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Whang's first CD shows off her love of Chopin's work

Cameron University's own virtuoso pianist, Hyunsoon Whang, has always had a love of Chopin, which is why she chose his work for her very first solo album.

Whang's album, "Chopin Nocturnes," was released in February on sonaBLAST! Records. The album features nine of Chopin's nocturnes. 

Chopin was a Polish composer and renowned pianist who composed mainly for solo piano. His music became a hallmark of the Romantic age. In the centuries since his death his music has become known for its dreamlike quality. 

"Chopin is a composer that I feel really close to and comfortable playing, and these are his really beautiful pieces. I wanted to choose something that I love and most other people love," Whang said. "It's been my experience that, whenever I play Chopin in live concerts, even if I play it badly, they still love it. It's for myself, as well as people who are listening to it."

Whang began planning her album in early 2017 and recorded it in May.

"Once you record it, you know they're going to go back and forth between the producer the editor and myself," Whang said. "For me, the most difficult part was doing the recording session. We had a day-and-a-half to record. There are nine nocturnes on the album, Chopin wrote about 20, and I knew there was no way we could do all 20 in a day-and-a-half."

In the end, Whang settled on the nocturnes she was most familiar with  pieces she was learning to play, or already knew, as well as a few new ones that she did not know, but wanted to learn.

"These really are the best ones out of the 20, in my opinion," Whang said. "Especially the last two nocturnes  they are just amazing."

The final two pieces on the album, No. 17 in B major and No. 18 in E major, are Whang's favorites.

"The harmonies, they're really amazing," Whang said. "One of them has this really long section of trills that are just heavenly and, of course, the tunes are great."

Whang, who has recorded albums before as part of an ensemble, had some hesitation about recording a solo album.

"I was excited, but I was also kind of dreading it. I like playing live music, which is one of the reasons I hadn't done a solo recording. I'd rather just play for an audience," Whang said.

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