Jan Lisiecki Chopin: Complete Nocturnes
Frédéric Chopin's Nocturnes are among the most beautiful and popular works of piano music. For his latest album, Canadian pianist extraordinaire Jan Lisiecki has chosen to return to the music of Frédéric Chopin. Following on from Works for Piano & Orchestra (2017) and Chopin: Études (2013) he has recorded Chopin’s Complete Nocturnes.
Lisiecki is perhaps most celebrated for his masterfully sensitive and refined interpretative approach. His newest release – recorded last October at Berlin’s historic Meistersaal – not only captures the spirit of Chopin’s pianism, but also represents the time and circumstances in which it was made, as the pianist himself 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.” Frédéric Chopin distilled the essence of song into his Nocturnes, drawing inspiration from the expressive force of Italian opera and the freedom of Polish folk music. And it was through the Nocturnes that Jan Lisiecki 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 composer wrote between the late 1820s and 1847, offered a glimpse of a vast universe of emotions, expressions, musical gestures and tonal colours. It also prepared the way for the brilliant student to explore the piano’s lyrical side.
Lisiecki was highly acclaimed for the award-winning Beethoven Lieder album he and Matthias Goerne released last year and – together with his widely renowned affinity for Chopin – that immersion in the world of song has surely helped inform his new readings of the lyrical, confessional Nocturnes, works he feels are made for intimate listening, arguably best heard and contemplated alone at night. “These remarkable pieces invite you to think and feel whatever you want,” concludes the pianist. “There’s no ‘right’ response to them, other than the one you’re having.”
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
LP 1 - SIDE A
1 Chopin: Nocturne op. 9 No. 1 in B flat minor. Larghetto
2 Chopin: Nocturne op. 9 No. 2 in E flat major. Andante
3 Chopin: Nocturne op. 9 No. 3 in B major. Allegretto
4 Chopin: Nocturne op. 15 No. 1 in F major. Andante cantabile
5 Chopin: Nocturne op. 15 No. 2 in F sharp major. Larghetto
6 Chopin: Nocturne op. 15 No. 3 in G minor. Lento
LP 1 - SIDE B
1 Chopin: Nocturne op. 27 No. 1 in C sharp minor. Larghetto
2 Chopin: Nocturne op. 27 No. 2 in D flat major. Lento sostenuto
3 Chopin: Nocturne op. 32 No. 1 in B major. Andante sostenuto
4 Chopin: Nocturne op. 32 No. 2 in A flat major. Lento
5 Chopin: Nocturne op. 37 No. 1 in G minor. Andante sostenuto
LP 2 - SIDE A
1 Chopin: Nocturne op. 37 No. 2 in G major. Andantino
2 Chopin: Nocturne op. 48 No. 1 in C minor. Lento
3 Chopin: Nocturne op. 48 No. 2 in F sharp minor. Andantino
4 Chopin: Nocturne op. 55 No. 1 in F minor. Andante
5 Chopin: Nocturne op. 55 No. 2 in E flat major. Lento sostenuto
LP 2 - SIDE B
1 Chopin: Nocturne op. 62 No. 1 in B major. Andante
2 Chopin: Nocturne op. 62 No. 2 in E major. Lento
3 Chopin: Nocturne in E minor op. posth. 72 No. 1
4 Chopin: Nocturne in C minor KK IVb, 8, op. post.
5 Chopin: Nocturne in C sharp minor KK IVa, 16, op. post.