December 23, 2015

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849): Etyde No. 2 in A Flat Major

(Trois nouvelles études, 1839), Jasmin Fors, piano (live recording)

March 19, 2016

Live recording at ”Värinää” music festival in Järvenpää, Finland, March 13, 2016: ”Ejercicio de higiene”

(”Exercise in Hygiene”), 5th scene from the chamber opera ”Isabella” by Lauri Toivio (libretto by Maritza Núñez).


Vocal soloist mezzo-soprano Jutta Holmberg, musicians of the ensemble Sami Junnonen (piccolo), Patrik Stenström (clarinet), Jasmin Fors (piano), Erja Unkari (violin), Max Savikangas (viola) ja Pinja Laine (violoncello). Performance conducted by Lauri Toivio.

April 19, 2016

”Violet” – composed, performed and painted by Jasmin Fors; live recording in February 2016, painted in March 2016 (oil on canvas, 16 x 16 cm).

October 4, 2016

”A little Girl with Roses”

35 x 26 cm, pencil on paper, 2016

*private collection

July 7, 2017

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849): Ballade No. 4 in F Minor Op. 52

Jasmin Fors, piano

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Bio

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Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) was one of the greatest and most original artists of his day, astounding and moving his contemporaries with his unique, expressive music and his mastery of the keyboard. In his music and playing – their singing quality, bold harmonies, delicately-nuanced dynamics, passionate virtuosity, refinement, poetry and rubato (the subtle variation and moulding of strict time to enrich the phrasing) – he created a world of his own in which the piano was, as an instrument, first employed to consummate perfection. “Cannon buried in flowers”, was how Schumann aptly described Chopin’s music.


Chopin was at the peak of his art when he composed his fourth and last Ballade in F Minor, Op. 52 in 1842. It was also the year in which he wrote the Polonaise in A Flat, Op. 53 and the Scherzo in E, Op. 54.


In the Middle Ages, a ballad was a simple narrative dance song. Over the centuries, it developed and evolved into a literary genre and one favoured by poets. According to one definition, a ballad is an epic-lyrical poem that tells a tragic tale. Musical compositions based on poems began to be called Ballads (or Ballades) from the mid-18th century onwards.


Many of the greatest ballads in world literature date from the Romantic era and were written by such poets as Goethe, Schiller, Heinrich Heine, Walter Scott and John Keats. Chopin is thought to have been inspired by the ballads of the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz.


Chopin’s musical universe was too large to fit into individual existing forms and it is possible that he adopted the term Ballade in order to free himself of them.


All in all, Op. 52 reminds me of the words conjured forth by Guy de Pourtalès about Chopin’s playing and music: “Then there arose from the piano a voice such as no one, ever, had heard before. All at once each one perceived in it the cry of his most private innermost self. It was neither a tale, nor a brilliant commentary, but the simple song of life; a perfect confidence; the essential word of the heart.”


–JF / Translation: Susan Sinisalo

Once upon a beautiful time in the past, there was a poet who had never written a single poem. Still, in the depths of his soul, he was a true artist: his greatest dream was to play with words, taste them with his tongue like wild strawberries, string them onto a stalk of timothy grass, admiring their sweet succulence.

April 27, 2018

So starts the tale ‘Age Quod Agis’. A determined poet sets out on a journey down the streams of his creativity, which change and fade like a kaleidoscope, pulling him deep in to see and discover all that is around him.


READ THE TALE

June 5, 2018

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849): Prelude in C Major Op. 28 No. 1

Jasmin Fors, piano

Live recording in May 2018

Golden Threads


In the dusk of a summer’s night,

like on the canvas of a Renaissance artist,

a gentle tune rises high and tender

from the curtained mansion window.


Halt, wanderer, and listen yonder!

The flow of music vivid and unforced, like a swallow

wheeling, in the heavenly blue, a silk-winged butterfly

fluttering, above the flowery mead.


What is this emotion within me,  

flying wide open like a folding fan?

Embroidering out in golden threads


a jubilation, oh, an exaltation!


–JF

(inspiration after a prelude by Chopin)


English translation by Päivi Tikkanen

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