A pianist immerses himself in the work of Chopin

When Jan Lisiecki first performed with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, he was only 17 years old. He was a boy. Since then, he has changed a lot. There have been ten albums released, three prizes, a career with an average of one hundred concerts per year. One thing, however, remains intact. His passion for the music of Frédéric Chopin. And it is with him that the Canadian pianist returns to São Paulo this week for a series of presentations.

Lisieck gives today 30 and tomorrow 1/7 presentations at the Sala São Paulo, with Osesp conducted by its musical director Thierry Fischer, when he will play the Polish composer’s Concerto n.º 1 for piano and orchestra (the program has Sibelius Symphony No. 1). On Saturday 2, the pianist, the conductor and the orchestra will go to Campos do Jordão to make the official opening of the International Winter Festival (when they will exchange the symphony for the Ancient Suite, by Alberto Nepomuceno ). And, on Sunday, back at the Sala São Paulo, Lisiecki gives a solo recital at the International Piano Festival promoted by Osesp throughout the year.

“It will be a week of immersion in Chopin’s music,” joked the 27-year-old artist in an interview with Estadão yesterday afternoon, shortly after his arrival in Brazil and his first contact with Fischer – and a few minutes before to do his first rehearsal with Osesp.


The passion for Chopin is not unreasonable. Lisiecki’s career is closely linked to this repertoire. A disc of the piano concertos he made at the age of 12 in Warsaw ended up being chosen as the official disc of the composer’s bicentenary celebrations. In 2018, he spoke to Estadão about the choice. And the terror he felt when he received the news – he only calmed down when the conductor told him that there was nothing in the recordings of which he was ashamed.

Pure modesty. But also an already mature look. “You can’t speed up wisdom. I need time to better understand these works and so many others, there’s no way to change that,” he said at the time.

Recalled from the comment, he claims that nothing has changed. Or rather, maybe you now have a little more peace of mind to face the weather. “Acquiring experience also means understanding that at each concert you learn. And that the path is that of a constant construction in the relationship to music, which also passes through discoveries about oneself, about whom the ‘we are.”

The Concerto n.º 1 for piano and orchestra that he plays with Osesp is the second written by Chopin, although it has been cataloged in his work as the first. “N.º 2 seems to me a piece in which the composer does not seem so sure. The first, in turn, reveals more security, although the slow movement brings that feeling of pain, of nostalgia. It is not the greatest concert of all time written, but it is a very special piece, for the piano writing and also for the dialogues that Chopin creates with other instruments”, he explains.


In the Sunday recital, Lisiecki joins the Polish Nocturnes with his Etudes, in an original combination. “I could do a program with the Nocturnes only, showing the beauty of these pieces, but it would be an emotionally very tiring repertoire, both for me and for the public. The union with the studies allows an interesting flow and offers new perspectives for both series.

The music of the night has occupied several composers from different eras. And on his new album, Night Music, Lisiecki has recorded tracks of the genre by other authors. “Some people think the night is a lullaby, but if you think of Schumann, for example, his music reveals emotional turmoil. Ravel works the night as an idea, a concept.”

The information comes from the newspaper. State of Sao Paulo.

Elmer Hayward

"Pop culture fan. Coffee expert. Bacon nerd. Infuriatingly humble communicator. Friendly gamer."

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