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Commissioned by the Warsaw Chopin Competition in 1949 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Chopin's death and awarded the competition's composition award, Laks' Ballade captures the spirit of Chopin's melodic, harmonic and rhythmic thinking without conveying the impression of plagiarism. The form of the ballad fits well with the intention to explore the whole spectrum between the most delicate lyricism and eruptive drama which is characteristic of Chopin's piano style.
The technically demanding 8-minute piece is perfect for recitals which reflect the significance of Chopin's music as a symbol of the Polish nation in the 19th and 20th centuries.