The outstanding Belgian pianist Marie François - a delightful and uplifting recital , Wednesday April 26th, Warsaw, Poland

One does not have rare musical experiences in terms of performance and cultural ambiance often these days. A brutal war clouds the cultural and creative horizon in a type of deadly suffocating miasma. 

However, on Wednesday April 26th,  we were given the spiritually refreshing,  culturally delightful, thought provoking and uplifting recital by the outstanding Belgian pianist Marie François. This intimate recital for a small audience was her final gesture in commemorating a musical adventure she had set up with great imagination for herself in Warsaw.
All young pianists should spend some time in Poland if they wish to truly penetrate the essence of Fryderyk Chopin's music and play it with a deeper musical meaning rather than the all too common virtuosic emptiness. Over 21 days she studied, developed and practiced many of Fryderyk Chopin's Nocturnes - this genre was her primary focus. She also recorded a daily podcast so we could follow her development and discoveries.
Guests of the event could not only enjoy great music, but also admire the spectacular panoramic view over an exponentially developing Warsaw from the windows of the concert host - Mindspace Skyliner, from a newly opened second location of luxury office space. The recital was under auspices of the Julian Cochran Foundation, Warsaw.

The ambassadors of Belgium and Luxembourg were the guests of honor at the event.

She performed with great sensitivity, taking us on a rare spiritual journey at an elevation high above Warsaw. This was a remarkable recreation of the salon atmosphere of past centuries but transported brilliantly into the modern, technology-rich present. The intimacy of Chopin is difficult to capture in a large concert hall but here it was as if we were overhearing an emotionally revealing and beautiful confession of feeling.

She gave us a truly fine performance of Chopin nocturnes, Mendelssohn ‘Songs without Words’ and some Bartok transcriptions of festive and poignant Romanian dances. She effortlessly created with her engaging, knowledgeable commentaries, a charming, intimate atmosphere, the like of which is such a rare phenomenon today, but so appropriate for the music of Chopin.

Chopin sketched by Eliza Radziwill at Antonin 
en route to Duszniki Zdroj 1826


Chopin Nocturnes 

Op 48 No.1 in C minor 

(her favourite in a deeply moving performance) 

Op. 55 No. 1  in F minor, Op.55 No.2 in E-flat major

Op. posth. 72 in E minor (a performance of eloquent melancholy so suitable for our times. Surprisingly redolent of great loss as it was written in 1826 when Chopin was a young man - his first composed nocturne)

I felt after spending time in Poland she has developed an authentic grasp of what Chopin's favourite pupil Marcelina Czartoryska referred to as le climat de Chopin. Let us hope it continues to grow ...

A selection of the mysterious and rarely performed but superbly musical Mendelssohn Lieder ohne Worte

Op 38 no 2

Op 53 no 3

Op. 67 no 4

Op. 38 No.5

And to complete this remarkable, transcendent moment in time, a number of poignant and festive Romanian Dances transcribed by Béla Bartók.

Here is a link to her brilliant podcast:

In all, a rare evening of optimistic Spring beauty offered in a time of darkness and reversal.

A fine-toned small grand piano by Yamaha

Age and youth interact over a discussion on Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli 
His sublime musicality and playing but also, surprisingly,  his love of  Ferraris!

Photographs by Marys Ocioszynska
Excellent Polish wine was served


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