Maxim Mironov‘s debut solo album “La Ricordanza” showcases a selection of Bellini’s music, following his life story. We caught up with Maxim between his performances to find out the story behind his album.
Why did you make the CD? The idea of this recording came to me when I was visiting the Museum of Bellini in Catania, Sicily. Amongst other things, I saw two instruments that belonged to the composer. The actual state of the pianos is quite bad; you can’t play on them now, but the way they look and the fact that the great Bellini himself played on them brought me to the questions, what was the voice of the instruments? Which music did Bellini compose with them and how did it sound? In order to answer these questions, I started my research. On this journey, I’ve met the most exciting and interesting people all over the world; musicologists, collectors of ancient instruments and musicians. The fruit of this research is my new CD “La Ricordanza”, accompanied by Richard Barker.
How did you come across Bellini’s music? The interesting thing is that I came to Bellini’s music quite early. When I started voice lessons, my teacher gave me the arietta “O crudel che il mio pianto non vedi” to practice. Often vocal students use chamber vocal music of Bellini in their studies. Also the great pianist from the Metropolitan Opera George Darden who gave me the scores of “La ricordanza” and said that in his opinion, I can perform it better than anyone else! Sadly George passed away few years ago, but I treasure his valuable lessons and that’s why I dedicated the CD in memory of him.
This disc became a part of a larger project. I created a Narrative recital “La Ricordanza” in which I tell the life story of Vincenzo Bellini through his vocal chamber music, exploring the personal side of his biography: the early years in Sicily, his studies in Naples, his first successful operas, his friendship with illustrious figures such as Rossini, Donizetti, Pepoli, Pasta and Chopin; rivalry, triumphs and defeats; his love life and his untimely and mysterious death aged only thirty-three in Paris. I use the authentic transparent and intimate tone of a very special early nineteenth century instrument in order to recreate the atmosphere of the places in which the Bellini’s life took place.
It is quite a new idea of performing chamber music but it is also highly engaging, educational and simply fun for the public.
Where can people buy it from? People who came to the live concert of “La Ricordanza” last month receive a complimentary promotional version as a souvenir, however the Limited Edition of manually numbered 500 pieces only was made too. It is an elegant CD-book with texts of Italian musicologist Francesco Cesari finely designed and illustrated by Alexey Sorokin. It is available on Illiria where you can also download the music. Soon it will also be available on iTunes and Amazon. I hope you enjoy it!
Watch the making of Maxim’s Bellini album “La Ricordanza”: