"Letter to Chopin"
Recorded in Fukushima City on the 17th of December 2009
in the Fukushima City Concert Hall
Published by DUX 2010
Dear Frederic Chopin,
I pay homage to you and send greetings on your bi-centennial anniversary. My name is Michał Sobkowiak. I am a pianist and an ardent admirer of your music.
I would like to send you a birthday present, but I do not know where and how to send it. As you are no longer physically with us, material objects would not likely please you. Somehow, I want to express my gratitude for all the wonderful music you wrote, which speak to the hearts of millions of music lovers.
I have lived in Japan for five years now. Like you, I chose to live abroad, but my reasons for my emigration are different. I came here not because of a necessity, but of my own free will. I fell in love with this country on my first concert tour fourteen years ago and now Japan has become my second home. Despite the congenial surroundings, I sometimes feel homesick. I miss Polish bread, Polish air and all things Polish that you so wonderfully express in your compositions. Your music comforts me when cultural differences wear me down, when the earth quakes and when Europe seems far away.
I have played your pieces since childhood; I dream, fantasize and new ideas develop from the roots of your creations. Your Mazurkas are the closest to my heart. They inspire me to develop them into my own musical language. I composed nine paraphrases based on your Mazurkas and I hope you would like them and that they would not offend you. In these, I try to give expression of my great love of your music. This is my birthday present to you and I hope it will reach you, wherever you are.
1-9 Piano Papraphrases on Chopin Mazurkas
1. E minor Op. 17 No. 2
2. G minor Op. 67 No. 2
3. C minor Op. 56 No. 3
4. C sharp minor Op. 63 No. 3
5. A flat major Op. 41 No. 3
6. C major Op. 33 No. 2
7. A minor Op. 59 No. 1
8. B flat minor Op. 24 No. 4
9. F major Op. 68 No. 3
10. Letter to Chopin