Chie Hirai

Chie Hirai – 1840 Chopin and Glinka

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After the recording of an earlier Chopin disc with Hidemi Suzuki, Chie Hirai decided to make a solo album with a combination of works by Chopin and Glinka. The picturesque city of Deventer and it’s lovely sounding Mennonite church was our recording venue for this project. Using her own Pleyel piano (built in Paris in 1840) Chie captured just the right sound for this project. The light but also powerful character of the instrument matches the repertoire very well.

(Recording setup – Photo made by Marcel Kroese)

(During playback session – Photo made by Marcel Kroese)

Since the Pleyel is an old lady, Hans Kramer was present the whole time to maintain and tune the instrument. For this reason (and to take out some pedal and other mechanical noises..) he took the instrument apart a couple of times per day. Here you see a detail of the interior of this beautiful instrument.

(Pleyel – Photo made by Marcel Kroese)

(Daan during the recording session – Photo made by Marcel Kroese)

The project will be released in spring 2011 by the Japanese label ‘Accustica’.

Project info:

Recording venue: Doopsgezinde Kerk, Deventer

Recording Producer: Daan van Aalst

Recording Engineer and editing: Daan van Aalst

Piano tuner: Hans Kramer (de Pianotemmer)

Hidemi Suzuki and Chie Hirai

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In the summer of 2008 Hudemi Suzuki and Chie Hirai went to the lovely concert hall ‘Onder de Linden’ in Valthermond to record a new SACD for BMG Japan. After their first Mendelssohn recording for BMG they decided to record a disc with music by Frédéric Chopin and Carl Czerny.

We had a great week filled with musical and culinary pleasure! In the rural surroundings of Valthermond, Hidemi and Chie created a colorful ‘salon’ atmosphere with their musicality and the sound of their original instruments. Hidemi played on his cello built by Bart Visser after G.B.Guadagnini.  Chie brought her own Piano (Ignace Pleyel – 1840) for the  Chopin pieces and for the Rondeau Concertant by Carl Czerny she used a wonderful piano (Joseph Böhm,Vienna in ca.1825) that matched the brilliant character of the piece.

Project info:

Frédéric Chopin(1810-49)
Introduction et polonaise brillante en ut majeur,Op.3
Sonate pour piano et violoncelle en sol mineur, Op.65
Frédéric Chopin / Auguste Franchomme(1808-84)
Grand duo concertant en mi majeur pour piano et violoncelle KKII b/1
– sur des thèmes de ‘Robert le Diable’
Carl Czerny(1791-1857)**
Rondeau concertant en ut majeur pour piano et violoncello. Op.136

(photo: Jean-Marie Geijsen. From left to right: Chie Hirai, Daan van Aalst, Hidemi Suzuki, Jean-Marie Geijsen, Hans Kramer.)

(Photo: Jean-Marie Geijsen.)

(Photo: Jean-Marie Geijsen)

Label: BMG Japan

Venue: ‘Onder de Linden’ Valthermond

Producer: Daan van Aalst

Balance engineer: Jean-Marie Geijsen

Piano Tuner: Hans Kramer