On This Album, I Perform A Selection Of Chopin’s Most Meaningful Works: The four Mazurkas of Op. 17, requiring immense artistic integrity and attention to details, followed by the Nocturne in C-sharp minor of Op. 27, requiring extensive depth of play, along with the Etudes of Op. 25, considered by many as one of the most challenging repertoires to master.
The four Mazurkas begin with a brilliant and joyful tune in B-flat major, resembling the innocent and curious spirit of a child. In contrast, they end with a sorrowful and pensive Mazurka, with the chord progression in the left hand leading regretful remembrances and the loss of hope taken from a more mature perspective.
The Nocturne begins with haunting harmonies complemented by a wide arrangement of the left hand. The middle is comprised of an agitated state of mind resolving in a brilliant polonaise-like serenade. The nocturne ends with an overwhelming sensation of relief by finishing in the major key.
It is fascinating how each of the 12 etudes creates their own unique, immersive, and conflicting worlds. Whilst targeting specific technique styles, they also target specific emotional responses of the listeners. Personally, my favorite etude is No. 10 in B-minor, which is very powerful and traumatic, yet also therapeutic and enchanting.
Chopin had an outstanding connection to the piano unlike anybody else to date. For Chopin and for me, it is important that the piano imitates a voice and sings, conflicting the percussive nature of the hammers hitting the strings. Chopin took huge influence from the legendary opera composer Vincenzo Bellini, specifically from his bel canto: Arias. Furthermore, since he was an excellent teacher, one could learn a lot from reading Chopin’s scores, as they offer the interpreter many ways to lead the voice thereby achieving great skill. Many technical passages are conquered by melodizing them as he intended. I attempt to succeed in this throughout my unique interpretation, while maintaining pianistic integrity and respect to the composer.
— Dmitry Ishkhanov