Schumann called Chopin’s mazurkas ‘canons buried in flowers’, a synthesis of Polish folk culture, nostalgia, poetry and political defiance. Performed chronologically they portray a subtle and confessional diary of a transcendent, innovative composer.
A lifetime’s study for any pianist, Joanna MacGregor peels back the layers of one of the greatest collections of piano literature. For Joanna, this has been a very personal journey: “I’ve loved Chopin’s mazurkas since childhood; I can think of no other collection that reveals a composer so intimately. Soulful, witty, and often dramatic, they can be experienced in a multiplicity of ways: as a diary of Chopin’s life; as his laboratory for compositional ideas; as a testimony to Polish culture; and his elegant improvisation.”
Recorded in the Britten Theatre at Snape Maltings, Joanna will perform the mazurkas in the entirety at the Wigmore Hall on 12 May 2017.
“I’ve taken the simple decision to record and perform all fiftyseven in order of composition, and to follow the intense unfolding of a composer returning to the same place again and again: from Chopin’s first mazurka to his last.”
As a student, Joanna clearly recalls hearing Horowitz perform in London in 1981: “I slept outside the Royal Festival Hall to be sure of getting a ticket. Of all the pieces he played at his recital, the miraculous Op.17 No.4 is my most vivid memory. Chopin’s porous, unresolved fluidity in these works has inspired so many pianists; his mazurkas a witness to human vulnerability and longing.”
The Complete Chopin Mazurkas is recorded on Joanna’s own SoundCircus label. The digital recording will be released on Friday 12 May 2017 on all estores and platforms (including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Deezer, Spotify) via Believe Direct. The double CD will be available for sale at the Wigmore Hall on Friday 12 May 2017 and will be released by Proper Music Distribution to the UK and overseas retail (Amazon, HMV etc) on Friday 26 May 2017. The catalogue number for both physical and digital recordings in SCCD21705. soundcircus.com Joanna performs the complete Mazurkas at the Wigmore Hall on Friday 12 May 2017. wigmorehall.org.uk
ABOUT JOANNA MACGREGOR…Joanna MacGregor is one of the world’s most innovative musicians, appearing as a concert pianist, conductor, and composer. Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Professor of the University of London, Joanna is also known as an artistic director of festivals and concert series, including Bath International Music Festival and Dartington International Summer School and Festival. As a solo artist Joanna has performed in over 80 countries and is a veteran of over 40 solo recordings. Including the complete Chopin Mazurkas and Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Joanna is known for her many collaborations with jazz, folk, pop, film, electronic and visual artists, writers and poets. She regularly performs at major venues throughout the world, including the Royal Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, the Sydney Opera House, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2012, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours.
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