DSD Music on the Channel Classics label.

The album features the music of Chopin that made her feel less lonely in 2020 and will hopefully bring some consolidation and joy to you as well. The album’s cover art was created by Marcelle Schoenmaker during a live concert.

This is a Pure DSD 256 Stereo and 5 Channel Surround Sound release, exclusively available in Pure DSD at NativeDSD. This album was recorded, mixed, and balanced in Stereo & Multichannel DSD 256 using Brüel & Kjær 4006 and Schoeps microphones, 3T Van den Hul cables, Rens Heijnis custom mixing board, Grimm Audio LS1 speakers and Pyramix Workstation software and the Horus Analog to Digital Converter from Merging Technologies at DSD 256. No post-production has been done. Shaping Chopin stayed within the DSD domain throughout.

Anna Fedorova is Artist in Residence at the Haarlem Philharmonie in the Netherlands and will be presenting Shaping Chopin in a Solo Recital on September 3, 2021.

She tells us “Chopin’s music had an important place in my life from early childhood and I worked extensively on various pieces with my parents, who were my teachers at that time in Kiev. While we were separated for a long time, I felt closer to them through his music. Practicing certain waltzes or nocturnes seemed to transport me in time and space and reflected the current mood with their dreaminess and melancholy.

When the opportunity to record a new album spontaneously arose, I immediately thought about the music of Chopin. I selected various Waltzes, Nocturnes and Mazurkas, and added the Fantaisie Impromptu, as they cover a wide spectrum of emotions, moods, and colors. It’s incredible how Chopin can express himself so intensively and so deeply in a piece which lasts just a few minutes. He always manages to create a captivating atmosphere and a unique dreamworld. While performing Chopin’s miniatures it feels like diving into a living painting, artistically shaping its unique story, colors, and characters with music.”

Anna Fedorova – Piano


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Grande Valse Brillante in E-Flat Major, Op.18
Nocturne No. 1 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27
Nocturne No. 2 in D-Flat Major, Op. 27
Three Waltzes, Op. 34 - No. 1 in A-Flat Major - Vivace
Three Waltzes, Op. 34 - No. 2 in A Minor - Lento
Three Waltzes, Op. 34 - No. 3 in F Major - Vivace
Waltz in A-Flat Major Op. 42
Three Mazurkas, Op. 50 - No. 1 in G Major - Vivace
Three Mazurkas, Op. 50 - No. 2 in A-Flat Major - Allegretto
Three Mazurkas, Op. 50 - No. 3 in C-Sharp Minor - Moderato
Three Waltzes, Op. 64 - No. 1 in D-Flat Major - Molto vivace
Three Waltzes, Op. 64 - No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor - Tempo giusto
Three Waltzes, Op. 64 - No. 3 in A-Flat Minor - Moderato
Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66

Total time: 01:02:37

Additional information





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Analog to Digital Converter

Horus, Merging Technologies


Van den Hul 3T

Mastering Engineer

Jared Sacks


Brüel & Kjær 4006 and Schoeps

Mixing Board

Rens Heijnis custom mixing board

Original Recording Rate

DSD 256 Stereo & Multichannel


Original Recording Format


Jared Sacks

Pure DSD Recording

This album was recorded, mixed, and balanced in Stereo & Multichannel DSD 256. No post-production has been done. ‘Shaping Chopin' stayed within the DSD domain throughout. This is a Pure DSD release.

Recording Engineer

Jared Sacks

Recording Location

Muziekgebouw Eindhoven in July 2020


Grimm LS1

Release DateAugust 20, 2021

Press reviews

Positive Feedback

Anna Fedorova is one artist who brings Chopin’s music to wonderous life. She is a compelling artist. She has virtuosic technique, but she plays in service to the music and the composer. There is no grand-standing, no dazzling finger-play just to show-off what she’s capable of doing on the keyboard. No indeed. With Anna Fedorova there is only love for the music and love for communicating what she hears the composer seeking to share with us.

There is an intelligence to her performances that I find so akin to what I’ve enjoyed with the great Ivan Moravec. But where Moravec could be a bit terse, Fedorova is elegance and light (but with immense underlying power—never be mislead). Both are humble performers bringing deep intelligence to their interpretations. Fedorova adds to this a strong intuitive empathy.

…for over an hour, I am captivated by her musical selections and the incredible communicative skill with which she shares them with us on this album. The Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, op. 66, which concludes the album is simply dazzling. The technique is brilliant, the finger control amazing. But it is the beauty of line, the control of phrase, the delicacy of touch, that makes this such a remarkable conclusion to what is a fully remarkable album.

Add to these wonderful performances the astoundingly excellent recording quality in Pure DSD256 by Jared Sacks, and you have a recording to treasure and my highest recommendation.

NativeDSD Blog

I can’t and I won’t hide the fact that I’m an avid admirer of Anna Borysivna Fedorova ever since I heard her play Rachmaninoff. She equals men in technique, bravura, and yes, power, but adding what they often don’t or manage to a lesser degree: Lyrical poetry. Listening to her shaping Chopin, the same is true. In all my subjectivity I have no hesitancy to add Anna to the above hit list.

Reading Federova’s personal notes is a pleasant and most revealing exercise. “While performing Chopin’s miniatures it feels like diving into a living painting, artistically shaping its unique story, colors and characters with music”. Concluding with the hope that “the awe-inspiring magic of Chopin’s music will comfort you amidst difficult times (Covid-19) as it has done for me, and that it sweeps you away into the fantasy world of your dreams!”

True to what she says, the Grande Valse Brillante in E-Flat Major, Op.18, with which the program opens, comes to life as a comprehensive story. Precise and articulate in its aristocratic beauty; strong and convincing in its loving recite. Several of the following ‘miniatures’, so much appreciated by the beau monde of the Paris ‘salons’, become in her interpretation sensually and handsomely crafted masterpieces, which continue to appeal time and again.

Most of us will have sets of the ‘complete’ Nocturnes, Mazurkas, Waltzes, etc. Here we must follow Anna’s Choice, a carefully varied program. Was it done to please the listener? That’s what happened to me. But we must give her at the same time and above all much more credit for having selected a tastefully designed combination of ‘miniatures’ rendering her recital more attractive than the usual complete set of any of them. Indeed, it swept me away into the fantasy world of my dreams, best concretized in the concluding Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66. Compared to the many readings I have; this one stands out as one of the most compelling versions I own.

Great music and great soloists, like Anna Fedorova, deserve the best possible sound reproduction to lift the music into the reality of a concert experience at home. The Pure DSD engineering by Channel Classics obliges and my ears concur: The concert grand sounds like a concert grand. What else do we need to make a dream come true?

2 reviews for Shaping Chopin: Waltzes, Nocturnes, Mazurkas [Pure DSD]

    This may be my favorite piano album. The nocturnes are distant and a bit haunting. The waltzes are smooth and flowing. I knew I wanted the album from the MP3 sample clips but when I listened to the tracks in their entirety (and higher quality DSD sound) my expectations were exceeded.

    Amazing Anna. Great playing and sound. Pure DSD 256 is the best.

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