Intermezzo in E flat major, Op. 117 No. 1
|Frédéric François Chopin|
Preludes (24), Op. 28
Theme with Variations in E flat major WoO 24 (‘Geistervariationen’) (Ghost variations)
Eric Lu (Piano)
For his second album since signing a contract with Warner Classics, the Chinese-American pianist Eric Lu enters the world of romantic piano miniatures. Seemingly small and outwardly of almost fragmentary brevity, they open up entire worlds within a few bars – if interpreted by an artist who is able to unlock these depths. That Eric Luc is capable of doing this has been proven not only in a wealth of concerts but also at top-class competitions: In 2018 he came home with first prize from Leeds, having previously been among the winners at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. One of the most demanding miniature cycles of romantic piano music are Chopin’s Préludes. Each of them carries a whole emotional world, the exploration of which has occupied Eric Lee since his earliest beginnings. He combines these works, which Chopin incidentally composed on the island of Mallorca, which was still lonely and remote in his day, with two works from the Schumann circle: the composer was working on Schumann’s last work, the Ghost Variations, when he got up from his table on 27 February 1854, left his Düsseldorf apartment, walked to the nearby Rhine – and threw himself into it. The theme of the work, Schumann believed in his mental confusion, had been given to him by angels … Brahms, a close friend of the Schumann family even as a young man, always remained faithful to the Schumann model in his piano music – even in his later works such as the Intermezzo from Op. 117, in which the composer seems to look back on a bygone era. Eric Luc, just 21 years old, shows himself to be one of the most fascinating young pianists of our time in this album, which penetrates to the glowing core of romantic piano music.