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Chad Lawson | The Chopin Variations

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Frederic Chopin Ludovico Einaudi Yann Tiersen

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United States - North Carolina

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Classical: Chopin Classical: Minimalism Moods: Instrumental
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The Chopin Variations

by Chad Lawson

#1 iTunes Classical Album. Steinway artist, Chad Lawson, decided Chopin needed a new introduction. Lawson has arranged ten Chopin works into a minimalist landscape for piano, violin and cello.
Genre: Classical: Chopin
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Nocturne in F Minor, Op. 55, No. 1 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Rubin Kodheli & Judy Kang
6:21 album only
clip
2. Prelude in B Minor, Op. 28, No. 6 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Judy Kang & Rubin Kodheli
3:58 album only
clip
3. Waltz in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Judy Kang & Rubin Kodheli
8:31 album only
clip
4. Mazurka in G Minor, Op. 67, No. 2 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Judy Kang & Rubin Kodheli
5:35 album only
clip
5. Prelude in C Minor, Op. 28, No. 20 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Rubin Kodheli & Judy Kang
3:04 album only
clip
6. Nocturne in E-Flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Judy Kang & Rubin Kodheli
5:32 album only
clip
7. Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Judy Kang & Rubin Kodheli
2:55 album only
clip
8. Nocturne in E Minor, Op. 72, No. 1 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Rubin Kodheli & Judy Kang
7:22 album only
clip
9. Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Judy Kang & Rubin Kodheli
4:44 album only
clip
10. Prelude in D-Flat Major, Op. 28, No. 15 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano, Violin, Cello)
Chad Lawson, Judy Kang & Rubin Kodheli
6:32 album only
clip
11. Nocturne in F Minor, Op. 55, No. 1 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
6:22 album only
clip
12. Prelude in B Minor, Op. 28, No. 6 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
3:58 album only
clip
13. Waltz in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
8:25 album only
clip
14. Mazurka in G Minor, Op. 67, No. 2 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
5:36 album only
clip
15. Prelude in C Minor, Op. 28, No. 20 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
3:04 album only
clip
16. Nocturne in E-Flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
5:27 album only
clip
17. Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
2:53 album only
clip
18. Nocturne in E Minor, Op. 72, No. 1 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
7:20 album only
clip
19. Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
4:44 album only
clip
20. Prelude in D-Flat Major, Op. 28, No. 15 (Arr. By Chad Lawson for Piano)
Chad Lawson
6:31 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
#1 iTunes Classical Album Debut.

It's a risk editing the "poet of the piano" but one that Chopin would be proud of.

Taking 10 Chopin pieces, Lawson decided to scale the works down to a minimalist setting. "I knew, even if bare-bones, Chopin's works could be as spellbinding in the simplest of form as the original compositions we are so familiar with." says the pianist.

Lawson had heavy interest from two major labels concerning this release but decided he would rather remain an independent artist. "There are too many facets where artists can accomplish almost the same results as a major while remaining true to their longterm creative goals. If an artist truly has the diligence, it can be done effectively."

Joining the Steinway artist is violinist, Judy Kang, who has toured with Lady Gaga and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Kang, a Curtis Institute and Julliard alumni, has also performed with countless symphonies across the globe. Cellist, Rubin Kodheli, has performed with more household names than space will allow but Kanye West, Norah Jones, Courtney Love and many film scores just to name a few.

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Reviews


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François

Wow!
D'une grande beauté! Extraordinaire!
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Chad Lawson’s "The Chopin Variations" is a double-album that I’ve been anxiously awaiting. A big fan of Chad Lawson and his music since I first heard it several years ago, the pairing of his velvet piano touch with Chopin’s music sounded like a true match made in heaven. Not only is Chopin one of my favorite classical composers, the ten compositions are pieces that I’ve played many times, love dearly, and know intimately. That could be dangerous, but I have such faith in Lawson’s integrity as an artist and music innovator that I knew this would be a very different listening experience, leaving expectations of what the music should sound like in the other room. The music on the two discs is the same, but Disc 1 includes Lawson on piano, Judy Kang on violin and Rubin Kodheli on cello; Disc 2 is solo piano.

What seems to be the biggest stumbling block for many listeners is the actual sound of the piano. A father with two very young children, Lawson often plays and records his piano very late into the night. Not wanting to disturb the sleep of his family, he places felt between the strings of his Steinway to quiet the sound and percussive effects. Because of the muted sound, the microphones need to be placed closer than usual to the hammers of the piano, causing them to also pick up the internal sounds of the piano being played - the soft whoosh of the pedal, occasional creaks and pops, and other sounds that most recording engineers work hard to eliminate. Over time, Lawson found that he loves this sound and recorded his 2013 release "The Space Between" with the piano strings muted, calling it “the most honest music I have been given.” Listening to the solo piano disc especially, I was struck with the thought that this was likely how Chopin would have arranged and performed this music had he lived in the 21st century. Very sickly most of his life, his performances were known to be very difficult to hear. The pianos of his time were also much more delicate than today’s instruments, so despite Lawson’s arrangements being somewhat different from the originals, it is likely that his performance is quite similar to how Chopin himself played them nearly two hundred years ago.

With muted strings, there are some very intriguing effects that sometimes make the piano sound like an acoustic guitar or even a harp, while the movement of the dampers creates a sound not unlike breathing. On Disc 1, the violin and cello are both very minimal, adding tonal color and texture to the piano. One might think that these two orchestral instruments would make the music sound more classical, but I think they actually update the music quite beautifully in ways that are more ambient than melodic. The ten tracks are a combination of nocturnes, preludes, waltzes, and a mazurka, all given a beautifully tender treatment that makes the music suitable for relaxing background music as well as a wonderful new take on some of Chopin’s best-loved piano music. I wholeheartedly applaud Chad Lawson for his brave new vision and courage to see it through. Very highly recommended to those open to a new approach to the piano and Chopin’s music.
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