A new album with a portrait of the Second Prize winner of the 1st International Chopin Competition on Historical Instruments
The young-generation Japanese pianist, specialising in performance on historical instruments, won Second Prize at the 2018 Competition. Highly appreciated by the Jury and enthusiastically applauded by the Warsaw audience, he opened a new phase of Japan's extraordinary fascination with Chopin.
The album contains the artist's competition recordings – primarily Chopin's compositions (including the Sonata in B flat minor, Op. 35, Mazurkas, Op. 24, selected polonaises, and the Ballade in F major, Op. 38), but also the Polonaise in D major by Karol Kurpinski, the composer and conductor who led the premiere performance of Chopin's Piano Concerto in F minor.
Naruhiko Kawaguchi plays three historical pianos here, matching their characteristics to the individual pieces. It is worth listening to their unique timbre, which the pianist is able to bring out thanks to his exceptional sensitivity and extraordinary musicianship. This is a beautiful example of Chopin being enriched by the seemingly only distant cultural idiom of faraway Japan.