The pianist between emotion and virtuosity
To Ignacy Paderewski, the piano was like a second mother tongue. Playmate of his studious childhood, the instrument enabled him to conquer himself before conquering the world. In the wake of the great virtuosos from the romantic era – particularly Chopin and Liszt –, he travelled the world at a dizzying pace, accumulating glory and huge fees which he was soon to devote to a new battle – patriotic this time. To him, virtuosity first and foremost conveyed emotion. Audiences acclaimed him to the very last note, even if his cascade delivery had somehow slowed down since his early Parisian days in 1888 or those spent touring in special trains throughout America.
A composer in pursuit of absolute
One should also remember the music he composed, which, even if it could not match the sheer abundance of his concerts, reflected the same quest for the absolute. Crowned by his only Manru Opera created in Dresden in 1901, his work only spans (with a few exceptions) the first four decades of his life and testifies to his extreme passion for piano.