"Why do the Japanese peaple love Chopin so much?"
1. Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60 (9:24)
2. Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2 (4:44)
3. Ballade in G minor, Op. 23 (10:14)
4. Waltz in E flat major, Op. 18 (5:38)
5. Fantasy-Impromptu in C-sharp minor (5:23)
6. Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31 (10:44)
7. Etude in E major, Op. 10 No. 3 (4:27)
8. Prelude in A major, Op. 28 No. 7 (1:01)
9. Etude in C minor, Op. 10 No. 12 (2:53)
10. March Funebre (9:35)
11. Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53 (7:36)
Total time : 71:39
“Why do the Japanese people love Chopin so much?”
That’s a question I often hear ever since I moved to Poland over a quarter of a century ago. Men and women alike, people of all ages, those with little interest in classical music, or even those not interested in music in general, everyone asks it. I deny it, saying “it’s not only the Japanese that love Chopin. I think there are people fascinated with his works all over the world”, but to no avail. When I ask in response, “why do you think so? Is it because many participants and spectators from Japan come to the Chopin Competition?”, they still don’t concede.
I came to Poland fascinated with Chopin’s music. I have performed all of his works, and the longer I play his music, the more immersed in it I become, never getting tired of it. I think a lot about how to transmit its charm to other people, and so I keep honing my skills as a musician. In order to be closer to the composer’s feelings, I read his letters. When I think about it, it occurs to me that perhaps in the opening question there is a hidden key…
Chopin’s father was French, and Fryderyk himself has spent over a half of his lifetime in France, drawing his last breath in Paris. Yet he thought himself to be a genuine Pole. Polish people in general seem to have a liking for Japan. While thinking about why is it so, one might reach a conclusion that perhaps the two nations share similar character traits, or have a similar sense of virtue. As a pianist and as a Japanese person living in Poland for over twenty-five years, I feel it might be my task to answer such questions. I have decided to try and solve such riddles through music and stories.
This is how the preparations for my “Chopin’s music & stories by Kayo” record series have originated. On the first seven records I present his core works, on which the story is centered. I look for charm and secrets from different angles. Beginning with the eighth record, I would like to present the background of Chopin’s musical activities through his letters, recording musical pieces composed during corresponding periods of his life. In this way, notwithstanding how much the Japanese people like Chopin, I would like to pursue questions such as “Why do so many Polish people think that the Japanese people love Chopin?” or “Is there a hidden connection between Chopin’s music and the Japanese people?”. I hope to fit all of the composer’s works on twenty records. I would be very happy if through the recordings and stories gathered on my website I managed to bring you closer to the marvelous charm of Chopin’s music, even if it was just a little closer.
On this album, I have attempted to collect musical pieces that are popular with the Japanese people. Welcome to the magical world of Chopin’s music!