Paul Cantrell’s music blog & podcast
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Chopin Nocturne 55.1 (remastered)

Continuing with the work of remastering all my existing home recordings, here’s a Chopin nocturne I posted almost exactly one year ago. It is a subtle, spare thing, and its spareness makes it much more difficult than it sounds. Listening to this recording again, I think I could play it better now; perhaps I’ll record it again in the future. A really fine piece of music is a lifelong exploration, so I’m certainly not opposed to posting new versions of pieces I’ve already recorded! Still, this recording is decent — the idea of the music certainly comes across, and the new sound really helps.

Nocturne Op 55 No 1 (in F minor)
Paul Cantrell, piano

My favorite moment of many favorites in the piece: the magical chromatic spiral toward the end (it begins at 4:25 in this recording). It was a delight picking that apart one note at a time, figuring out how Chopin put it together — then feeling it sinking comfortably into muscle memory, the ears and the fingers an organic living whole. I marvel at Chopin, and playing his music is humbling — but the wonderful thing about being a musician is that I get to make it my own all the same. (If any of you out there let out a longing sigh as you read that: it’s never too late to start (or restart) piano lessons!)