18 June 2021
By Ellie Palmer
'Chopin: Complete Nocturnes' is set for international release on 13 August via Deutsche Grammophon
Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki will release his eighth and latest Deutsche Grammophon album this coming August – full of Chopin's much loved Nocturnes.
Recorded last October at Berlin’s historic Meistersaal, the album not only captures the spirit of Chopin’s pianism, but also represents the time and circumstances in which it was made. Lisiecki explains, “I’m the first to question why we should record something that has been recorded many times before. But music only lives through performance and is different every time we hear it, even when it’s a recording. I think there was something for me to say with this album. It reflects on the last year and my thoughts on that as well as on the escape and understanding that music gives us.”
It was through the Nocturnes that the Canadian first discovered Chopin – he recalls falling in love with Op.9 No.1 as a child and being enchanted by its yearning melody. The piece, the first of twenty-one nocturnes the Chopin wrote between the late 1820s and 1847, offered a glimpse of a vast universe of emotions, expressions, musical gestures and tonal colours.
Watch his glorious performance of Nocturne in C# minor below.
Of the recording, Lisiecki says, "Some of my recordings have been made during live performances while others in the studio have been fitted around my schedule. It is rare that I get to dedicate an entire week to a recording. Because the pandemic brought everything to a halt, I think I gained a fresh appreciation of time and work and a different understanding of my relationship with music.
Being in the studio last October was a gift. I felt completely at ease and free from pressure. These were the most pleasurable and relaxed recording sessions I’ve known; they were perfect for the Nocturnes. I could spend time with each piece at my own pace and live with them all in a way that felt completely natural and organic.”