“To a romantic, a cloudy sky is more than a natural phenomenon; it is an expression of …… ”
(From the liner notes of the Romantic Moment)
Emiko’s debut album, Romantic Moment, features works by composer-pianists of the 19th-20th century who crystallized their irreconcilable feelings of joy, anger, regret, and despair through music. Emiko retraces their longing and hope through the alluring sound of a Steinway piano.
The artwork of the jacket was created by German painter Sonja Kanno. The painting, Zeitgeist (2019), was inspired by the soundscape of the album. The music and the art share the concept of the passage of time, humanization of natural phenomena, and the Japanese concept of En [縁: connection, bonds, destiny], which creates a connection between the end and the beginning like a loop.
The recording, by director & co-producer Kohei Seguchi who extensively works both in Europe and Japan with many distinguished artists, truthfully captures the colorful and dynamic piano sound and the sonorous acoustics of the Gulliver Concert Hall in Shiga, Japan.
Anatoly Lyadov (1855-1914)
① Prelude in B minor Op. 11-1
② Barcarolle Op. 44
Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951)
③ Canzona in F sharp minor followed by Alla Coda
(an earlier version of Canzona Serenata with that of Alla Reminiscenza)
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
④ Mazurka in A minor Op. 17-4
⑤ Nocturne in F major Op. 15-1
Manuel Ponce (1882-1948)
⑥ Intermezzo in E minor No. 1
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
⑦ Prelude in G sharp minor Op. 32-12
⑧ Prelude in B minor Op. 32-10
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
⑨ Allegro Op. 8
Robert Schumann/Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
⑪ The Music Box Op. 32
Romantic Series Vol. 2 ” A Romantic Moment”
- “Romantic phenomenon in the music—sound metamorphoses: the magical transformation of the keys and notes”
- “How does Romanticism survive and co-exist in the modern society? “
This time, Emiko selected the short pieces in which romantic characteristics are vividly displayed within a brief period of time; the selected pieces are mostly from the so-called Romantic period, between the 19th and the early 20th century; the works by Lyadov, Medtner, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, and Liszt. The impeccable beauty of the work itself, the program is designed to demonstrate the subtle and smooth chain of keys that shift one to the other, creating the magical effects, which can be specifically prominent in the romantic works. The program is to make use of these effects to connect the different pieces, eventually to connect the entire program.
Alongside with these composers’ works, She will premiere the intriguing “Birdhouses (2017),” that was composed for her by an American composer Bonnie McAlvin. This new work as well demonstrates the chain cycle in the modern language setting, using set theory.
By putting these seemingly contrasting works together which were written using different idioms (tonal theory [harmony] vs. set theory [interval]), Emiko will confirm that the spirit of Romanticism does not only exist in the works of the Romantic period, but also exists in the works of our time.
Bonnie McAlvin’s note on the Birdhouse (2017):
Each birdhouse represents a struggle between the life force and the desire to be civilized. The harmony swirls around the mouth of the bird house, undergoing transformations which lead it only—and always—within a few voice leading motions from that which keeps it swirling.
back to the Projects Page