In this video I play with futuristic transformations to the Pianoteq’s new J. Salodiensis Virginal 1600 after performing a short piece by Frescobaldi using the instrument in its original faithfully reproduced form.
In this little film, I say a few words about my process as an improviser, then perform a melodic and accessible unplanned improvisation in a contemporary classical style.
Bach’s Prelude in C sharp minor has the most pleasing symmetry and poetry, yet it flows with an improvisatory, natural unfolding. Its lyrical phrases ache with pathos and beauty.
Chopin’s G minor Ballade is one of those pieces that is played a great deal and often rather mangled by exaggerated rubato and mannered interpretation. I love to reveal the unvarnished truth about music, to reveal its natural patterns and structure. For me, allowing the rhythm and melodic lines to flow with natural flexibility only adds to the extraordinary cathartic beauty of Chopin’s refined yet emotional and virtuoso composition.
This spontaneous improvisation has a wistful feeling with its modal tonality: the sun should be shining in June and on such a gloomy day, a little improvising on the piano can bring a little warmth and comfort… I will feature it on my album of 16 unplanned improvisations, which will be released in a few weeks’ time.
Three beautiful, introspective piano pieces by Brahms: smouldering with understated passion and pathos yet darkly sweet and deeply comforting. I find this music richly warm and compassionate!
A glorious, melodic, dark and richly virtuoso piece by Rachmaninov. With its long, tuneful lines, filigree textures and dramatic pauses, it has an epic quality, despite being quite short.
This Mendelssohn Song without Words is a beautiful duet with a gorgeous flowing accompaniment. The sense of arrival when the melody reaches its full-blooded summit and also the quiet pizzicato bass notes towards the end are both powerful in very different ways.
My Nocturne No. 11 in G minor is one of the 11 Nocturnes that feature in my forthcoming album ‘Nocturnal’ to be released on February 18th. The album version is the original unplanned improvisation, but having created a score, I play it for you here.
Another unplanned improvisation – this time tonally simpler, diatonic, very minor with a dark and wistful mood.