Live Audio

Here are some audio clips from recent live performances. I infinitely prefer my own live performances to studio recordings, so I haven't made many of the latter. I find that the former lends a spontaneity and liveliness to the performance, whereas studio recordings tend to become perfection- oriented and therefore less energized. TL; DR: If you hear wrong notes it's because it's live!

 
IMG_0885.JPG

My thoughts on the Polonaise- Fantasie and the two op. 62 Nocturnes

Frederic Chopin was the 19th century poet- composer of some of the greatest piano music ever written. His music is at once tender, melancholic, triumphant, and delicate. I find his music to be among the most satisfying to play; it calls for a delicate sensitivity of touch and a breadth of phrasing akin to bel canto arias from the operas of Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi. The Polonaise-Fantasie, op. 61, and the two op. 62 nocturnes, all published in 1846, are among my very favorite works by Chopin. Hauntingly sad, pensive, and harmonically complex, these works appear to reflect the troubles that Chopin was experiencing in his life at the time: his health was failing due to the tuberculosis that would eventually claim his life, and his tumultuous relationship with the writer George Sand was becoming increasingly troubled (it would come to a bitter end a year later, in 1847).

File_001.jpeg
 pensive...

pensive...

Ahh, Schubert...

Although Schubert's music is my favorite, I find it to be the most challenging to perform. It contains a deceptive simplicity that can be marred by the slightest movement in the wrong direction. What I find to be the most daunting hurdle of his music is at its core: tragically bittersweet right-hand melodies imbued with a childlike innocence, juxtaposed with the most deft of delicate left hand passagework. For us persnickety pianists, programming Schubert's music is a risk worth taking. It is music that calls for a convergence of all the right circumstances (the right piano with the right action, a great hall with perfect acoustics, a nice audience, having eaten exactly the right thing for lunch and not too much of it, and a whole lot of luck), but when the stars align *just* right and the gods smile upon us, the performance becomes a trance that transforms and transports us (and hopefully our listener). It is truly heavenly music.