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Asiya Korepanova in Personal Piano Project

Midnight Pieces – Episode #3

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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 #3

The composers :

“What did an ode to love sound like in 1907 ? Was it openly passionate and how did that passion show itself ? Alban Berg answers this question in his Liebesode, one of the Sieben Frühe Lieder (Seven Early Songs) song cycle, an early and exquisitely sensual work. Together with a poem by Otto Erich Hartleben, this music embraces us with its emotional power. I am very excited to present my transcription of it!” A.K.

Alban Berg / Asiya Korepanova : Liebesode from frühe Lieder

Poem from Otto Erich Hartleben (1864-1905)

Ode to Love (English translation, Asiya Korepanova) :

In the arms of love we fell asleep blissfully.
At the open window listened to the summer wind,
And our breath was peaceful taking out
Into the bright moonlit night. –
And from the garden, touching timidly,
A scent of roses came to our love bed
And gave us wonderful dreams,
Intoxicating dreams, so rich with longing!

Liebesode (1907) :

Im Arm der Liebe schliefen wir selig ein,
Am offnen Fenster lauschte der Sommerwind,
Und unsrer Atemzüge Frieden
Trug er hinaus in die helle Mondnacht.
Und aus dem Garten tastete zagend sich
Ein Rosenduft an unserer Liebe Bett
Und gab uns wundervolle Träume,
Träume des Rausches, so reich an Sehnsucht.


“The beloved and famous work this week is represented by Ravel’s music. As a child, I was charmed by the art of Diego Velazquez, especially his series of portraits of the beautiful Infanta Margarita, a young princess. To me, she was an ethereal and fragile symbol of a long-gone epoch, full of wonders. Years later, when I first heard Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane pour une Infante défunte,” (Pavane for a dead princess) my first thought was about that infanta from Velazquez’s canvases – pure stillness, expectations of a youthful yet timid being and inner power, almost unnoticeable behind a transparent smile… The most amazing discovery for me was that Ravel himself thought of this connection, too! His fascination with Spanish music and culture was with him his entire life.” A.K.

Maurice Ravel : Pavane pour une infante défunte M 19 (1899)

Diego Velazquez – Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress


“Both rare and Russian, this gem of prelude in A flat major by César Cui is a wonderful reminder of how beautiful the music can be, even coming out of the hands and mind of someone, whose “day job” was in military engineering technology circles (which are supposedly far from the art of subtle sound details!).Who would imagine a military general creating mysterious and amorous atmospheres in his prolific and genre-wise diverse musical output ? But, despite his wonderful talent, in my opinion, Cui (the author of 15 operas, some orchestral works and many for piano, chamber groups, and voice) still remains generally underplayed and under appreciated. I hope you will agree how wonderful he is, and I am hoping to play more of his music in the course of my career.” A.K.

César Cui : 25 Preludes Opus 64 (1903) – 17. Larghetto in A-flat major


“Domenico Scarlatti is an amazing composer, whose works allow so many different ways of interpretation – harpsichord-like playing, romantic approach, improvisation of embellishments, and many more. And he has so many sonatas, that the vast majority of them end up being rarely heard works! Here I am exploring many passing vertical sonorities and chords as I am playing Scarlatti’s Sonata K.69 without any pedal, with both of my feet on the floor and connecting all the lines (what is called legato in musical terms) with just my fingers. It helps me to create an illusion of singing when I play.” A.K.

Domenico Scarlatti : Sonata K 69 in F minor


Previous episodes :

Personal Piano Project

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