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The 'Chopin Project' with Alice Sara Ott and Olafur Arnalds - Music Box, 11th May

Monday, 11 May 2015 , ora 11.45

If you would like to vote for this cd please vote HERE

A totally different album: it is the first thing I can tell you about the surprising, innovative, mysterious and so distinct Chopin Project performed by the piano player Alice Sara Ott and the Icelandic multi-instrumental performer and conductor Olafur Arnalds.

They are two young artists whom I had the chance to meet in Romania. Alice Sara Ott came to Romania in 2012, in order to perform in a recital on the occasion of celebrating fifteen years since the Radio Romania Music was inaugurated. Olafur Arnalds came to Romania in November 2013, and before performing in the promoting concert of the For Now I Am Winter album he offered an interview to Radio Romania Music which you can listen to on the Radio Romania Music youtube account.

At that moment I couldn't imagine that these two musicians - an exceptional Japanese-German piano player and one of the most interesting contemporary composers, an Icelandic composer - could work together; but here is this international album released by Mercury Classics on 16th March, 2015, which brought these two artists face to face.

The fruition of these two young and nonconformist artists' work, who certainly love Chopin's works is a creative and surprising music. Alice Sara Ott recorded Chopin's scores not on concert pianos, but on pianos used in bars because of their uncommon sonority - occasionally there were also people present in those bars so that everything could be authentic.

Olafur Arnalds has brought his own perfect style of interpretation which is already a mark; one can also hear Mari Samuelsen's violin sound here and there.

As a result a forty-five minute album that tells the story of the 21st century Chopin was released. It could have appeared a kitsch, but fortunately it is not the case and we can enjoy a successful, coherent and an appealingly musical experiment; and this is because it canvasses to the young people's sensitivity who are under thirty-years-old. It tells us about the solitude, sadness and alienation of all the people who live in a super-technologized world; or maybe we should say it is about what it means to dream in 2015…

The Chopin Project album is included in the Vote for the Best Classical Album campaign of 2015 and it can be listened to on Radio Romania Music on Monday 11th May at 19:00; the repeats are scheduled on Sunday 17th May at 13:05.

Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Anca-Elena Vezeanu and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, the University of Bucharest