Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Chelsea Guo to Release CHOPIN: IN MY VOICE

The album opens with Chopin's complete Preludes, Op. 28; Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60; and Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49.

On Friday, June 18, 2021, Orchid Classics will release Chopin: In My Voice, the debut album of 2020 National Chopin Piano Competition top prize-winner Chelsea Guo. Chopin: In My Voice celebrates Guo's rare dual gifts, performing simultaneously as a pianist and soprano, in works that show all facets of Frédéric Chopin's compositional style. The album opens with Chopin's complete Preludes, Op. 28; Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60; and Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49, and continues with works showcasing Guo's voice, including the "Moja pieszczotka," Op. 74 No. 12; "In mir klingt ein Lied" (Étude, Op.10 No.3) with text by Ernst Marischka; and "Di piacer mi balza il cor" from Rossini's La Gazza Ladra, decorated in Chopin's improvisational style. The album was recorded and engineered by GRAMMY Award-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse. The instrument on which the recording was made is a Style 4 Steinway piano, built personally by Theodore Steinway in 1876, in what is often considered to be the "Golden Age" of piano making. The piano was discovered in Sydney, Australia in 1968 and restored twice, though it still retains all of its unique features.

Chelsea Guo began singing seriously when Juilliard Pre-College gave her the option to learn a second instrument. She soon realised that programming recitals featuring both solo piano music and art song opened up a vast range of storytelling possibilities. Audiences were entranced, and she had the idea to put together an album including both piano and voice. "The piano works in this album are so dear to me as they have lived with me through many milestones during my growth as a musician and a person," Guo explains. "They were introduced to me at a young age and have only become closer to my heart and evolved in personal meaning over time. My development as a vocalist is just one new layer of a more eye-opening, expansive experience with Chopin's music, so I was especially excited to integrate vocal music in my debut album - it was a truly immersive experience. It is a privilege to be able to bring Chopin's inner world to life through performing what he poured out onto paper."

In the liner notes, Guo writes, "It is no secret that Chopin was mesmerised by the human voice, especially in the context of opera, but the mystery of why he never delved into writing for the genre still lingers today. Tad Schulc writes in his book, Chopin in Paris: The Times and Life of the Romantic Composer, that Chopin was convinced that, 'for him, the piano was the perfect instrument, capable of achieving everything that might be conveyed by one hundred voices on an opera stage.' Still, he called bel canto opera 'the most perfect sounds in all creation,' deriving great inspiration from the intricate ornamentation employed by composers such as Rossini and Bellini, and expertly executed by leading singers of his time. Realising he could mimic, even exaggerate their abilities on his beloved instrument, he allowed bel canto to inform the way he imagined the notated improvisatory pianistic figures which became his signature compositional fingerprint. I chose to pair, alongside some of my most beloved piano works by Chopin, an art song written by him, an art song set to a melody composed by him, and an aria from Rossini's La Gazza Ladra - the opera Chopin and Rossini spoke about the most in their letters." Watch Chelsea Guo perform Chopin's In Mir klingt ein Lied.

About Chelsea Guo

A top prizewinner in the 2020 U.S. National Chopin Piano Competition, Chelsea Guo has earned praise for her "strong musicality," "thoughtful performance," and as "a fine Chopin stylist" (South Florida Classical Review). She is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Music in piano at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Hung-Kuan Chen and studying voice with Lorraine Nubar and Jason Ferrante.

From an early age, Ms. Guo was drawn to singing. A voice student of Lorraine Nubar, she has increasingly included vocal selections in her piano programs, providing her audience the enriched opportunity of experiencing music in a broader context, often displaying the influence that singers had on composers of their time. In 2019, she was featured on WQXR's "Young Artist Showcase" in a full hour of solo piano and vocal performance. Of her performance of a virtuosic Schubert song in which she accompanied herself, playing Liszt's virtuosic transcription of the song for solo piano in place of the original Schubert piano part, the show's host, Robert Sherman, called her performance "extraordinary," exclaiming that he had never experienced such an accomplishment in his 42 years on the show. Ms. Guo has been recognized for her vocal gifts by the 2019 National YoungArts Classical Voice Competition, won First Prize in the 2019 Schmidt Voice Competition, and was granted scholarships by the prestigious George London and Gerda Lissner foundations.

Ms. Guo's solo piano performances have taken her to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium and Weill Hall as well as world class venues throughout the United States, England, Austria, France, Poland, Italy, Germany, China, Japan and Canada. A guest artist of the Leeds Inaugural Piano Festival, she has given recitals at Howard Assembly Room in Leeds and Wigmore Hall in London. She was presented in a six-concert tour of China under the auspices of the Shenzhen Piano Music Festival. Ms. Guo was also featured in solo recitals presented by the Mozarteum Summer concert Series in Salzburg. She has appeared as featured piano soloist in concertos with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Barry Douglas. Having debuted as a pianist with the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra at age nine, she returned in 2018 as vocal soloist under the baton of Maestro Muhai Tang.

Throughout the year preceding the 10th National Chopin Piano Competition, Ms. Guo found herself deeply immersed in the music of Frederic Chopin. Amidst the Covid-19 global pandemic, she performed in virtual recitals as part of the Chopin@Home Salon Concert series presented by the U.S. Chopin Foundation; in Charlotte White's Salon de Virtuosi series, which showcases the most brilliant and promising young talents; and in a "Play it Forward" concert presented by the Lang Lang Foundation, which was named by Pianist Magazine as "one of the five most brilliant virtual concerts of the week." Ms. Guo greatly looks forward to her German debut at the 2021 Moritzburg Festival. Learn more at www.chelseaguopiano.com.

Chopin: In My Voice Track List

Frédéric Chopin - Preludes, Op. 28
1. Prelude No. 1 in C Major - Agitato [0:37]
2. Prelude No. 2 in A minor - Lento [2:31]
3. Prelude No. 3 in G Major - Vivace [1:02]
4. Prelude No. 4 in E minor - Largo [2:12]
5. Prelude No. 5 in D Major - Allegro molto [0:35]
6. Prelude No. 6 in B minor - Lento assai [2:13]
7. Prelude No. 7 in A Major - Andantino [0:48]
8. Prelude No. 8 in F-sharp minor - Molto agitato [1:53]
9. Prelude No. 9 in E Major - Largo [1:31]
10. Prelude No. 10 in C-sharp minor - Allegro molto [0:33]
11. Prelude No. 11 in B Major - Vivace [0:42]
12. Prelude No. 12 in G-sharp minor - Presto [1:15]
13. Prelude No. 13 in F-sharp Major - Lento [3:16]
14. Prelude No. 14 in E-flat minor - Allegro [0:41]
15. Prelude No. 15 in D-flat Major - Sostenuto [5:34]
16. Prelude No. 16 in B-flat minor - Presto con fuoco [1:13]
17. Prelude No. 17 in A-flat Major - Allegretto [3:08]
18. Prelude No. 18 in F minor - Allegro molto [1:01]
19. Prelude No. 19 in E-flat Major - Vivace [1:23]
20. Prelude No. 20 in C minor - Largo [1:45]
21. Prelude No. 21 in B-flat Major - Cantabile [1:45]
22. Prelude No. 22 in G minor - Molto agitato [0:48]
23. Prelude No. 23 in F Major - Moderato [0:58]
24. Prelude No. 24 in D minor - Allegro appassionato [2:39]

25. Frédéric Chopin - Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49 [12:49]

26. Frédéric Chopin - Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60 [8:31]

27. Frédéric Chopin - "Moja pieszczotka", Op. 74 No. 12 [2:10]

28. Frédéric Chopin & Ernst Marischka - "In mir klingt ein Lied" (Étude, Op.10 No.3) [3:29]

29. Gioachino Rossini - "Di piacer mi balza il cor" from La Gazza Ladra [6:17]
Chelsea Guo, piano and voice

Total time: 73:24

The vocal tracks on this album are both performed and self-accompanied by Chelsea, whilst also recorded simultaneously.

ORC100167
Produced & Engineered: Adam Abeshouse
Edited, Mixed & Mastered: Adam Abeshouse
Recorded at Abeshouse Productions on 18, 20 and 21 October 2020
Photography: Sophie Zhai


Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Classical Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You