phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
Advertisement

Alexandra Dariescu: Ode to Joy

17 May 2013 Rachel Ridge

"This is actually one of the most well-known and beloved concertos ever written for piano. This is the last concerto that Beethoven wrote and it’s very original how he wrote it. There’s a lot of heroic feeling in it and I absolutely love performing it!"

Hearing she is the first ever female pianist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall must have felt good for Romanian born prodigy, Alexandra Dariescu. Hearing that the Romanian royal family were set to drop by the show, a night of Beethoven's concertos entitled The Great Classics: Ode to Joy, must have exceeded all her expectations! London Calling caught up with her to discuss her enchanting approach to making music...

 

London Calling: You are the first female pianist to ever perform at the Royal Albert Hall, how does that make you feel?

Alexandra Dariescu: I have to say, I think it’s one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. Other Romanian pianists such as Dinu Lipatti and Radu Lupu have played there and are two of my absolute top favourite pianists in the world. It is just such an honour and a privilege to be performing at the Albert Hall, especially with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. During the years we’ve just had this wonderful relationship and it will be a joy to perform with them.

 

LC: Can you talk about the pieces that you will be performing in your up and coming show?

AD: Oh yes! I’m only playing one piece; a concerto. It’s Beethoven’s piano concerto number five, which is nicknamed ‘The Emperor’. This is actually one of the most well-known and beloved concertos ever written for piano and I think it will attract a lot of people and they will love to listen to it at the Albert Hall. This is the last concerto that Beethoven wrote and it’s very original how he wrote it. There’s a lot of heroic feeling in it and I absolutely love performing it. I’ve done it before with the RPO, which was really nice, and I just can’t wait to play it again!

 

LC: Would you say you have a particular affinity with this Beethoven’s emperor piano concerto?

AD: Yes I think so. I mean the whole program is based on Beethoven; it’s the Ode to Joy and that’s what the title is for the whole evening. For sure this is probably the most well known out of Beethoven’s concertos.

 

LC: Have you worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra before? Do you enjoy collaborating with them?

AD: We’ve played a lot before; we’ve done concerts at the Barbican, in a lot of cities around the country, and we’ve done lots of repertoire. We’ve just done Beethoven’s 4th in Guilford, Tchaikovsky in Watford and it’s actually quite exciting in September, we’re going to the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, it will be my first ever time being in Bucharest playing that festival and being with the RPO which is very special.

 

LC: Would you say you are happiest playing with a large orchestra, alone or recording?

AD: My favourite bit I have to say is playing concertos with an orchestra and especially with the RPO; we have this very close relationship. As I started knowing the players they are one of the friendliest and most welcoming orchestras I’ve ever played with. I think that helps in the music making, when everyone’s enjoying himself or herself that comes across in the music and the public can feel that. In general, I want to be a balanced musician, so do a lot of concertos but also solo stuff and collaborate with different musicians. I believe in a very balanced life in general and trying to have a bit of everything.

 

LC: How did you get into playing the piano and what was your journey of training like?

AD: I started because my mum loved classical music and she introduced me to the world of piano. As soon as I started I just fell in love with it, I just wanted to practice always. I was very lucky because I didn’t have pushy parents, they would just always encourage me to play the piano. I think I always associate the piano with people getting together, I think music in general does this and that’s one of the greatest joys about playing.

 

LC: What pieces do you feel a particular affinity with and why?

AD: There are so many of them I can’t really pin them down! One of my most beloved is Chopin’s 24 preludes. On the same night as the Royal Albert Hall debut, I’m releasing my second disc and one of the pieces on the CD is the complete Chopin prelude. It includes the 24 and then we‘ve got three preludes by Dutilleux. So it’s actually an evening with double excitement- it’s my debut at the Albert Hall and the release of my second CD!

 

LC: Are your Romanian roots an inspiration when creating your individual sound?

AD: Yes absolutely, the Romanian piano tradition is really amazing, what with Dinu Lipatti, Radu Lupuand Clara Haskil; these wonderful people have inspired so many generations and they will keep doing so. I think the most important thing about the Romanian piano tradition is sound and how you approach it, always creating beauty and trying to capture the sensitivity in every sound that you make. My Romanian roots are so important as that’s where I grew up and I only moved to the UK when I was seventeen. I’ve lived in this country for ten years now but of course I’m getting all these influences. I have to say the UK was the best place for me to be in to develop with the most extraordinary teachers. In a way I wouldn’t have had that opportunity in Romania, so I got a good foundation from there but it is so much more developed in this country. It has been a very exciting journey and hopefully I’ll keep learning.   

 

LC: I’ve seen you say you like to have a holistic approach, how do you incorporate that into the music?

AD: Well, we were talking about how you prepare a piece of music and I was saying it’s a holistic approach. I’m trying to incorporate the memorising of a piece from the very first stages - thinking about the sound and the character of a piece - and starting with all of that in mind instead of going in different stages. Of course there are a lot of details that you need to look at but in general I start with a holistic approach from the beginning.

 

LC: How much work is involved in becoming classically trained to the level you’re at?

AD: I think we need to compare me with a professional sportsman; there is lots and lots of practise I need to do everyday. I still do around six to eight hours a day. It’s not just about playing the piano but it’s about reading, listening and getting so much information about the art in general. Of course with the modern day you have to be so socially active on Twitter and Facebook and all sorts, which is really lovely, as I love communicating. In a way that breaks the barrier between the performer and the public so many people get in touch after a concert or after listening to something on YouTube.

 

LC: Do you enjoy connecting with your fans?

AD: Oh absolutely, we’re all here because of audiences and they are so important! That’s why whenever I do a solo recital I always introduce my pieces. I speak to the audience and they absolutely love that because they want to see that you’re human as well not just there to play. It makes such a huge difference, I don’t get into huge details or anything but if I find there’s an interesting quote or something or quite exciting that I reads about I share it with the public and they absolutely love that.

 

LC: What performances are coming up next for you?

AD: Well it’s very exciting, I’ve got my debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and of course we’re going to Romania for the Enescu Festival. I’m going to South Africa for the first time, which is very exciting and performing a concerto there. I’ve got my debut with the Harney Orchestra and this summer I’m going to the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and then to the Geneva international Festival, so it’s all go go go!

 

Alexandra Dariescu's new record Chopin and Dutilleux Complete Preludes Vol.1 will be released on the 7 June. The Great Classics: Ode to Joy will be performed also on the 7 June at the Royal Albert Hall. For more information and to book tickets please click here.

 

{ad-placement-MPU1}

Most popular

What to See at The Cinema

What to See at The Cinema

Your go-to guide to what's on the silver screen
Advertisement
Top 5 Bars and Restaurants for Shisha-Lovers

Top 5 Bars and Restaurants for Shisha-Lovers

The five finest spots in London to shoot the breeze and pass the pipe
Advertisement
The Best Riverside Walks In London

The Best Riverside Walks In London

Oh we do like to be beside the canalside...
Advertisement
Advertisement
A Guide to the Best Lidos in London

A Guide to the Best Lidos in London

Looking to beat the heat or enjoy some fun in the sun? Here are our top 5 London lidos to enjoy this summer.
Top Theatre of the Week

Top Theatre of the Week

Where to get the best of new theatre openings in London
Top Exhibitions of the Week

Top Exhibitions of the Week

The place to come for all the best current exhibitions in London...
London’s Must-See Flower Shows in 2019

London’s Must-See Flower Shows in 2019

With the balmy weather here to stay, why not take in the sumptuous beauty that these London flower shows have to offer
Top Gigs of the Week

Top Gigs of the Week

From underground indie to rap stars to house legends, we've got you covered...
Where to Eat: Desserts in East London

Where to Eat: Desserts in East London

Even if the Easter bunny doesn’t visit your garden this month, there are plenty of ways to get your sweet fix this springtime

Your inbox deserves a little culture!!

Advertisement