Review: The Chopin Project


Chopin Project Cover An album by Olafur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott.
Classical music is often considered sacrosanct when it comes to how to record and interpret it in this century. People are loathe to do much beyond simply play it off the score, and record it as though you were at the concert. Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds has broken these taboos, working with virtuoso pianist Alice Sarah Ott, on this album ‘The Chopin Project’. As well as adding instrumentation to embellish the original pieces, Arnlads and Ott recorded using a variety of locations and pianos around Reykjavik. The ambience, room noises and piano treatments used, make this very much ‘Not-Your-Father’s-Chopin-Album’.

It is though, a very emotional and involving presentation. The addition of strings, new compositions inspired by Chopin, and the changes in acoustic setting through the album, give this the feeling of being a soundtrack. Arnalds has succeeded in bringing more to the score than a simple reproduction. Listen out for more of his work on the soundtrack to the BBC series ‘Broadchurch’.

 

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