The Breath of Frederic Chopin (2020)


Yoahn Kwon

Producer’s Note

The unique album by pianist Yoahn Kwon to capture Chopin's inspiration and sound.

Piano, in the 19th century, is an essential instrument for both composers and pianists. Developing mechanism with the expansion of the range and different acoustics with new effects, piano as the single device was able to realize rich sounds like orchestra sound and delicate expression, which based on composers’ ideas and feelings. As a composer and pianist, Chopin composed the whole of his works with piano, and it shows how much he was fell in love with this fantastic instrument. Chopin’s seemingly sad and ailing life made the performer play his music in a feminine, more fragile, and tenderer way, not from the variety of musical expressions and ideas that he sought. While his music is arising individual freedom of emotional boundary, those often distorted and exaggerated. However, Chopin’s music must be beautiful under the strict musical structures because he sought to follow the classical tradition of J. S. Bach, W. A. Mozart, and L. v. Beethoven. How ironic?

While living in the Romantic era, Chopin did not lean on literature. That means he focused on one single note which has independent resonance and reverb, and on the harmony and musical structure which each notation makes. Therefore, his music is more beautiful when it is played as is and straightforward without any additional exaggerated emotion.


A Note from the pianist

In 1843, Heine, the romantic poet, was nostalgic about Chopin's piano playing after the flourish of virtuoso pianists performing with passionate mannerism. 

Franz Liszt started to play in front of large audiences in Opera houses, and therefore piano playing has become more extroverted. 

Piano manufacturers were also developing an innovative mechanism which helps pianists to play faster and louder to serve a large crowd. In spite of pianists play recitals in big Opera houses at the time, Chopin only preferred playing in small salons. Listeners who had chance to hear Chopin’s salon concert felt unforgettable sensitivity and precious individual sound Chopin produced on the Pleyel piano. 

With Steinway's patents and its contribution of development to the piano mechanism, pianists are able to produce sound much easier and play better technically. 

AUDIOGUY studio in Seoul with Bösendorfer 225 indeed was the ideal place to recreate Chopin's salon atmosphere.


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The Breath of Frederic Chopin (2020)


Yoahn Kwon

Cables: Cardas Clear Reflection XLR Cable
Clock: Mutec REF10, Mutec iClock
Mastering Room: Audioguy Studio
Microphones: DPA4011, DPA4041 with GML 8304, Merging Horus pre-amps
Mixing Board: Merging Pyramix
Notes: SANCTUS Signature MultiTap
Producer: JeongYoun Chang
Recording Engineer: Jung-Hoon Choi, Yong-Seob Kim
Recording location: Seoul, South Korea
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD
Speakers: Genelec 8351a

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AGCD0132: The Breath of Frederic Chopin
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Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58, Allegro Maestoso
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Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58, Scherzo - Molto vivace
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Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58, Largo
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Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58, Finale - Presto non tanto
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Nocturne No. 17 in B Major, Op. 62 No. 1
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Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 67 No. 4
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Nocturne No. 20 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. Posth.
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Waltz No. 7 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64 No. 2
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Barcarolle in F-Sharp Major, Op. 60
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