26th April, 2017
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 fifty-seven 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 e-stores and platforms (including iTunes, Amazon, Googleplay, Deezer, Spotify) via Believe Direct. https://lnk.to/chopinmazurkas
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 UK and overseas retail (Amazon, HMV etc) on Friday 26 May.
The catalogue number for both physical and digital recordings in SCCD21705.
Joanna performs the complete Mazurkas at the Wigmore Hall on Friday 12 May 2017.