Thursday, July 23, 2015


There's always been a question on everyone’s mind:
Why isn't there a modern epic movie about Franz Liszt?
For the past 185 years Franz Liszt has been a true superhero for anyone who aspires to play music, especially the Concert Grand, and for many Liszt is the starting point for every aspiring artist on the road to true virtuoso.

Liszt & Chopin In Paris is the ultimate movie for global audiences promising to provide total immersion of this remarkable period with stunning performances by Liszt and Chopin themselves portrayed by world-class actors and recorded in amazing Dolby Atmos surround-sound technology accompanied by high-level visual and dramatic performances that have never been produced in cinema on this scale before. Theatrical films encompassing such glorious and complex subject can work miracles in cinema.

TitanicAmadeusCasablancaGone With The Wind became all-time classics because they were done with equal parts creativity, passion and intelligence combined with high-level expertise and dramatic intensity.

LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS is a high-profile, theatrical production with a great story for audiences of all ages that spans across two revolutionary decades during which Franz Liszt and Frédéric Chopin lived, featuring those two amazing composer-performers, superstars in their own right and both refugees from war-torn countries who worked, lived, loved and conquered hearts of millions in 19th century Paris, at that time the toughest city in Europe to survive penetrating, and ultimately seducing entire Parisian society with their charm and genius, and with it the whole of Europe and soon the entire world.

Conceived and brilliantly scripted by John Mark who himself was born and educated in the heart of Europe, classical piano virtuoso and composer, accomplished writer and scholar, as well as top-rated performer himself who intimately knows the lives of Liszt & Chopin and their world.

LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS is the story of Franz Liszt and Frédéric Chopin featured aroundLisztomania as it were in 21st century in truly global sense bringing ultimate drama and classical music experience in the contemporary 3D surround-sound theater.
Lisztomania is a term that denotes high-level of adulation, attention, praise, acclaim and polarity on the verge of hysteria around Franz Liszt, the superstar virtuoso of 19th century Paris, and prototype performer for every superstar, and/or performing artist today who all aspire to be like Franz Liszt and whose performances were worshipped up to the point of hysteria.
Lisztomania is very much on people's minds today. When Phoenix released the song "Lisztomania" by Thomas Mars (Sofia Coppolla’s husband) the song instantly became a hit worldwide topping all charts across the board.
Lisztomania in a movie theater sounds like a dream come true, as there are millions of Lisztomaniacs all over the world who will be among the first in line to see this film.
At the height of Lisztomania that continued up to Liszt’s retirement as concert piano virtuoso in 1847 at the age of 35, the most beautiful women in the world wore bracelets made out of broken piano strings from Liszt’s pianos he broke on stage, carried coffee dregs as necklaces in vials from coffee he drank, and cigar butts from cigars that he smoked revered as relics by his fans…”
Terms like Beatlemania and the frenzy associated with today’s rock concert all originated from Franz Liszt  who was the ultimate performer and entertainer, the god of the piano and all-time virtuoso on whom all top-level professional pianists today try to base their performances all over the world.

Franz Liszt was the ultimate performer, the greatest superstar of all time on whom even Michael Jackson fashioned his stardom i.e. raised collar, the white glove etc. all originating from Franz Liszt.

Liszt was the first artist in history who had an agent, who traveled with three (3) concert grand pianos and who was followed by a huge procession wherever he went including his management across Europe from Turkey to London while women fainted in hysteria in his presence even more than during The Beatles era, or during Bieber’s performances today.

Franz Liszt was the god of the piano, the inventor of the recital, the tour, the modern piano, the first artist ever with an agent and management company, the ultimate performer extraordinaire, as well as the Renaissance Man.

Liszt was also strikingly handsome, much in demand by the most beautiful women in the world, whose charisma and sex appeal lead to many of his romantic conquests on a level that the world of art and music has never seen before, or since. 

He was born in Austria of Austrian mother and Hungarian father who worked at the Esterházy estate and his studies were done in Vienna, principally with Karl Czerny and Anton Reicha. 

In 1822 Liszt has met Beethoven, who’s blessing he counted as the most important formative experience of his musical life.

At age of fourteen, Liszt went with his father to Paris, and adopted French language to the extent that it remained his mother tongue for the rest of his life. Later, he acquired high proficiency in English, Italian, and of course he spoke fluent German, and even some Hungarian, although never fluently in contrast to many distinguished Hungarians of the day.

Liszt’s piano performances were legendary and the hysteria surrounding his appearances on stage and in public was comparable to the performances of The Beatles in the 60’ies - as Beatlemania resembled very much the atmosphere of Lisztomania of modern Europe.

Throughout history many performers idolized him and copied his style including Michael Jackson who wore Liszt’s white glove, his raised collar and his famous uniform, but Liszt was truly a magician of the piano who could read any piece of music with the score upside down in front of him and perform it flawlessly at first sight.

When Liszt meets his nemesis Frédéric Chopin history is made and true age of virtuosity is born with these two piano gods providing the audiences with unforgettable story in LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS as together they mark the beginning of modern Europe and the Romantic Age.

Liszt was the prototype of all superstar musicians and genuine artists fighting for the artist's rightful place in the materialistic world of 19th century Europe and he usually got his way.

For example, in Vienna at a long-awaited soirée at Princess Metternich’s salon while keeping Liszt waiting the Princess chatted idly with her other guests, then suddenly turned to the pianist and said, "You gave concerts in Italy, didn’t you? Did you do good business there?" In response, Liszt bowed stiffly and replied cuttingly, "Princess, I make music, not business," and left. 

The Script Liszt & Chopin In Paris has plenty of references portraying Liszt's amazing, charismatic personality.

Liszt never wavered to opposing anyone in his quest for excellence and to promoting the cause of the arts, including kings, queens, monarchs and those in power even at the risk of summary execution as in the scene with the Tsar who when chattered idly, and not paying attention to Liszt's performance Liszt stopped playing asking the most powerful ruler on earth to stop talking.

Liszt was a lot more than the ultimate entertainer extraordinaire. He was a revolutionary, a humanist, a pop-star and the Renaissance Man,  the ultimate entertainer and European role model all in one. He was l'uomo universale and the international phenomenon to everyone.

For the past 200 years Franz Liszt has been the role model for generations of artists for whom performing Liszt’s music has been the greatest honor, while during Liszt’s days thousands of women rushed to Franz Liszt’s performances steeped in sensuality and personal attraction to him that were beyond ordinary. 

Liszt was admired by the most beautiful women in the world attended his concerts and who frequently surrounding his stage laughed, wept and threw themselves at his feet, tossing their personal jewelry at their idol, scrambling for souvenirs while at the height of Lisztomania some fainted dead simply to get his attention.

After years on Tour the term Lisztomania came from the hysteria that surrounded Liszt's ground breaking performances. It was compared to an infectious disease, a mass hysteria of women wearing his portrait on brooches, fighting over the lumps of his hair, collecting his coffee dregs, and fainting during his concerts.

When Liszt sat at the piano his fantastic maine of hair, with many medals that he wore on his custom-made vest similar to the one Michael Jackson's vest he drove his audiences to the state of frenzy as Liszt turned his instrument into spellbinding experience that was compared to "the aesthetic equivalent of "St. Vitus-dance". St. Vitus was a saint who supposedly had wild religious ecstasies with his followers who jumped around uncontrollably. 

However, Lisztomania was not only for women who were in love with Liszt. Very few pianists can truly give justice to Liszt's works because they present tremendous pianistic challenge. Unlike Chopin's composition that are based on beautiful, melodic themes and were written by Chopin as publications, Liszt who was the master performer in its own right wrote his works mainly for himself and there really was no one who could perform them like him ever since. 

That's why to capture the magic of Liszt's compositions is almost next to impossible. Today, most of Liszt's composition are performed on the "safe-side" and in neutral mode while Chopin's works continue to touch listeners hearts with their inescapable beauty partly because they are so much easier  perform apart from being great and masterful works.

This is how one music critic described Liszt’s performance in St. Petersburg:

“After bowing low in all directions to a tumult of applause such as had probably not been heard in Petersburg since 1703, Liszt seated himself at the piano. Instantly the hall became deadly silent. We had never in our lives heard anything like this; we had never been in the presence of such a brilliant, passionate, demonic performer, at one moment rushing like a whirlwind, at another pouring forth cascades of tender beauty and grace with amazing brilliance. Liszt's playing was absolutely overwhelming to all as we took a vow that thenceforth and forever, that day, 8 April 1842, would be forever sacred to us, and we would never forget a single second of his performance till our dying day."

When Liszt performed in Berlin in 1841 in a concert tour promoted by Bellini, who himself was apparently a very gifted advertiser and coordinator for his concerts Liszt left Berlin in a coach drawn by 6 white horses with 30 coaches following in procession while the city of Berlin cancelled classes on the day of his arrival…”

Another listener, describing the experience of Liszt's performance of Grand Galop Chromatique wrote as follows:

“Along with an unbelievable richness of harmony, and tempo of the hypnotic dance performed in front of us on the piano, Liszt’s playing was so fast that one could hardly follow it with the ear, and even less with the eye, as whoever looked at his fingers got lost in their rapidity, which in their flitting completely escaped the eye. If dancers were to look into this Lisztian whirl, they would compare it to the Turkish dervishes, who in their whirl-dance soon fall to the ground unconscious as we all did, or were near in this hypnotic performance.”

And then…

"How powerful, how startling was the effect of his mere appearance! How vehement was the applause which greeted him! Bouquets were thrown at his feet. It was a grand sight to see how calmly in his triumph he let the bouquets of flowers fall on him, and then placed, while gracefully smiling, a red Camelia which he had plucked from one of the bouquets, in his button-hole. 

The electric action of the demonic nature of his playing, closely pressed with a multitude of sounds, the contagious power of music sharing ecstasy in the audience, and perhaps magnetism in his music itself which vibrates in most of us - all these phenomena never struck me so significantly, or so painfully as in this Liszt concert.”

Franz Liszt, like a true pop-star of his day has made is music approachable to everyone, to the point that people who never played the piano, or listened to the piano immediately fell in love with it because of the way he presented it on the stage.

Liszt believed he could do anything on the piano, and in that sense he was the great modernist capable of writing prophetic work that even today can easily stand up to the most demanding 20thcentury compositions and beyond, yet despite technical difficulties the music of Liszt always exhibits the unique warmth of his emotional l’uomo universale personality and his joyful spirit with deep sympathy for life, love and humanity and with the highest degree of compassion.

Liszt loved life greatly and all its earthly stuff, he loved the smell of life and its hedonistic pleasures and he was entirely free of all dogma and prejudices that set him free and allowed him to embrace all of humanity with love and sympathy for everyone.

He traveled widely, and during his concerts played such extraordinary mixture of music that the audience were simply stunned with his daring displays of virtuosity, to the point that after his concerts entire towns celebrated on streets all night long with residents so excited they could not rest and kept partying until dawn.

Beatlemania, Biebermania, the raised collar, the recital, the Tour, Michael Jackson’s trademark uniform and white glove all originated from Liszt who started it all on stage before the queens and monarchs in music-charged salons 185 years ago.

As an icon Liszt met and befriended almost every person of artistic genius in early 1830s Paris, the capital of music, including Paganini, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Alkan, Hiller, Auber, Bellini, Meyerbeer, Delacroix, Ingres, Hugo, Heine, Balzac, Georges Sand and Dumas père. 

By 1835, when he eloped to Switzerland with Marie d’Agoult and then to Lake Como, Italy after a scandal erupted during which their daughter Cosima was born.

However, Liszt’s reputation as the ultimate performer was unparalleled, and his work as a composer was held in awe, primarily because of his pyrotechnical ability to perform it all on stage by himself with amazing improvisational skills and his uncanny ability to choose and perform the right works to take his audiences on the highest emotional rollercoaster.

Short Bio of John Mark:

John Mark, writer and creator of LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS is American screenwriter and novelist with extensive scholarly background and training in classical music.  

John Mark undertook brief studies with Prof. Nadia Boulanger at the Paris Conservatory and film directing and cinematography at IDHEC/Paris followed by studies at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, now part of Cinecitta'.

John Mark speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian and has received numerous letters of recognition for his contribution to classical music.

and is currently completing a contemporary screen adaptation of THE DIVINE COMEDY based on Dante Aligheri's famous classic.

LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS. The Script is now being developed for production as major theatrical motion picture of the same title. He has personally recorded preliminary soundtrack for LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS YouTube - Key search words: John Mark Chopin that paves way to the ultimate 3D hypersound surround sound Soundtrack soon to be produced and recorded with world's greatest virtuosos.

John Mark performing Chopin’s Ballade No. 4 in F-minor.wmv on Grotrian-Steinweg:

Preliminary SOUNDTRACK for LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS  recorded by John Mark - a preamble soundtrack featuring music scenes from the Script.


Check out this image from IMDb
LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS - the song of Europe featuring the greatest virtuosi at the height of Romantic Age.

YouTube - Videos Key words: John Mark Chopin
Google Search Key words: Liszt & Chopin In Paris

Saturday, April 26, 2014


La musique de Chopin 

Chopin est le plus étonnant fils de notre planète et sa musique est le Chant de la Terre.

Dans le film Liszt et Chopin à Paris, nous rendons hommage non seulement à Liszt, le plus grand virtuose de tous les temps, mais à Chopin, en le remerciant et en lui exprimant notre amour et notre vénération: il est le plus important compositeur de musique pour le piano, ses oeuvres ont enrichi et embelli nos vies au long des années, et c’est pourquoi nous sentons emplis de joie et de gratitude à son endroit. 

Cette production cinématographique, outre le souvenir de notre passé, constitue un défi indispensable, justifié par les soucis du temps présent. Célébrer Chopin et ses oeuvres peut élever et fortifier nos esprits et nos coeurs, dans un monde tristement en recherche d’un surcroît de forces et d’inspiration.

Nous nommons cette quête ”Chant de la Terre” en mémoire d’Ignacy J. Paderewski qui fut lui-même l’une des étoiles du piano classique. C’est lui qui employa cette expression dans un discours prononcé à l’occasion du centenaire de la naissance de Chopin, en 1910, à Lemberg, alors en Pologne, ville devenue de nos jours celle de Lviv en Ukraine  – souvenir d’une triste actualité à la lumière de la toute récente crise en ces contrées anciennes. 

Comme il est approprié d’évoquer la musique de Chopin qui nourrit, inspire  et apaise nos esprits et nos coeurs, quand les êtres humains s’éveillent de la nuit de cauchemars effroyables, aspirant à rallumer la flamme de la justice universelle, trop de fois éteinte, obscurcie ou viciée par les souffrances que l’humanité s’inflige à elle-même.

Comme il est approprié de ne pas oublier les valeurs que nos pères, frères et ancêtres nous ont enseignées: respecter l’humanité entière, ne pas céder à nos désirs égoïstes, donner et pardonner, ne pas obéir à la haine.

Tel est l’héritage de notre civilisation et des nombreuses générations qui, pas à pas, nous ont mené aux épreuves de l’heure, en direction d’un futur incertain où le chaos nous guette et menace, par-delà les infinis précipices du temps. 

Qu’est donc le ”Chant de la terre”?

La réponse se trouve dans le film Liszt et Chopin à Paris, grande oeuvre historique présentée en brillants costumes d’époque avec une magnifique bande sonore où se déploie le splendide esprit de la musique de Chopin, imprégnée de noblesse et d’énergie, une force et une dignité subtiles.

Un cri déchirant s’y élève au sein des douleurs, angoisses et tourments de la création:

Longue vive à l’humanité!

L’art et tout ce qui découle des profondeurs de l’âme humaine est le produit des noces de la raison et de l’émotion, et si la musique est le plus accessible des arts, c’est qu’elle est, par essence et par nature, une vibration cosmique.

C’est peut-être le seul art qui naît directement de tous les éléments de la vie vibrante en nous: rythme, ton, harmonie. Pouls de la vie fragile et évanescent, mais toujours mystérieux et puissant.  

Mêlée aux flots mugissants, au souffle du vent, au murmure des forêts, la musique vit au coeur des sursauts sismiques de la terre, dans le mouvement impressionant des planètes, dans les conflits cachés des atomes, dans toutes les lumières et toutes les sphères, toutes les couleurs et toutes les formes qui étonnent et apaisent nos nerfs et nos yeux.

La musique est présente dans le sang de nos artères, dans toutes les peines que nous endurons, dans les passions et les enthousiasmes qui soulèvent nos coeurs et nos corps. La musique est partout, prenant son essor, par-delà la parole humaine, dans les sphères éthérées des émotions divines.

L’énergie de l’univers ne connaît pas de répit, résonnant d’une façon continue à travers le temps et l’espace. Manifestations, rythmes, tout tient son origine des lois de la physique qui maintiennent en ordre les mondes  – harmonie cosmique parfaite de mélodies émises sans cesse, en une chaîne ininterrompue, à travers les espaces étoilés de la voie lactée, mondes en-deça comme au-delà d’autres mondes, intérieurs et extérieurs aux sphères humaines et surhumaines, créant une merveilleuse et éternelle unité en nous dans l’harmonie de l’Etre universel.

Peuples et nations se dressent, de nouveaux mondes commencent ou s’écroulent, étoiles et soleils naissent et meurent. D’elles et d’eux émanent sonorités et tonalités, substance confinant au silence quand la vie qui cesse. Mais tout émet toujours de la musique.  

 L’univers chante pour nous, il nous parle, hautement ou subtilement, muni d’une infinie variété de sons. Mais il garde toujours sa propre voix, préservant ses propres gestes dans sa partition spécifique, tout comme est particulière l’âme d’une nation qui, à sa manière unique, parle, chante et sème de la musique. Comment donc ?

La musique humaine n’est qu’un fragment de l’éternelle musique, forme créée par l’esprit et les mains de l’homme, sujette à d’incessantes transformations. La musique ne pourrait pas exister sans le silence, car c’est du sein du silence que nous modelons et créons notre existence, ce que la musique  de Chopin exprime mieux que toutes.

Les temps changent, les peuples changent, chaque génération connaît son aube lumineuse; pensées et sentiments revêtent des formes nouvelles, tels de nouveaux vêtements. Les générations successives se soumettent bon gré mal gré à ce qui a ému et ravi leurs pères et ancêtres, faisant de nouveaux rêves d’avenir emplis de soifs, excitations et enthousiasmes propulsant l’humanité en avant vers de nouveaux sommets et de nouvelles croyances: chaque génération cherche et désire la nouvelle esthétique qui lui est spécifique.

Dans cet état d’esprit nous avons entrepris notre film Liszt et Chopin à Paris, grâce à ces oeuvres d’art nées des nécessités du moment, mais survivant à leurs créateurs, et parfois, dans le cas de géants comme Liszt et Chopin, vivant pour toujours.

 Le cachet de la nouveauté n’est pas seulement celui d’une unique génération mais celui d’un monde entièrement nouveau, dont les lumières et les idées sont endurantes, traversent les âges.

Telles sont les oeuvres fortes d’une jeunesse sans fin, lumineuses et puissantes, à travers lesquelles beauté et vérité parlent haut et fort, avec la voix de chaque génération, de la race entière, du monde entier, et de la terre entière qui les ont produites.

 Les évolutions se succèdent en nous sans transition, nous passons du ravissement aux larmes, un seul pas sépare souvent les extases les plus sublimes des noires profondeurs du découragement et de l’abattement spirituels. Nous en avons la preuve dans tous les aspects de notre vie quotidienne, de nos expériences personnelles ou sociales, politiques ou professionnelles, dans notre travail créateur comme dans les soucis de notre existence individuelle. Ces changements sont partout discernables.

Cette caractéristique inhérente à l’esprit humain nous apparaît le mieux quand nous nous comparons à d’autres visages plus heureux ou plus satisfaits, quels qu’ils soient.
Mais nous frappe, comme une pathologie, le fait que les artistes aient tenté de l’exprimer et de le crier, poètes limités par la précision étroite de la pensée et des mots, essayant de passer outre, de transcender les langages écrits en dépit de leur richesse et de leur beauté. 

Or Chopin était un musicien, et seule sa musique, peut-être uniquement sa musique peut tout révéler :  la fluidité de nos sentiments, notre fréquente nostalgie pour la beauté et l’infini, nos héroïques concentrations, et nos frénésies d’extase, qui font face aux effondrements et aux désespoirs impuissants dans nos esprits, où, par moments, notre pensée s’assombrit, et où périt le besoin de l’action.

Alors les mains de Chopin font vibrer la harpe de notre race d’accords si tendres, si mystérieux, si énergiques, si impérieux, que nous comprenons que sa musique traduit tout pour nous, le désir virginal comme la grave virilité, ou la tragique vieillesse, la jeunesse joyeuse et futile, la douceur enveloppante de l’amour, la force valeureuse et chevaleresque de nos rêves – souhaits, actions et désirs, tout cela se trouve pour nous exprimé dans la musique de Chopin. 

Sa musique, à la fois tendre et tempétueuse, tranquille et passionnée, caressant et déchirant le coeur, puissante et transcendante, excède et rend inutile la discipline du mètre.
Elle repousse les liens et les lois du rythme, refuse la soumission au métronome, comme s’il était le joug d’un tyran haï. Sa musique nous mène plus près et nous attire plus étroitement vers la pure beauté et l’excellence. Ainsi savons-nous et réalisons-nous que l’humanité entière, la planète Terre vit, vibre et tressaille en tempo rubato.  

 Et donc, pourquoi l’esprit de notre terre est-il si clairement révélé dans l’Espace de cette musique, et dans nulle autre? Pourquoi la voix de notre planète jaillit-elle soudainement de son cœur comme d’une fontaine, d’une source de profondeur inconnue, d’une façon si vivante, purifiante et fertile?

Nous devons le lui demander, seul le grand Chopin peut ouvrir cette matrice secrète de vérité pour nous. Mais il ne nous a pas encore tout dit, et probablement ne nous le dira jamais.

L’auditeur moyen, non initié à l’art de la musique, écoute les chefs d’oeuvres de Bach, Mozart, Beethoven avec indifférence, parfois avec impatience.

Les inventions polyphoniques et l’énorme richesse et variété des complexités harmoniques, perceptibles pour l’oreille entraînée des spécialistes, sont inacessibles à l’auditeur moyen, dont l’esprit s’égare dans le mystère des combinaisons et dont l’attention erre, parmi les formes marmoréennes d’une belle sonate de facture allemande. Cet auditeur affronte les structures étonnantes d’une symphonie classique en se sentant souvent refroidi et mal à l’aise, comme s’il pénétrait dans une église étrangère. Les angoisses prométhéennes du plus grand interprète du monde ne le touchent guère.

Pourtant, dès que la voix de Chopin s’élève, cet auditeur moyen change imméditement d’attitude.

Voici que son écoute prend un tour aigu, son attention se concentre, ses yeux brillent, sa circulation s’accélère, il se réjouit et des larmes coulent sur ses joues comme à un signal donné, que ce soit celui de la danse ailée de la Mazurka, la mélancolie du Nocturne, le balancement net de la Krakowiak, le mystère d’un Prélude, le pas majestueux de la Polonaise, ou bien une simple Etude, ou encore une vive mais surprenante Ballade, à la fois épique et tumultueuse, ou une Sonate noble et héroïque: soudain l’auditeur comprend tout, ressent tout, parce que tout est sien, d’une manière vivante, comme l’est le vrai Chant de la Terre.

Une fois de plus, à l’écoute de la musique de Chopin, l’air étreint notre être, et se déploie devant nous comme le paysage de notre pays natal. Sous le bleu vague d’un ciel triste, l’auditeur revoit la vaste plaine qui a été témoin de sa naissance, le coin sombre des forêts au loin, les labours et les jachères, les champs féconds et les étendues de sables stériles.

Une colline élégante est née, au pied de laquelle la brume du crépuscule plane mystérieusement au-dessus du creux vert des prés, le murmure d’un ruisseau caresse nos oreilles, les maigres feuilles du bouleau bruissent, tels des pleurs attendrissantes, tandis que le vent joue dans les peupliers d’automne, ou remue les vagues vertes des blés mûrs, et un souffle parfumé monte de l’ancienne forêt de pins, saine, résineuse et magnifique.

Tandis que nous écoutons, tout ce décor se peuple d’étranges figures légendaires du passé, comme si nos ancêtres se trouvaient convoqués pour une résurrection de leur être surnaturel, et de leur existence à demi oubliée, dans la nuit d’un printemps. 

Un Scherzo, avec la lascivité sauvage de demi-dieux et demi-déesses, fantômes sans nombre, champs hantés et simples prés qui nous capturent et retiennent dans des buissons denses où combattent les loups, où de rogues lutins jouent des tours, font des farces, où de petits esprits d’éros planent et reviennent encercler la Reine de l’Amour, à l’écoute du chant immortel qui, il y a longtemps de cela, déchira sa poitrine et l’ouvrit pour découvrir, visibles aux yeux de tous, à nu, un coeur brisé et aimant, plein d’espoir.

Et maintenant, cette scène immémoriale se lève et monte d’une voix sans âge, faisant entendre son tonnerre sombre, d’une manière menaçante et solennelle,   tandis que tremblent les bosquets sacrés, que les elfes effrayés s’évanouissent et se sauvent de la surface du lac, et que les éclairs enflamment, brûlent le ciel.

Un orage survient, éclate d’une façon soudaine et terrible, conduisant, poursuivant et dispersant, comme prisonniers au sein de la tempête tourbillonnante, les orgueilleux disciples des druides, qui vacillent avec la chute du souffle de l’été, alors que la musique de nos ancêtres s’engouffre doucement dans nos âmes.

La mer du blé d’or au vent s’est asséchée, dans les champs en lambeaux, les gerbes en faisceaux sont encore debout, la faucille au repos, la caille légère et la perdrix plus grave, à tire d’aile, partent en quête des riches restes du chaume.

Les chants de la moisson s’étirent en vagues dans les airs, tandis que s’élèvent des marais et pâturages l’écho de flûte du gardien des troupeaux, et, pas trop loin de nous, ce sont le bourdonnement et l’agitation de l’auberge en bord de route, où les violoneux s’évertuent avec dextérité. 

Ils jouent en s’aidant seulement de l’oreille, poussant vers le haut leur fréquente quarte augmentée, pour nous si familière, lorsque la basse soudaine et rude s’affirme en pédale obstinée, et que notre peuple se met vivement en branle pour danser, ou chanter lentement sa mélodie préférée, rêveur et sain, rebelle mais joyeux, cependant  toujours nostalgique et étrange.

Dans la petite église en bordure de chemin, un orgue se fait entendre, pauvre et humble, et loin là-bas, dans les flots de lumière chaude des grandes salles du majestueux Manoir, se sont réunis nobles et seigneurs, les grands électeurs du comté, en une cohue étincelante et multicolore. La musique résonne. Tels sont Liszt et Chopin à Paris!

A Londres maintenant, avec Lord Chamberlain, ou quiconque est présent, et du rang le plus digne à l’instant, arrive celui qui prend le commandement de la Polonaise. Le cliquetis des sabres retentit, le froissemnt des brocards sur les amples manches, les rangées violettes se lancent au pas, avec audace, les couples défilent fièrement tandis que des mots tendres coulent vers les joues fines et les yeux amoureux – vocables de la vénérable langue polonaise en terre étrangère, largement mêlés d’anglais ici ou là, et de légères touches de français.

Nous sommes de retour à Paris et en Italie où la danse ne cesse jamais, mais à présent un vieil homme à la longue barbe, aux cheveux blancs, à la voix d’argent nous conte quelque légende brumeuse au son de la cornemuse, du luth ou de la harpe. Il chante les terre d’au-delà des mers, nous parle d’un ciel d’Italie, de joutes de troubadours, de chansons de victoires ou de défaites, vastes luttes immortelles, sans fin et sans solution. Et tous écoutent et comprennent.

Dehors dans le jardin, l’air est doux et chaud du souffle des roses, du soupir du jasmin et du lys, tandis que la ravissante jeune fille de la maison se repose sous le murmure  protecteur des tilleuls, surprise dans un Nocturne étoilé en train de chuchoter à quelque triste amoureux les tendres peines d’une nuit d’été.

L’été maintenant s’est enfui, beaucoup d’étés ont passé. Partis sont les chevaliers dans leur armure, terminées leurs marches conquérantes, tombées sont les ailes des intrépides hussards, qui, victorieusement, labourèrent et hantèrent autrefois les flots de la Baltique, car la virilité des nobles lanciers n’est plus, et rien ne demeure, qu’une mémoire hâtivement retenue dans les annales de notre gloire.

L’automne vient et voici les Préludes qui semblent presque les Epilogues de nos vies. Est-ce là l’automne de la vie, la nôtre, ou est-ce la vie de l’automne, et d’où la vie commence-t-elle? Les jours sont maintenant plus courts, la lumière pâlit, les temps sereins et joyeux se font plus rares, et pourtant, quand le soleil s’élève dans sa gloire, il est difficile de s’arracher à une telle richesse de couleurs sans égales, pour faire face à la conscience du crépuscule et de l’ombre qui tout emporte. C’est la musique du piano.

L’ancienne oeuvre qui mesura des jours plus équitables pour nos pères et les pères de nos pères sonne maintenant solennellement l’heure tardive de minuit, tandis qu’un vent sinistre rugit, s’engoufrant dans la cheminée vide, et de nouveau se font entendre soudain les gouttes d’eau rythmées de la pluie d’automne, mais cette fois accompagnées du doux son mat des feuilles mortes tombant à terre, et de la funèbre plainte des branches orphelines.

Le très vieux cimetière est plein de fantômes égarés, parmi les ancients monts et collines remplis d’ombres, revenants présents, ou esprits de retour d’un lointain passé. La musique s’élance comme si elle provenait de l’immortalité elle-même, comme si elle abritait tout, le grand et le petit, le fort et l’humble, le célèbre et l’inconnu, nous dépouillant des erreurs et des fautes de notre enveloppe terrestre, et nous apportant un nouvel espoir, né des profondeurs purifiées de l’âme, notre âme embellie, anoblie.

Telle est la musique de Chopin! 

Tel est le Chant de la Terre.

Tous Droits Réservés ©2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Liszt & Chopin In Paris
The music of Chopin is the song of the Earth. Chopin is our planet’s greatest son and his music is the song of the Earth. In "Liszt & Chopin In Paris" film we pay homage not only to Franz Liszt, the greatest virtuoso of all time, but to Chopin, his friend and nemesis bringing our thanks, love and reverence to the greatest composer of the piano of all time recollecting with joy and gratitude how over the years our lives were enriched and beautified through his music.

Ignacy J. Paderewski’s who was one of the greatest icons of classical piano referred to Chopin's music as "The Song of The Earth" in a speech delivered at the Centenary of Chopin’s birth in 1910 in Lemberg (Poland) today Lviv (Ukraine).

How timely his statements are today in view of the recent crisis in this ancient land, how timely now is to speak of Chopin’s music that strengthens and heals our spirit and re-inspires our hearts in peace which most human beings desire when awake from a night of dreadful dreams, poisoned air and self-inflicted misery hoping to kindle the flame of universal justice that too many times have been fouled by dark, blackening smoke of present times.

Remembering that we were taught to respect all of humanity and to live in contempt of our selfish wishes, and to give and forgive and not yield to hate, as these are the values that our fathers, forefathers and brothers have thrust upon us through the heritage of our generations and our civilization that brought us to the present into the clutches of today and the chaotic future that looms over us every day in the infinite abyss of time. So what is the Song of the Earth?

The answer is in "Liszt & Chopin In Paris" feature film now being developed for production, a historic masterpiece soon to be presented on thousands of movie screens around the world with breathtaking costumes, cinematography and a magnificent soundtrack featuring the radiant spirit of Chopin’s music whose valor, strength and energy screams so loudly and yet so subtly in the midst of human suffering troubled by affliction, heartache, creative pain, hardship and the pangs of existence while at all time screaming loudly - long live humanity!

Art and all that springs from the depths of the human soul is the outcome of a union between reason and emotion, and if music is the most accessible of all arts to us, it is because of its vibrations that are cosmic by nature. It is the only art that actually lives with all its elements and vibrations with its rhythm, tone, harmony and pulse with all the elements of life inside us even though often stealthy and fragile, yet always mysterious and mighty.

Mingled with the flow of rushing waters, the breath of the wind, the murmur of the forests, music lives in Earth's seismic thrusts, in the mighty motion of the planets, in the hidden conflicts of infinite atoms, in all the lights and spheres and in the colors and shapes that dazzle and soothe our nerves and, in our eyes. It lives in the blood of our arteries, in every pain we endure, in our passion and ecstasy that moves our hearts and bodies. Music is everywhere, soaring beyond and above the range of human speech into the unearthly spheres of divine emotions.

The energy of the Universe knows no respite as it resounds unceasingly through Time and Space, its manifestation, rhythm and origin by the law of physics keeping order in all worlds known and unknown, maintaining perfect cosmic harmony with its melodies constantly flowing in the unbroken chain of starry spaces along the Milky Way, amid worlds beyond worlds, and worlds within worlds, inside and outside through spheres of human and superhuman realities thus creating a wondrous and eternal unity in us in the harmony of universal being.

People and nations rise, new worlds begin and crumble, stars and suns are born and die so that they may give forth tone and sound and substance, and when silence falls upon them then Life ceases, but everything utters in music.

The Universe sings to us, it speaks to us, subtly or loudly in infinite variety of tones, yet it always has its own voice, using its own gestures, as if according to its own particular score, and the soul of a nation too, speaks, sings and utters music - but how?

Human music is but a fragment of eternal music, its form created by the mind and by the hands of man being subject to endless transformations. Music could not exist without silence, for it is from silence that we carve our existence and Chopin’s music can express this best of all.

Times change, people change and every generation has its hour of dawn, as our thoughts and feeling take new shapes and new people put on new clothes and garments while the youth, the next generation bow their heads unwillingly to that which previously moved and enraptured their fathers and forefathers with thoughts filled with new dreams of the future, their thirsts, intoxications and enthusiasms are called on to impel humanity towards new, unmeasured heights and beliefs that every generation searches and desires looking for new beauty, but for beauty on its own.

In this spirit we have began our film ”Liszt & Chopin In Paris” with works of art that come to life to serve the needs of the moment, but even though for that moment they take a shorter space of time these works endure longer than their creators and sometimes as it is the case of both Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin they endure forever.

The stamp of novelty is not merely of one generation, but of a whole new world and new generations in a whole new period whose lights and ideas they still reveal after long years, and there new works in order, timeless and strong with undying youth, luminous and powerful in which truth and beauty speaks loudly with the voice of every new generation, and with the new voice of the whole race, the voice of the whole world and of the very earth which brought them forth.

Change follows change in us almost without transition as we pass from blissful rapture to sobbing woe where more than often a single step divides our sublimest ecstasies from the darkest depths of spiritual despondency, and we see the proof of this in every aspect of our daily lives; we see it in our personal and political framework of experiences, in our personal and professional development; in our creative work and in daily troubles and challenges of our existence, as well as in our social discourse and our internal and personal affairs. This change is palpable everywhere.

Maybe this inherent characteristic of human spirit comes forward best when we compare ourselves with other happier, more satisfied faces whoever they may be and this often strikes us as a pathological condition that artists throughout the ages have tried to express and cried out loud, but being poets they are hampered by the limiting precision of thought and the strictness of the words they could not endure that no written language can express entirely, even ours with all its wealth and beauty.

But Chopin was a musician and his music alone, perhaps alone his music can reveal it all - the fluidity of our feelings and our frequent yearnings for beauty and infinity, our heroic concentrations and frenzied ecstasies that tightly face the shattering of rocks and impotent despairs in our minds where occasionally our thought darkens and the desire for action perishes, and as Chopin’s hands strung the harp of our race with chords so tender, so mysterious, so mighty and so compelling we realize that his music expresses all the above to us best of all, the yearning of maidenhood, the grave manhood, the tragic old age, the lighthearted and joyful youth, true love's enfolding softness, the valiant and chivalrous strength of our dreams, wishes, actions and desires - all these are ours in the music of Chopin.

His music, tender and tempestuous, tranquil and passionate, heart-reaching, heart-breaking, potent and overwhelming eludes the metrical discipline.

Chopin’s music rejects the fetters of rhythmic rules and refuses submission to the metronome as if it were the yoke of some hated ruler. His music bids us near, draws us closer to hear pure beauty and perfection, and to know  and realize that our whole humanity, our whole world and the whole planet Earth lives, feels, and moves in tempo rubato.

So why should the spirit of our Earth be so clearly expressed from Space in Chopin’s music above all others?  Why should the voice of our planet be gushed forth suddenly from his heart as if from a fountain, from depths unknown, so vital, cleansing and fertilizing?  We must ask this of him – the great Chopin alone who can open the secret womb of truth to us, but who has never yet told us all, and who perhaps will never tell us.

The average listener, unfamiliar with the art of music hears the masterpieces of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven with indifference, at times even with impatience.

Polyphonic ingenuities and the enormous wealth and variety of harmonic intricacies, lucid enough to the trained and understanding ear are inaccessible to the average listener as the mind loses its way in the mystery of figures and attention wanders and strays amid the marble forms of a beautiful, but German sonata, and as the listener confronts the amazing structures of a classic symphony he or she often feels chilled and ill at ease as if in a foreign church and often cannot feel the Promethean pangs of the world's greatest musician performing the piece.

But let Chopin's voice speak and the listener changes immediately. His or her hearing becomes keen, the attention concentrated; the eyes glisten, the blood flows more quickly,  the heart rejoices and tears as if on a signal flow down the cheeks, be it the dancing lilt of native Mazurka, the Nocturne's melancholy, the crisp swing of the Krakowiak, the mystery of a Prelude, the majestic stride of a Polonaise, or an Etude, the vivid but surprising Ballade, always epic and tumultuous, or the Sonata, noble and heroic, and the listeners understand it all, feels it all, because it is all theirs and alive as it is the very song of the Earth.

Once more on hearing Chopin’s music the air enfolds our being and spreads before us as the landscape of our home. Under the sad sky's vague blue the listener sees the wide plains upon which he was born, the dark edges of distant forests, plowed and fallow lands, the fruitful fields and the sterile sandy stretches.

A gentle hill has risen at whose feet the twilight mist hovers mysteriously above the green hollow of the meadows, the gurgling of the brook reaching our ears, the scant leaves of the birch rustle tearfully touching our ears, as the wind plays in the fall poplars and strokes the green waves of yielding wheat, and a perfumed breath blows from the ancient pine forest, wholesome, resinous and magnificent.

As we listen, all this becomes peopled by strange, legendary shapes of long ago, that our forfathers conjured to sight as their unearthly and half-forgotten beings that come to life again in the spring of the night. A Scherzo that beholds with the wild frolics of demi-gods and demi-goddesses, phantoms without numbers, haunted fields and meadows holding us captured in the dense thicket where wolves struggle and roguish imps are at their pranks, and their little hovering love-sprites return to encircle their Queen of Love, and hear the deathless song which long ago burst her bosom open and laid bare to all men's sight a heart broken and loving, full of hope.

Now, this immemorial raises its timeless voice and thunders gloomily, threateningly and solemnly as the holy groves tremble and the scared elves vanish from the surface of the lake while the lightning flashes burn the sky. A storm awakens and has broken, sudden and terrific, driving, pursuing and shattering, as if caught in the tempest's whirling blast, the proud fans of the Druids totter with the fall of Summer's breath as the music of our ancestors blows softly in our souls.

The sea of golden wheat in wind tattered fields has dried away, the shocks and sheaves standing still, the sickle at rest and the light quail and graver partridge stretch their wings searching the rich stores of the stubble. Waves of the harvest song are in the air, while from marsh and pasture comes the echo of the herdsman's pipe, and not far away from our ears there is the hum and bustle at the wayside inn where fiddlers play dexterously. 

They play by ear, thrusting in a frequent, augmented fourth so familiar to us when a sudden, rude bass supplies a stubborn pedal, and than our folk dances briskly, striding, singing slowly, musingly a healthy sway, wayward, merry, yet soaked with eerie melancholy of favorite melody. In the little church across the road an organ sounds, poor and humble, away, there in the stately Manor lights are flaring in the halls; great nobles, county electors maybe have gathered there in  colorful, glistening throng. Music sounds. That’s "Liszt & Chopin In Paris"....

In London, with Lord Chamberlain or whoever is present and of most dignified  rank at the time steps forth to lead the Polonaise.There comes the clank of swords, the rustle of brocaded silks against their wide sleeves, purple lined as with dashing step as the couples march on proudly while soft smooth words that begin to flow towards fair cheeks and lovely eyes - the glib words of old Polish tongue in the foreign land, softly interspersed by many in English here and there, and perhaps with a timid touch of French.

Than we are back in Paris, or Italy perhaps where the dance never ceases, but now and than an old man, long-bearded, white-haired, silver-voiced tells us some misty tale to the sound of a bag-pipe, lute and harp. He chants of lands beyond the seas, speaking of Italian skies, the jousts of troubadours and sings of victorious battles lost and won, vast immortal struggles, unended and unsolved where all listen and understand.

Out in the garden the air is sweet, warm with breath of roses with the sigh of jasmine and lily while a lovely daughter of the house rests under the shielding murmur of the limes caught in a starry Nocturne gently whispering words of love to some sad youth in the tender sorrows of the summer night. 

Summer has passed now, and so have many summers. Gone are the armored knights and their conquering marches, fallen are the wings of the intrepid hussars who once victoriously plowed the Baltic waves, as the manhood of the Lancer's nobles is no more and nothing remains, but a memory fast-held in the annals of our glory. 

Autumn comes and here are the Preludes that almost seem to be Epilogues of our lives. Is this Life's autumn, our own, or is this the Autumn of our life from where Life itself begins? The days are shorter now, the light wanes, fair times and merry are rarer now, yet when the sun shines forth in its glory, it is hard to tear oneself away from so much wealth of the matchless color to face the consciousness of dusk and outweighing shade. It’s the music of the Piano.

The old timepiece that measured fairer days for our grandfathers and great-grandfathers now solemnly strikes late at midnight hour while the gloomy wind howls in the empty chimney and suddenly one hears the measured drops of the autumn rain once again, but this time with the soft thud of withered leaves falling to earth and the mournful rustle of orphaned branches.

The old graveyard is full of ghosts amid the ancient mounds and hillocks full of shadows whose ghost was there before and whose spirit came back from the past. The music speaks as if it was part of immortality itself, as it harbors all, great or little, strong or humble, famed or nameless, stripping us of the errors and quilts of our earthly covering and bringing forth hope anew from the cleansing depths of our soul, beautified, ennobled. That’s the music of Chopin and the song of the Earth.