When approaching music as popular and as deservedly loved as Chopin’s waltzes, a musician must have something special to say for a new recording to make its mark. According to Fou T’Song – no mean Chopin pianist himself – Alessandro Deljavan is ‘one of the most interesting pianists I have heard in my life’. Excerpts on YouTube from his success at the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth confirm the truth and promise of Fou T’Song’s acclamation.
Among recent and forthcoming recordings in his extensive discography are discs of diverse repertoire drawn from solo and chamber music including the piano quintet of Taneyev; Grieg’s violin Sonatas, Bach’s keyboard toccatas, cello sonatas by Martucci, and a Schumann recital. But the apparently simplicity of Chopin’s waltzes is no less a test of musical and technical mastery than many of these more recondite delights. The 17 waltzes are not gathered into one or two collections like the Etudes, but were composed throughout Chopin’s all-too-brief career. For many the best-known and yet also most sublime a distillation of the waltz-form is Op.64 No.1, known as the ‘Minute’ on account of its brevity. Op.69 No.1 breathes no less spirited an evocation of remembered youth, and yet with the shadow behind its harmonies of regret and melancholy which unforgettably tinge the Nocturnes. There is a waltz for every mood, and Deljavan’s interpretations will receive wide critical attention.
Chopin’s waltzes are written for the Parisian salon, for a sophisticated audience of artists and aristocracy. Though more “light hearted” than most of his other compositions they bear the unmistakable genius of Chopin: refined and exquisite pianism, brilliance and melancholy, sorrow and joy go hand in hand.
Italian Alessandro Deljavan is one of the most remarkable pianists of his generation. “His playing is full of intensive power and contagious artistry” (Dmitri Bashkirov), “he is one of the most interesting pianists I’ve heard in my life” (Fou Ts’Ong), “he is one of the most major talents of his age” (John Perry), “Jaw-dropping virtuosity and heart-stopping eloquence” (Dallas Morning News).