‘Shaping Chopin’ is the Ukrainian pianist’s sixth appearance on the Channel Classics label. The latest album features Chopin’s music that made him feel less lonely in 2020 with the aim of also bringing you, the listener, a bit of consolidation and joy. The album cover was created by Marcelle Schoenmaker during a live concert.
At the exit, Fedorova comments: âChopin’s music had an important place in my life from early childhood and I worked a lot on various pieces with my parents, who were my teachers at the time in Kiev. While we were apart for a long time during the first year of the covid-19 pandemic, I felt closer to them through his music. Practicing certain waltzes or nocturnes seemed to me to transport me in time and time. space and reflected the current mood with their reverie and melancholy.
âWhen the opportunity to record a new album came up spontaneously, I immediately thought of Chopin’s music. I selected various waltzes, nocturnes and mazurkas, and I added the Fantaisie Impromptu, because they cover a wide spectrum of emotions, moods and colors. When performing Chopin’s miniatures, one has the impression of diving into a living painting, artistically shaping its history, colors and unique characters with music.
‘Shaping Chopin’ is out now on Channel Classics. Â© Marco Borggreve
Chopin acquired a particular notoriety with a genre that he did not invent himself, but that he fashioned with great refinement and, in doing so, engraved his name on it: the nocturnal.
These ‘nocturnal’ gems are romantic character pieces in a slightly melancholy style, with an expressive melody, above broken chords. The pioneer of this genre was the Irish composer John Field, who in Russia had familiarized himself with the cantilenes of the Italian operas of Rossini and Bellini, which he “translated” on the piano. It was from Field that Chopin took the name and concept of the nocturnal. And it was in the nocturnal that Franz Liszt perceived the origin of character pieces in which the romantic composer could express his most personal and deepest feelings, as in the Nocturnes Op 27 of this recording.
Irish composer John Field (above) inspired much of Chopin’s nocturnal writings
It is not without reason that, in connection with Chopin’s nocturnes, contemporaries liked to quote the French poet Alfred de Musset: “the saddest songs are the most beautiful”. It is also even more fitting in this regard that Anna Fedorova turned to these melancholy works as she tried to find solace in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mazurkas were also written by other composers before Chopin. For example, JÃ³zef Elsner (Polish composer and professor of composition of Chopin), composed two rondos a la mazurek in 1808, and Maria Szymanowska wrote a large quantity of mazurkas for piano which were published in 1825, while Chopin did not was only 15 years old. But once again, Chopin took the genre to a whole new level and introduced the Mazurkas to the world.
As Anna Fedorova says: âIt’s amazing how Chopin can express himself so intensely and so deeply in a piece that only lasts a few minutes. Chopin always manages to create a captivating atmosphere and a unique dream world. This is the case for each of the waltzes, mazurkas, nocturnes and fantaisie-impromptu of this new album.
“I hope the awesome magic of Chopin’s music will comfort you in difficult times as it did for me, and take you to the fantastic world of your dreams!”
Anna Fedorova’s next concerts (late 2021 / early 2022)
Over the next few months, Anna Fedorova will perform in Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, France, Turkey, Poland and UK. See his full concert schedule here.
The album ‘Shaping Chopin | Waltzes, Nocturnes, Mazurkas’ is now available worldwide!
You can stream music from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and more: https://orcd.co/shaping-chopin
You can buy the disc on Presto Music: https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8939135–shaping-chopin
You can find high resolution downloads on NativeDSD Music: https://www.nativedsd.com/product/43621-shaping-chopin-waltzes-nocturnes-mazurkas/