Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:
The master songwriter turns maestro
Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney,New South Wales,Australia
Legendary (and remarkably durable) hitman Neil Sedaka is poised to "return to his classical roots" Down Under...
Sedaka was an acclaimed junior pianist studying at the Juilliard School before he became a teenage songwriter turning out tunes from the hit factory that was New York's Brill Building.
On the road in the 1990s he drew on that classical training to put his own lyrics to the work of composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Debussy and Chopin.
It is this work that will comprise the second half of his performances in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
"It's a very ambitious concert tour," Sedaka says. "I am going to perform with each symphony in the respective cities. I do my big hits over the years and then the classical portion of my concert.
"I had a classical album where I put my lyrics to classical music. The fans who know me for those early hit songs, they're surprised that I can play the classical piano and surprised that I can sing in the Andrea Bocelli-Mario Lanza style which I never did before."
He wrote the songs while touring, scribbling them on napkins in restaurants and during flights, relying on memories of the music he learned as a young piano student. "It was not until I got to a piano months later that I could play them and hear them," he says.
"I had to collaborate with Frederik Chopin and Schumann and Tchaikovsky - this was not an easy feat; if you slipped and went over the line it would be hackneyed and corny.
"It's a unique album. It is not for the aficionados who can sit through a whole classical concert or a whole opera, but for those people who love the arias and the melodies. So I did it for people who are not diehard classical fans.
"We're also doing the world premiere of my first symphonic piece, which is a 12-minute piece called Joie De Vivre, in four movements."
When his initial career foundered - "After a while I overdid a good thing," he confesses, "there were too many tra-la-las, and too many do-be-dos" - he learned that the taste of having a hit record does not leave you.
See all stories on this topic
Grammy winner to close Tuesday Musical season
Hudson Hub-Times - Hudson,Ohio,USA
Ohlsson will give this year's Margaret Baxtresser Annual Piano concert with a program featuring works by Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Joio, and Chopin. ...
See all stories on this topic
Chopin in the Blogosphere:
Olé! Cuban Pianist Rocks the Sottile
By Lindsay Koob
Cuban virtuoso Jorge Luis Prats plays an all-Spanish (and Brazilian) program at the College of Charleston but Chopinesque comparisions still abound....,
Called by some “The Spanish Chopin,” Granados crafted quite a bit of gorgeous piano music that recalls the Polish master’s sense of musical poetry as well as his technical sophistication. All of it was amazing – but the heart of the work was El Amor y la Muerte (Love and Death) – a particularly intense number that echoes the epic grandeur of Chopin’s famous Ballades. The final El Pelele was a tour-de-force of “caliente” spirit and passionate virtuosity – and Prats brought the house down with it.
From the online "interactive magazine" Suite101, a discussion of Konstancja Gladkowska, Maria Wodzinska, and George Sand...
While a student at the Warsaw Conservatory he became smitten with a young soprano, Konstancja Gladkowska (1810-1889). In a letter to his friend Titus Woyciechowski, dated October 3,1829, he says,"O, perhaps unfortunately, I already have my ideal, whom I have served faithfully, though silently, for half a year, of whom I dream, to thoughts of whom the adagio of my concerto [No.2] belongs, and who this morning inspired the little waltz [Op.70, No.3, in D flat major ] I am sending you...."