Steinway & Sons releases Miyako Arishima’s debut Album, featuring the music of Takemitsu, Szymanowski, Chopin, and Serocki
For her debut recording, Miyako Arishima offers a combination of two very distant worlds: the Romantic embodied by the music of Chopin and the twentieth-century, represented by the work of Karol Szymanowski, Kaziemierz Serocki and Arishima’s compatriot Toru Takemitsu.
Steinway & Sons releases the debut album from up-and-coming Japanese pianist Miyako Arishima (STNS 30118). The album blends two vastly different, yet kindred worlds: the Romantic, embodied by the music of Frédéric Chopin, and the twentieth century, represented by the works of Toru Takemitsu, Karol Szymanowski, and Kazimierz Serocki.
Although the record heavily features Polish repertoire, Rain Tree Sketch by Toru Takemitsu, arguably the greatest Japanese composer of the twentieth century, kicks off the album. This piece, written in 1982, reflects the essence of Takemitsu’s composition style, blending Western themes with Japanese cultural roots. Although the piece is short, it focuses on the relationship between meticulously produced notes and silence.
There are two pieces by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski featured on this record: Métopes, Op. 29: Nausicaa, and 2 Mazurkas, Op. 62. The first of the two, Nausicaa, was written while the composer was under the sway of aesthetic impressions from Doric temple friezes at the Palermo museum, and as a result was heavily inspired by Greek mythology. The second, 2 Mazurkas, are later works which form the final opus of Szymanowski, and are distinct from the composer’s earlier works in their softer rhythmic contours and distinct arabesque character.
Three works by Frédéric Chopin, including 4 Mazurkas, Op. 33, the sixth of the composer’s mazurka sets, showcases the signature liveliness of the mazurka, a traditional Polish dance set in triple time, through nostalgic, popular melodies and elaborate minor-mode settings.
Rounding out the recording is the seven-part Suite of Preludes by Kazimierz Serocki, who would later become a radical representative of the Polish avant-garde. This piece is notable for its unorthodox incorporation of Arnold Schönberg’s famous twelve-tone serialism, and its blend of the Chopin-era and post-Chopin musical traditions.
“This disc has nearly all the qualities I look for in a debut recital: a fine blend of venerable and unfamiliar repertoire; a clear, confident musical personality; and considerable thoughtfulness in interpretation. Unimpeachable technique goes without saying, and Miyako Arishima certainly has that as well.”
“She finds not only the Romantic pianism in the music of Szymanowski and Serocki but also the modernism in Chopin, and the latter is perhaps where Arishima is most striking...her Chopin style contributes to a discourse that is lively and persuasive and is part of a larger general revival of 20th century Polish music.”
“Miyako Arishima is an outstanding young pianist whose debut album presents a bold and unusual program...What unites the program is a sense of formal openness and expressionism, and of course the sparkling brilliance of Arishima’s playing. Recommended to all classical collections.”
Takemitsu, Szymanowski, Chopin, Serocki / Miyako Arishima • STNS 30118
Release Date: 09/06/2019
Recorded March 5 - 6, 2019 at the Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio, Warsaw.
Executive Producer: Jon Feidner
Co-Producer: Olivier Berggruen
Production Assistant: Renée Oakford
Recording Producers: Andrzej Sasin, Aleksandra Nagórko
Editing/Mastering: Andrzej Sasin, Aleksandra Nagórko
Cover Photo/Design: Aleksandra Mleczko
Piano Technician: Arimune Yamamoto
Piano: Steinway Model D #572795 (Hamburg)
About the Artist
Born in Hitoyoshi City, Kumamoto Prefecture, Mikyako Arishima started playing the piano from the age of two. After graduating from Toho Women's High School Music Department, Arishima studied at the Bydgoszcz Conservatory in Poland where she completed her undergraduate and master's degrees. In 2013, she won the Music Festival Award at the 3rd Kirishima International Music Festival, and in the same year won the 5th place at the 10th Darmstadt International Chopin Piano Competition. Arishima has performed with the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Krakow Chamber Orchestra, Bydgoszcz Philharmonic Orchestra and others.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.