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Ingolf Wunder

Chopin and Liszt in Warsaw - NEW album coming out soon

"In this project three important pillars of my life come together. Chopin, Liszt and Warsaw.
Franz Liszt, whose music ultimately caught my attention in a way that I decided to become a pianist at the age of 15; Fryderyk Chopin, whose genius brought me musically back on track in my life at the age of 22; and last but not least Warsaw, a city that due to inexplicable occurrences grew very close to my heart both in terms of private happiness and musical evolvement.
Chopin is the central part of this production. He composed and premiered the F minor Piano Concerto in Warsaw. The Polonaise Op.22 was written in his beloved city of Warsaw as well. The Allegro of the never completed third piano concerto [Allegro de Concert] was supposed to be the work for his awaited comeback to a free Warsaw, which unfortunately never happened in his lifetime. And Liszt: His Hexameron, which also contains a variation originally composed by Chopin, was also played during his debut in the Polish capital.
This magical bond of circumstances was definitely feel-able for me during the recording process at the “Filharmonia Narodowa”.
The works of this album are also supposed to link the known and unknown of two of the greatest composers ever living. The known part required for me to take a step back and look at the music from a different angle - especially the orchestration of the f minor concerto. Music of that level positions itself far above our terrestrial time but finds itself in a constant metamorphosis. Alfred Cortot, as well as all the scholars and musicians that worked on Chopin’s scores (not to forget the persons that assisted Chopin himself orchestrating), helped to form the music with their ideas and feelings and ultimately brought it all the way into our times. The tradition of composing and interpreting, the core of the musical message as well as the circumstances of their times and societies were always factors in this process.
The pattern of this everlasting mechanism is also visible in the city of Warsaw. A city full of life and progress that kept the core and soul without regard for circumstances. This was solely possible due to the energy of people that really cared about the city. Warsaw was for sure also in Chopin’s mind while writing the Allegro of his third concerto.
My work on this orchestration posed fundamental questions to me. The first one concerned the form. Looking at the manuscript of the solo version, one sees structural differences between this Allegro and the first two concerti. That raises two questions: First of all would he have gone back to previously used patterns during the completion process of the concerto? Or was it always in his mind to compose the third concerto in a different style? That’s of course mere surmise after almost 200 years and the missing evidence. Therefore, after lots of testing and trying, I decided to stick to the musical message only, which minimized the risk of distorting the piece. The deeper I dove into the work the more I contemplated about the second fundamental question. Why is this masterpiece almost exclusively known to insiders only? One obvious reason seems to be that it surely wasn’t meant to be for piano solo initially but was published as such for unknown reasons. This led to the fact that it didn’t get an as euphoric press as many of Chopin’s other works did. Probably that’s how the vicious cycle started which created the not qualified common knowledge that this Allegro is not as good of a composition as many of his other compositions are. This is of course absolutely false.
The more one thinks about these matters, the more one realizes that at the end of the day the ultimate purpose of music is to touch our souls and enrich us human beings. For all other details the truth lies always in the middle and as an interpreter one spends one’s entire life to strive after this impalpable and inexplicable truth. What a wonderful privilege that is!"

- Ingolf Wunder



Release date for Poland - 28 August 2015!

- IW Management

Chopin and Liszt in Warsaw - NEW album coming out soon

"In this project three important pillars of my life come together. Chopin, Liszt and Warsaw.
Franz Liszt, whose music ultimately caught my attention in a way that I decided to become a pianist at the age of 15; Fryderyk Chopin, whose genius brought me musically back on track in my life at the age of 22; and last but not least Warsaw, a city that due to inexplicable occurrences grew very close to my heart both in terms of private happiness and musical evolvement.
Chopin is the central part of this production. He composed and premiered the F minor Piano Concerto in Warsaw. The Polonaise Op.22 was written in his beloved city of Warsaw as well. The Allegro of the never completed third piano concerto [Allegro de Concert] was supposed to be the work for his awaited comeback to a free Warsaw, which unfortunately never happened in his lifetime. And Liszt: His Hexameron, which also contains a variation originally composed by Chopin, was also played during his debut in the Polish capital.
This magical bond of circumstances was definitely feel-able for me during the recording process at the “Filharmonia Narodowa”.
The works of this album are also supposed to link the known and unknown of two of the greatest composers ever living. The known part required for me to take a step back and look at the music from a different angle - especially the orchestration of the f minor concerto. Music of that level positions itself far above our terrestrial time but finds itself in a constant metamorphosis. Alfred Cortot, as well as all the scholars and musicians that worked on Chopin’s scores (not to forget the persons that assisted Chopin himself orchestrating), helped to form the music with their ideas and feelings and ultimately brought it all the way into our times. The tradition of composing and interpreting, the core of the musical message as well as the circumstances of their times and societies were always factors in this process.
The pattern of this everlasting mechanism is also visible in the city of Warsaw. A city full of life and progress that kept the core and soul without regard for circumstances. This was solely possible due to the energy of people that really cared about the city. Warsaw was for sure also in Chopin’s mind while writing the Allegro of his third concerto.
My work on this orchestration posed fundamental questions to me. The first one concerned the form. Looking at the manuscript of the solo version, one sees structural differences between this Allegro and the first two concerti. That raises two questions: First of all would he have gone back to previously used patterns during the completion process of the concerto? Or was it always in his mind to compose the third concerto in a different style? That’s of course mere surmise after almost 200 years and the missing evidence. Therefore, after lots of testing and trying, I decided to stick to the musical message only, which minimized the risk of distorting the piece. The deeper I dove into the work the more I contemplated about the second fundamental question. Why is this masterpiece almost exclusively known to insiders only? One obvious reason seems to be that it surely wasn’t meant to be for piano solo initially but was published as such for unknown reasons. This led to the fact that it didn’t get an as euphoric press as many of Chopin’s other works did. Probably that’s how the vicious cycle started which created the not qualified common knowledge that this Allegro is not as good of a composition as many of his other compositions are. This is of course absolutely false.
The more one thinks about these matters, the more one realizes that at the end of the day the ultimate purpose of music is to touch our souls and enrich us human beings. For all other details the truth lies always in the middle and as an interpreter one spends one’s entire life to strive after this impalpable and inexplicable truth. What a wonderful privilege that is!"

- Ingolf Wunder



Release date for Poland - 28 August 2015!

- IW Management