“Revolutionary Étude, Op. 10, No. 12,” according to Raphaël Angelini, was Frédéric Chopin’s “patriotic reaction to hearing that Warsaw had been captured by the Russians.”
Raphaël Angelini captures Chopin’s intense emotional response in his performance of the Étude, displaying his dazzling technique, finessed interpretation, and his command of complex passages.
The video, filmed by Alessandro Bevilacqua, encompasses cinematic shots acquired from various refined angles, perspectives exhibiting Angelini’s precision, speed, pacing, and deftness, as well as his intimate connection with his piano.
Muzique Magazine spoke with Raphaël Angelini to discover more about the person seated at the piano, what motivated him to perform “Revolutionary Étude, Op. 10, No. 12,” his influences, and why he makes music.
What three things can’t you live without?
Music, music and music! Music is love and all you need is love. You know the drill…
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
Music is not only my job, it is my mind. Since I was born, I’ve been attracted by the sounds. Managing these feelings is not easy. I was a lunatic teenager and music was my therapy. But I’m very happy now because a few years ago, I had an awakening and finally, I found myself!
Playing piano as well as you do must take tremendous amounts of time. How do you practice?
I spend 45 minutes to an hour practicing the piano, but not every day. When you are in love with this instrument, you don’t want to break the spell. I don’t believe in hard work. It’s all about connections in your brain and what is your primary intention. Joy and happiness are the keys to your life.
What inspired you to perform Chopin’s “Revolutionary Étude, Op. 10, No. 12?”
We are in a strange world, with serious infringement of civil liberties. « The revolutionary process » is a necessary transition from one system to another. This tremendous piece was inspired by the 1831 Russian attack on Warsaw, during the November 1830-31 Uprising. Chopin was weak and sick, and it was impossible for him to defend his country. So, he composed this Étude as a patriotic reaction to hearing that Warsaw had been captured by the Russians. There are many different typologies of revolutions, and I think music can be one of them.
What can you share about your songwriting process?
I’m just listening to the sound of the cosmos. I feel connected with the entire universe, and if my mind is clear, the songwriting process makes writing a song or a piano piece easier and effective. Infinite ideas and realities exist. Just be yourself.
What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?
The spirit of freedom! Each human being is free, it’s a gift in our life. Just listen to the Black American Freedom Songs, and their determination to be free. It’s very inspiring. Good vibes in music can give us the strength to build a new world, with more solidarity and equity.
Which musicians/vocalists influenced you the most?
Glenn Gould, Arturo Benedetto Michelangeli, Mikhaïl Faerman, Bill Evans, J.S Bach, Ennio Morricone, Chopin, and Prokofiev.
Which artists are you listening to right now?
I’m curious about a lot of artists. Famous or not… listening to music is an individual journey, and there is magic in this exploration. It’s always a source of revitalizing and nourishing energy.
Why do you make music?
I don’t know… Maybe because music is the language of the universe. When I make music, I believe in everything, all is possible. I interact with something you can call « God ». Making music is like making love, it’s an explosion of pure love…
Looking ahead, what’s next for Raphaël Angelini?
I have no career plan, I just want to be happy with my family and my friends. I’m a lucky man because my passion is my job. All my dreams come true and I will keep making and teaching music until the end of my life.