Australian pianist Piers Lane discusses his upcoming Chopin recital and plans for 2011 with Limelight‘s Steven Laurent.

I’m most interested to know about your Chopin by Candlelight concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

I gave all the nocturnes for the first time early last year – it was the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth in 2010 and I was asked to play on Chopin’s birthday in February by the Chopin Society. It was a concert at the Actor’s church in London’s Covent Garden. I offered them all the Nocturnes by candlelight and they leapt at the idea. The place was absolutely packed out and it was very popular. Since then I’ve done them in a number of places, including the huge Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and the City Recital Hall in Sydney. I’m going to record all the Nocturnes for Hyperion next year.

You mentioned huge halls – but they’re very intimate pieces, aren’t they?

They are. And you might think that playing all the Nocturnes would be a rather boring evening, but it’s not. There’s such variety of mood, atmosphere, tonality and shaping – that it’s quite a journey as one goes on.

Chopin didn’t write the Nocturnes as a whole. Do...

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