For a gift
Georgijs Osokins "Osokins Plays Chopin" vinyl record
The unique musical project Alba1913, an album with Fryderyk Chopin's music recorded by the finalist of the Chopin Competition, Georgijs Osokins.
01 Nocturne in C-sharp minor, op. posth. 5:14
02 Impromptu in G-flat major, op. 51 6:30
03 Prelude no. 17 in A-flat major, op. 28 4:00
04 Waltz in A-flat major, op. 64 No. 3 2:57
05 Waltz in F major, op. 34 No. 3 2:36
06 Waltz in E-flat major, op. 18 "Grande valse brilliante" 5:35
07 Ballade no. 3 in A-flat major, op. 47 8:09
08 Nocturne no. 17 in B major, op. 62 No. 1 7:48
Bonus track, recorded in 2012.
Project partners: Yamaha, Academy of Music in Poznań.
In the Chopin Competition, we had our favorite from the beginning. We are happy that he managed to reach the final, even though he did not play in a competitive manner. We are even more happy that he accepted our invitation and that we have started an interesting project together - explains the originator, owner of the Alba1913 brand, Łukasz Rychlicki.
The charismatic finalist of the Chopin Competition, Georgijs Osokins from Latvia, recorded a studio album in Poznań. The album contains repertoire selected by a young pianist from the output of the most famous Polish composer.
There is no scarcity of immensely talented young pianists on today’s concert stages.
Every five years, the International Chopin Competition in particular seems to exponentially increase the supply of outstanding newcomers.
But no matter how impressive these young artists may be, serious cognoscenti of piano music invariably return to the great interpreters of the past. Cortot (b. 1877) Schnabel (b. 1882) Rubinstein (b. 1887) Horowitz (b. 1903) Arrau (b. 1903) Richter (b. 1915) Gilels (b. 1916) Lipatti (b. 1917) and Gould (b. 1932) are all firmly ensconced on the pianistic Parnassus.
Something music critics often ponder is why these greats retain pre-eminence in a genre, which is now arguably far more plentiful in keyboard talent than in times past.
Particularly noticeable is the extent to which staggering technical prowess abounds.
Double octaves seem to get even faster, runs and trills more scintillating and fortissimi shatter decibels. Far too often, metronomic precision prevails over pianistic sensibility.
The common thread shared by the great masters of the past was an impeccable technique, which provided the essential foundation for individual interpretative genius. This was never an epoch of soulless technical wizardry, subsuming the definitive stamp of the pianist’s personality. Many teachers today seem to have forgotten that piano playing is a serious creative art form and not a formularized repetition of Hannon exercises in various guises. How many piano pedagogues follow Rubinstein’s admonition that more than three hours practice a day can make a performance robotic?
As Schnabel once professed “The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes – ah, that is where the art resides.”
At the forefront of preserving these immensely important pianistic values of the past is young Latvian pianist and 2015 Chopin Competition finalist, Georgijs Osokins.
He has the intuitive interpretative skills of Rubinstein, the resolute individuality of Horowitz, the rigorous intellect of Gould, with the youthful audacity of Pogorelich. Traditionalists may feel uncomfortable and even challenged by such idiosyncratic musicality – so much the better!
Apart from an innate visceral and emotional profundity shared with Rubenstein in the music of Chopin, Osokins exhibits a similar approach to performances. As the bon vivant lothario from Łódź once confided, “At every concert I leave a lot to the moment. I must have the unexpected, the unforeseen. I want to risk, to dare. I want to be surprised by what comes out. It’s like making love – the act is always the same but each time it’s different.” This first CD by Georgijs Osokins for Alba Music more than justifies his rapidly growing reputation as one of the most exciting, fascinating and inescapably controversial pianists of today.
On first hearing, it is spellbinding. On the second, profoundly absorbing and on further playing, a kaleidoscopic phosphorescence of magical music making. Osokins played 5 of the 8 tracks during the course of 2015 International Chopin Competition, and there are some intriguing comparisons and contrasts in this subsequent recording. The sound of the Yamaha Concert Grand at the Poznan Music Academy in Poland is warm, resonant and engagingly intimate. The acoustics of the ‘Bonus Track’ Nocturne No. 17 Opus 62 No. 1 recorded three years earlier in Latvia on a Model D Steinway are brighter and more amplitudinous, which provides a noticeable contrast.
Forty minutes of Chopin’s timeless masterworks fly by as Cole Porter would say, on gossamer wings. Arcibravo Georgijs!
Esteemed international classical music & opera critic.
Alba1913 Music project
We invited the finalist of the Chopin Competition to record a studio album and decided to we released with our own efforts. We believe that classical music can perfectly complement spiritual development, which is necessary to keep the whole body in balance.
Earlier, when building the Alba1913 brand, we focused more on design as an integral part of the product, which showed our aesthetic sensitivity u0105. However, in the holistic care that our company has been practicing for a hundred years, producing cosmetics and herbal medicines, spiritual development cannot be missing. Listening to classical music, especially in the interpretations shared by Georgijs Osokins, is absolutely compatible with the vision of beauty that we want to popularize, i.e. beauty as harmony of body and spirit says the originator of the enterprise Łukasz Rychlicki, CEO of Alba1913.
We approached the recording of studio recordings in an unconventional way. We invited a sound engineer, Mirosław Wdowczyk, experienced in a different style, and for his persuasion, we chose the modern sound of the Aula Nova of the Music Academy in Poznań, which will also be appreciated Latvian pianist.
The recording was made on the same Yamaha piano that Georgijs Osokins played during the Chopin Competition.