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Asiya Korepanova in Personal Piano Project

Midnight Pieces – Episode #2

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Midnight Pieces

“Midnight Pieces’ is a project presenting 53 beautiful works from 53 composers (originally meant as one piece for each week of the year, plus one) – music, that is just perfect for night-time listening.

The pieces follow a hidden pattern: within each consecutive 4 works one is famous, one is by a Russian composer, one is obscure work and one is a transcription by yours truly.
These categories mix and match sometimes, but overall there are iconic and less-known pieces by well-known composers, quite a bit of breathtaking pieces by obscure composers and several world premieres of my transcriptions of rare and famous works of different authors.
I felt a need to fight the general fascination of the general audience with piano pieces that are primarily virtuosic encores (Volodos Turkish March etc), and wanted to create a project that fulfills the desire for aesthetic pleasure, for beauty of the music itself. It doesn’t mean there is no virtuosity there – there is plenty, but not as the main point at all.”

Asiya Korepanova.

Asiya Korepanova and Pianists Corner offer you a weekly rendezvous. Each rendezvous will contain 4 pieces.

© Emil Matveev

Episode #2

The composers :

“Twisting my own plan ever so slightly, the next 4 pieces present TWO rare works, one famous one and one that is both Russian and my own transcription!

“Reverie” by Jean Sibelius starts the second group of pieces and I am happy to share this insanely gorgeous work by a composer that we mainly know as a symphonist and an author of one of the most powerful violin concertos… The piano music by Sibelius is performed very rarely, but is nevertheless something very special – dreamy, delicate, sonorous and endlessly romantic! Most of his piano works do not share the power and energy found in his symphonies and tone poems, yet they bring out other subtle sides of his musical personality.” A.K.

Jean Sibelius : 10 Pieces for piano Opus 58 (1909) – 1. Rêverie


“Originally “The Girl I Love”, “The Man I Love” is one of the most beautiful love songs written by Gershwin, and one of the most famous, too. Surprisingly, at the beginning of its life, the song could not find its place in any of the musicals or shows of the time, its real fame came to it decades later. Perhaps it is the yearning character that made it an awkward fit for biting satires like Lady Be Good and Strike Up the Band” A.K.

George Gershwin / Earl Wild : Virtuoso Etudes – 3. The Man I Love


“The Russian piece and transcription categories are combined in this next work. I have been obsessed with Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death ever since I first performed them at age 13. I was blown away by their powerful stories, and a sense of inevitability conveyed in the music. Since recording this video, I have written transcriptions of all 4 Songs, but my favorite among them has always been, and remained so the Serenade, portraying Death coming as a mysterious knight to a deadly ill young woman. I was attracted by Mussorgsky’s use of rich and sometimes spicy harmonies, and by a thrilling metaphor of a deadly love hidden between its lines. Mussorgsky created a haunting sound image by setting the poetic text in a subtle, detailed way, magnifying each moment. Lyrics by Russian poet Arseny Golenishchev-Kutuzov” A.K.

Modest Mussorgsky / Asiya Korepanova : Serenade from Songs and Dances of Death

Lyrics by Arseny Golenischchev-Kutuzov (English translation by Sergy Rybin) :

Magical languor, blue night,
Trembling darkness of spring.
The sick girl takes in, with her head dropped,
The whisper of the night’s silence.
Sleep does not close her shining eyes,
Life beckons towards pleasures,
Meanwhile under the window in the midnight silence
Death sings a serenade:
“In the gloom of captivity, severe and stifling,
Your youth is fading away;
A mysterious knight, with magic powers
I’ll free you up.
Stand up, look at yourself: with beauty
Your translucent face is shining,
Your cheeks are rosy, with a wavy plait

Your figure is entwined, like with a cloud.
The blue radiance of your piercing eyes
Is brighter than skies and fire.
Your breath flutters with the midday heat …
You have seduced me.
Your hearing is captured with my serenade,
Your voice called for a knight,
The knight has come for the ultimate reward;
The hour of ecstasy has arrived.
Your body is tender, your trembling is ravishing…
Oh, I’ll suffocate you
In my strong embraces: listen to my seductive
Chatter! … be silent!…You are mine!”

Серенада (Песни и пляски смерти – May 11, 1877) :

Нега волшебная, ночь голубая,
Трепетный сумрак весны.
Внемлет, поникнув головкой, больная
Шопот ночной тишины.
Сон не смыкает блестящие очи,
Жизнь к наслажденью зовёт,
А под окошком в молчаньи полночи
Смерть серенаду поёт:
“В мраке неволи суровой и тесной
Молодость вянет твоя;
Рыцарь неведомый, силой чудесной
Освобожу я тебя.
Встань, посмотри на себя: красотою
Лик твой прозрачный блестит,
Щёки румяны, волнистой косою

Стан твой, как тучей обвит.
Пристальных глаз голубое сиянье,
Ярче небес и огня;
Зноем полуденным веет дыханье…
Ты обольстила меня.
Слух твой пленился моей серенадой,
Рыцаря шопот твой звал,
Рыцарь пришёл за последней наградой:
Час упоенья настал.
Нежен твой стан, упоителен трепет…
О, задушу я тебя
В крепких объятьях: любовный мой лепет
Слушай!… молчи!… Ты моя!”


“This tender and sensual piece, Nocturne by Francis Poulenc, is another rarely played work. It brings out the most precious memories – life memories, special memories. Even the memories coming from before I got to know this piece. My favorite moment is at 3’15” – soul-baring passage of fluid nostalgia.” A.K.

Francis Poulenc : 8 Nocturnes (1938) – 1. Sans traîner (C major)


Previous Episodes :

Personal Piano Project

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